The debate over whether to transform the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory into an ice-skating center or an urban mall finally appears to be wrapping up. According to Crain’s, a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corp. — the city agency responsible for weighing the competing bids to redevelop the four-acre property — said that an announcement revealing the winning plan is coming in the next few days.
“There is a sense of urgency to move, since either one of them is going to create jobs,” Marlene Cintron, head of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp., said, adding that she prefers the ice rink, but would support whichever plan the EDC chooses.
The plan to redevelop the armory into an ice rink had seen huge public support and many felt that the plan was a done deal – although Youngwoo’s development firm, which is behind a competing proposal, dubbed Mercado Mirabo (“a market you can see”), warned not to count them out.
The $275 million ice rink is expected to attract some two million visitors annually, and would rank as the biggest skating facility in the nation. The Mercado Mirbo project would cost $100 million to develop, and would turn a large portion of the space into a mix of small local vendors and larger national retail chains. [Crain's] –Christopher Cameron