The Real Deal New York

Why Bronx pols favor Messier’s hockey rink for Kingsbridge Armory

August 23, 2012 08:30AM

Bronx officials, led by Borough President Ruben Diaz, have come out in support of the proposal to turn the 575,000-square-foot Kingsbridge Armory into an ice skating center rather than a competing bid, by developer Young Woo, that envisions a shopping and food complex similar to the Dekalb Market he conceived or the Chelsea Market. According to the Wall Street Journal, their support was swayed by two factors that extend far beyond the success of the armory.

The ice arena developers, led by a former Deutsche Bank executive and New York Rangers legend Mark Messier, promise to pay all workers a “living wage,” whereas Woo would only guarantee such compensation for his direct employees at the project (note: correction appended).

Further, while the idea of establishing a market that resembles something out of Brooklyn appeals to those trying to reshape the borough in Kings County’s image, officials fear that Woo’s proposal’s success would be very insulated.

“What attracts me most about this particular project is…they have no intentions of selling a lot inside the armory,” said Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. President Marlene Cintron. “People will really have to rely on breakfast lunch and dinner outside.” [WSJ] Adam Fusfeld