“The public endorsement is early,” Greg Carney, a partner at Young Woo and Associates, told the Bronx Times. The firm wants to bring Mercado Mirabo (“a market you can see”) to the site, which would include space for a food court, a movie theater, a rock climbing wall, a sports arena, a hip hop museum and weekend markets. Woo said the project would create 1,500 Bronx jobs, including 800 permanent ones.
“We don’t think Mercado Mirabo is a bad project,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz’s spokesperson. “We just think the rink is better.”
Some local officials prefer the ice rink proposal because it promises to pay workers a “living wage” and because it wouldn’t pose competition to existing establishments in the neighborhood.
But Woo is trying to court community support from those who question the demand for nine ice rinks and an endorsement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long tried to land a retail center for the site.
The city’s Economic Development Corp. will make a decision by the end of the year. [Bronx Times] — Adam Fusfeld