The Real Deal New York

Pol pulls back on Kingsbridge Ice Center support ahead of key City Council vote

December 06, 2013 01:20PM

City Council member Fernando Cabrera, who has veered back and forth on his views of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center project in the Bronx, remained critical of the proposal just days before the council’s final verdict.

Cabrera, who has long voiced concerns about the center’s potential impact on traffic and local businesses, added his “yes” vote to the Bronx Borough Board’s unanimous approval of the armory’s lease agreement last month. But during a heated City Council hearing Thursday, he criticized the development and asked his colleagues to vote against it when the Land Use Committee meets on Dec. 10, saying “there won’t be enough parking” and noting the “massive amount of people” the ice center would bring.

The uncertain stance on the armory project may be linked to Cabrera’s support for a competing plan to develop a retail marketplace, fitness center and movie house at the armory, onlookers told Crain’s. The plan was not chosen by the Bloomberg administration and, unlike the ice center proposal, is not up for a council vote.

Accusations also flew last month that the Council member asked KNIC’s developers to donate $100,000 per year to his former charity, Community Action Unlimited.

Should the council vote down the ice center plan, the armory will remain vacant and redevelopment efforts will have to wait for the de Blasio administration. [Crain’s] Julie Strickland