Deadline approaches for Kingsbridge Armory developer to show city it has $158M

City will not turn over lease if funding is not in place

Rendering of a revamped armory at 29 West Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx
Rendering of a revamped armory at 29 West Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx

Show me the money — That’s what the city is saying to the owner of the former Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.

Kingsbridge National Ice Center, which wants to build a massive ice rink at the site, must show that it has $158 million for the first phase of the project before the city will turn over the lease — and the deadline is next month.

The developer signed a 99-year lease with the city in late 2014. The $350 million project would convert the former armory into a 750,000-square-foot complex, with nine ice rinks, an arena, and community and wellness centers, Politico reported.

The Empire State Development Corp., part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, has approved $30 million for the project. It had initially publicly pledged $138 million and it is unclear if it will provide the rest of the promised funds by the deadline.

A spokesperson for Empire State Development Corp. told Politico the state agency will release the funds, but did not give a specific date when it would happen.

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Other funding has come from the state’s Public Authorities Control Board, which approved a $15 million loan at its January meeting. The developer has signaled it would use the EB-5 visa program to cover some of the costs.

If the developer, which is run by hockey legend Mark Messier, is unable to get the full funding, the lease will remain in escrow and the fate of the development remains uncertain.

The developer, however, is still expecting the project to happen.

“We look forward to working with the EDC and other community partners to move forward with this historic project,” William Brewer, a lawyer who represents the developer, told Politico. [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic