A highly anticipated 99-year lease has been signed for the Bronx’ Kingsbridge National Ice Center, according to a press release issued by KNIC LLC today.
Documents have been finalized with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to secure the ice center’s future, adding new momentum into the transformation of Kingsbridge Armory. Though the plan for the ice center was approved by the City Council last December, two lawsuits had slowed the process from moving forward.
“The lease signing is an important step towards the realization of this project, and the significant economic benefits it will generate for the Bronx,” said Kyle Kimball, president of the NYCEDC, in a prepared statement.
No commercial real estate firms were involved in the deal; KNIC worked directly with the city.
The Armory, a New York City landmark, is also included on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places. The structure has sat vacant on West Kingsbridge Road since 1996 and will be converted into a year-round ice center with 750,000 square feet of usable space and nine rinks, addressing the dearth of ice space in the greater New York metropolitan area. It will also include a wellness center and ample space for community programs.
Developers are also touting the ice center as a catalyst for the local economy. It is anticipated that roughly 890 construction jobs and 267 permanent jobs at the ice center will be created. The ice center will prioritize hiring local residents.