NY Kicks Off $120M Lexington Avenue Armory Renovation


New York has launched the search for a construction firm to complete an up to $120 million renovation of the 177,438-square-foot Lexington Avenue Armory, a national landmark and the home of the New York National Guard’s 69th Regiment.

Plans include replacing the building’s mechanical, electric and plumbing systems, accessibility upgrades and other interior improvements, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday. Designs for the work have already been drawn up by New York architecture firm Marvel, according to the New York Office of General Services, the state agency overseeing the bidding process. 

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The state will cover about 25 percent of the cost of the renovations to the building after the federal government kicks in $90 million, Hochul said. 

The Lexington Avenue Armory’s Beaux Arts design sets it apart from the dozen or so other armories in Manhattan, most of which were decommissioned in the 1990s and handed over to the city to be redeveloped into cultural centers, gyms or community facilities

But the Lexington Avenue Armory, which occupies almost an entire block between East 25th and East 26th streets, still serves as a military “readiness center.” It provided a home base for 6,000 National Guard troops during the COVID-19 pandemic and also hosted troops after Superstorm Sandy plunged Lower Manhattan into darkness in October 2012. 

However, the historic building is “beginning to show its age” and the state wants to get “much-needed repairs underway,” Hochul said in a statement.

“The rehabilitation of the armory is long overdue, and it will restore the landmark to meet the modern-day needs of the Army,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

The biggest armory in the state is the 570,000-square-foot Kingsbridge Armory in northwest Bronx, where community groups are awaiting news of the winning development proposal set to be announced later this year by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

New York expects to choose a winning bidder for the Lexington Avenue Armory renovations in mid-August.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.