Today’s news:

Armory Project Meeting

With looming plans of remodeling the architectural giant, known as the Kingsbridge Armory, the project’s developer met with community members for the first time at a meet-and-greet on June 10 at Community Board 7.

Opening the lines of communication between local residents and Related Companies, CB 7 chairperson Gregory Faulkner said, “This is an important first step as we move forward to begin a formal process to negotiate a project labor agreement.”

The approximated $310 million project will transform the 575,000-square-foot space at 29 West Kingsbridge Road into a shopping oasis, “Shops at the Armory,” for local residents.

But while the plans include establishing 25 to 35 retail stores, therefore creating 1,800 construction jobs and 2,000 subsequent retail positions, the community is calling for additional benefits.

“We hope to establish a committee that will represent all of our community stakeholders’ interests through which we will enter a formal process of negotiation,” Faulkner said, regarding area residents’ concerns about increased neighborhood traffic, limited parking and living-wage employment.

Currently organizing a series of community input meetings, members of CB 7 are looking to collect a variety of opinions from local residents as to what types of businesses and community venues they’d like to see included in the redevelopment project.

Two members of CB 7 will then represent its more than 140,000 residents on the Kingsbridge Armory Taskforce, which will meet with Related periodically throughout the summer months.

“These stakeholder meetings will be critical to ensuring that our residents’ interests are well represented and communicated to Related and the city agencies involved in this project,” CB 7 district manager Fernando Tirado said.

The board offered their initial opinions of including healthier grocers, technology centers for children and various retail shops to encourage increased commerce, to Related for immediate consideration.  The board looks forward to their response. 

Ozzie Brown, CB 7’s chairman for the board’s Land Use Committee, said, “We’re delighted with the project and we want to work in concert with Related.”

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