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Van Cortlandt Park Accepting Proposals for Ice Rink

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A permanent borough ice rink was made official in January and now proposals for its design are now being accepted.

During Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City speech on Wednesday, January 19, the announcement of the approval of the Bronx’s first public skating rink in over 50 years created much excitement in the borough.

The location of the rink was announced to be in Van Cortlandt Park at the intersection of Broadway and Manhattan College Parkway and on Tuesday, April 5, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation announced that a Request for Proposals has been issued for the development, operation and maintenance for the ice rink.

“After many years of requests for a public ice skating rink in the Bronx, we were delighted when Mayor Bloomberg announced in his 2011 State of the City address that the City would partner with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We hope to receive proposals from companies with a strong background in the development, operation, and maintenance of high quality outdoor ice rinks.”

Parks will hold a site tour of the proposed location in Van Cortlandt Park on Thursday, April 28 at 11 a.m., and interested parties are urged to attend.

Copies of the RFP can be obtained between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on 830 Fifth Avenue, or can be downloaded on Park’s website at www.nyc.gov/parks/businessopportunities.

The VCP Conservancy plans to have the rink completed by November, in time for the start of the next winter season and all proposals for the rink must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Monday, May 16.

Residents wanted a permanent ice rink in the Bronx for a long time and it will be the first one in the borough since the Riverdale Ice Skating Rink closed down in 1983.

“This is such a relief that the Bronx can finally have a large, public skating rink,” said Anthony Cassino, chairman of the Conservancy, in a January interview with the Bronx Times. “It’s definitely a wonderful opportunity that we are looking forward to. We think it will be a large success in the Bronx and a great place for family and friends to be.”

The VCP Conservancy received $120,000 to put towards the rink from the 34th Street Partnership Business Improvement District’s president Dan Biederman, who also sits on the VCP Conservancy Board.

The funds came from $500,000 that Chrysler had paid the BID to display a Mini Cooper car encased in a snow globe on a corner near Herald Square during the past holiday season.

According to Biederman, he and Parks Commissioner Benepe agreed to share some of the money with parks in other boroughs.

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