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Building a massive ice skating hub at the Kingsbridge Armory could net the city over a billion dollars.
Those are the findings of a new report commissioned by the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, now in the final down-to-the-wire city selection process against competing Young Woo & Associates.
YWA has pitched Mercado Mirabo, an entertainment/sports complex in the now vacant fortress towering over Jerome Avenue in Kingsbridge.
The report estimates the ice rink will have a $1.3 billion impact on the economy.
The project will house nine ice skating rinks and a 5,000-seat arena.
HR&A Advisors, an economic analyst and consultant firm, wrapped up the study in March but released it just this week.
The figures have already been reported to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the agency weighing both projects.
Much of the revenue will come from various sources including rink visits, tax revenue and citywide economic activity, the study states.
About $42 million of that annual income will come directly from an ice skating rink that’s said to rival Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden.
Construction of the KNIC will add roughly $650 million to the ciity’s economy, according to the study.
HR&A admits the figures could be underreported since KNIC added a hotel and a sports-themed public school to the mix shortly after the study concluded.
It promises 890 construction jobs in the Bronx and more than 170 permanent jobs that will pay a $10 “living wage,” a big reason why Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is publicly backing the project.
The job numbers are extremely low compared to Mercado Mirabo’s, which promises 1500 Bronx jobs, with 700 construction jobs and 800 permanent positions.
Their’s does not promise a living wage, but it does promise a modern-day community “town square” featuring a 4D movie theater, sports facilities, hip hop museum and community space to host art venues.
Though the study doesn’t directly mention Mercado Mirabo, it boasted KNIC will draw folks to already-established local mom-and-pop store, unlike “other proposals.”
Diaz Jr. hailed the results of the study, calling KNIC a project that could keep shopping districts like Fordham Road thriving.
“The KNIC proposal is the right choice for the Kingsbridge Armory,” Diaz Jr. said. “I urge the city to select KNIC for the future of the Kingsbridge Armory.”
Meanwhile, the neighborhood is taking steps to ensure it has input in any project that is approved.
The Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance is now demanding both proposals provide health benefits on top of a living wage.
They held a protest on Wednesday in front of the armory demanding each side commit to health coverage.
Community Board 7, has not taken an official vote, but is reported leaning to the Mercado project.
It plans a “community input” meeting Thursday, October 11 at Monroe College’s King Hall Auditorium at 2501 Jerome Avenue, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383.David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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