The redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory may move forward after all, as the city released a new request for proposals for the storied, landmark site.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation released an RFP on Thursday, January 12 for the redevelopment of the vacant armory at 29 West Kingsbridge Road with the goals of promoting economic growth through a dynamic mix of uses, restoring and preserving the Armory’s historic facade, using sustainable design, creating jobs, and fully utilizing existing public transit servicing cing the building.
The announcement that the RFP had been released was made during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2012 State of the City Address on January 12 at Morris High School, located at 1100 Boston Road. Calling the Armory “the most talked-about empty building in the Bronx,” the RFP is an effort to create jobs, Bloomberg stated.
“In collaboration with Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., today, we are releasing a Request for Proposals for a new operator of the Armory,” Bloomberg said. “We’re putting aside our differences to do what’s best for the city. That’s what leadership is about. It’s not about a series of running arguments – it’s about getting things done.”
The city has heard from a variety of interested parties, including those who want to turn the armory, which has been vacant for the past 15 years, into recreational space, Bloomberg stated. It is hoped that the armory will soon be a place that benefits the community and employs community members, Bloomberg said.
The City Council rejected a plan backed by the mayor and Related Cos. to redevelop the armory in 2010, in a dispute with Diaz over “living-wage” provisions. Now, Diaz said he plans to work with Mayor Bloomberg to see that the armory is redeveloped.
“I am thrilled that Mayor Bloomberg and this administration have announced that a new request for proposals for the Kingsbridge Armory will be released,” Diaz said. “The usage of the Kingsbridge Armory has been a major priority of my administration, and this new RFP will allow the city to seek developers from a wide spectrum of potential uses, allowing us to bring a project that will enhance and compliment the surrounding neighborhood to this historic structure.”
Given the amount of interest in the armory when it was previously slated for redevelopment, Diaz believes that there will be a strong response to the RFP, he stated.
“I know that this new RFP will see significant interest, given the number of different entities that came before the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force to express their desire to be a part of a future development of this site,” Diaz said.
The deal was praised by Senator Adriano Espaillat, who said he would like to work closely with both the Bloomberg and Diaz administrations on the future of the site.
“I congratulate Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on reaching an agreement to launch the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, which will bring hundreds of new, well-paying jobs to the Bronx,” Espaillat said. “[The] announcement is welcomed news for all of us who are working to boost economic security for poor and middle-class New Yorkers hard-hit in this economy.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393