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Old 08-27-2012, 09:47 AM
 
2,503 posts, read 3,520,910 times
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The Bronx is about to get another chance to lift the curse of the Kingsbridge Armory, with two new proposals to develop the site. But it will have to overcome stiff opposition by the local soviets that have thwarted commercial enterprise at the “people’s armory” for years.

Only two years ago, recall, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz’s insistence on a special minimum wage scuttled a plan for the armory by the Related Companies that promised 2,200 jobs.

But The Bronx never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Some just resist change. Others — like the local activists who’ve been trained in the spirit of leftist organizer Saul Alinsky — don’t even need an excuse.

Then there are shakedown artists who’ll demand the usual bribe: the “community benefits agreement,” in the form, perhaps, of another blanket “living wage” minimum or funding for a school or preferences for locals. They’ll cite bogus “concerns” until the developer caves — and then brag of their big victory.

Unless, of course, the developers walk, as Related did — and The Bronx loses out yet again. Bronx residents can’t afford to let that happen this time. Fortunately, both Mayor Bloomberg and Diaz now appear determined to check off the armory as done on their “to-do” lists. And two promising proposals have emerged.

The first is the Kingsbridge National Ice Center — a plan for a world-class ice-hockey and skating-sports facility featuring nine rinks and an ice-sports-themed middle school. The second is an indoor Times Square-style commercial venture anchored by small retailers, a cineplex and a Crunch Gym.

Either would mark a huge step forward for the borough.

Yet, predictably, the Luddites are already vowing to fight any possible good news.

Insiders, for instance, think the ice center will get the nod. If so, critics will charge that Bloomberg and Diaz greased the skids in favor of NHL legend Mark Messier and Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, who are behind the project.

They’ll revive the ESPN E60 report on the dangers of “carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide or ultrafine particles” from poorly maintained Zambonis.

They’ll scaremonger over the idea of nine ice rinks using ammonia-based refrigeration systems. They’ll raise faux safety concerns by citing an ice-house in Florida that exploded when ammonia gas leaked.

Such warnings may sound laughable in a borough that already suffers the highest childhood-asthma and COPD rates in the city. But lamer notions have killed even more exciting plans in New York.

Yet the National Ice Center may represent just the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that will bring the borough positive attention, not to mention 3 million visitors annually.

The second bid, for the commercial center, comes from immigrant real-estate entrepreneur Young Woo — who certainly has the imagination and financial chops to make it a success. Like his planned Pier 57 redo, Young Woo’s Armory concept is an artsy open-air market with rental space for artists and small businesses. The plan revolves around a “zocalo,” or town square — a dynamic reflection of its host community.

Two years ago, Forbes magazine described Young Woo as having a feel for the pulse of New York. The same can be said of his armory plan, which intends to capture the frenetic energy of The Bronx and transplant it indoors.

Alas, that positive, caged excitement is exactly what some Bronx leaders don’t want. Like survivors of some terrible violence, some of the old-timers wrongly believe that embracing something new means betraying those who didn’t survive the trauma of arson, drugs and economic dislocation that long wracked Bronx neighborhoods.

But The Bronx will never turn the economic corner until more of its people let go of the familiar and embrace a bold future.

The hope is that the shakedown attempts, scare tactics and fear of change won’t be enough to “ice” either plan.

Bronxites must stand up to the activists and extortionists. We must cease picking at old psychic wounds and embrace an unfamiliar, but hopeful, future.

Too much is riding on redeveloping the Kingsbridge Armory, changing The Bronx’s trajectory and making it a destination point for the greater community. Bloomberg and Diaz must be allowed to build something — finally — to attract new life and offer hope to those who live here.


Benjamin: Will Bronx bozos kill Kingsbridge Armory again? - NYPOST.com
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
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This is the type of stuff I want to see u post. I know you have the ability.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
This is the type of stuff I want to see u post. I know you have the ability.
Thank you Seventh...
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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Either development is better than an abandoned site for another 20 years, and I think everyone can agree to that. I personally don't like the ice skating idea...I think this huge site would be more useful having multiple uses, like the open air market, restaurants, small businesses, movie theater, and basically "town square" feel under Young Woo's vision.

But at the end of the day, let's just get a deal done and move forward. If it is an ice skating rink it will probably be the best in the world. Either way....let's just pick one and move forward! So long as neither of these deals have a supermarket they should get done..the last deal was killed because Morton Williams did not want competition and they had Ruben Diaz by the throat....I wonder why he yielded to them hmmm $$$$$
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Either development is better than an abandoned site for another 20 years, and I think everyone can agree to that. I personally don't like the ice skating idea...I think this huge site would be more useful having multiple uses, like the open air market, restaurants, small businesses, movie theater, and basically "town square" feel under Young Woo's vision.

But at the end of the day, let's just get a deal done and move forward. If it is an ice skating rink it will probably be the best in the world. Either way....let's just pick one and move forward! So long as neither of these deals have a supermarket they should get done..the last deal was killed because Morton Williams did not want competition and they had Ruben Diaz by the throat....I wonder why he yielded to them hmmm $$$$$
I agree sobro. Either or is fine, just get it done and move on. I tend to like the ice skating ring plan alittle better because it provides the local youth with something to do as oppose to just hanging out and getting into trouble.

In addition, I like the fact that it's an ICE skating/hockey arena venue which also attracts a different demographic of people from other counties such as Westchester as well as Manhattanites and other NYer's from other boroughs who don't have a REAL, pro-size ice skating/hockey venue to go to.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Bronx, New York
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I am also a fan of a multi-use complex, as opposed to just an ice rink. The key is to have uses that are beneficial to both community and outsiders.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scatman View Post
I am also a fan of a multi-use complex, as opposed to just an ice rink. The key is to have uses that are beneficial to both community and outsiders.
A mall or shopping center when create a HUGE loitering/hangout problem with the local teenagers and young adults. Especially with Walton HS right there. I think the ice skating rink is the way to go.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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Ice skating is a good start. Maybe they can do some kind of 'performance enhancement institute' for gifted athletes, world class training, etc. An olympic training center perhaps. Part of it should also be a museum that highlights the National Guard, afterall the Irish 69th was one of the most storied of all National Guard regiments.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:04 PM
 
6,963 posts, read 5,441,198 times
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Originally Posted by hilltopjay View Post
I

In addition, I like the fact that it's an ICE skating/hockey arena venue which also attracts a different demographic of people from other counties such as Westchester as well as Manhattanites and other NYer's from other boroughs who don't have a REAL, pro-size ice skating/hockey venue to go to.
yes after you scream about the savage "blacks and latins" you really think that Westchester folks, other than Mt Vernon and Yonkers, will come there? They have enough recreational facilities where they are.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
yes after you scream about the savage "blacks and latins" you really think that Westchester folks, other than Mt Vernon and Yonkers, will come there? They have enough recreational facilities where they are.
Not like the one that is proposed.
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