The Kingsbridge Armory National Ice Center (KNIC) project is the proposed redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory building (the “Armory”) with approximately 795,000 square feet of new uses, including approximately 457 parking spaces. The proposed project would be located in the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood of the Bronx on Block 3247, Lot 10 and a portion of Lot 2. The project site occupies most of the block bounded by West 195th Street, Reservoir Avenue, West Kingsbridge Road, and Jerome Avenue. The site is largely occupied by the Armory building that is substantially vacant, apart from the storage of graffiti removal trucks by the Mayor’s Office’s “Graffiti Free NYC” program. In addition to the Armory building, the project site includes small landscaped areas east, south, and west of the Armory building. The Armory is a New York City Landmark (NYCL) and is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places (S/NR).
The proposed project would redevelop the Armory with 9 ice rinks; approximately 64,000 sf of related program space, including a wellness/off-ice training center, curling rinks, and lockers/equipment storage; approximately 58,000 sf of related food and beverage, concession, and retail space; and approximately 50,000 sf of community facility space, which is assumed to include fitness and recreation facilities, multipurpose rooms, child care, and meeting rooms for local community use. The proposed ice rinks are intended for use by neighborhood students and residents, high school and college leagues, open skating times, instructional training, adult professional (minor league) and non-professional hockey teams, figure skating, and speed skating, and other ice events. The central, main rink would have a capacity of approximately 5,000 seats; the other rinks would have temporary bleacher seating (approximately 100 seat-capacity per rink). Approximately 457 accessory parking spaces (approximately 153,000 square feet) would be provided in the Armory’s basement and cellar levels.
The project would involve some changes to the exterior of the historic Armory structure to provide additional pedestrian and vehicular access, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to accommodate required mechanical systems. These are anticipated to include several new pedestrian entrances and exits on the north side of the building, a new ADA-compliant entrance at the southwest corner of the building’s west façade, a new vehicular entrance and loading dock on the north side of the building, and a new truck entrance on the west side of the building. In addition, there would be several screened openings at the building’s roof for the HVAC system, which could be visible from some nearby vantage points, and signage within and adjacent to the Armory structure. Solar panels are proposed to be installed on the upper (flat) portion of the roof on the south side of the building. Alterations to the historic structure would be designed in consultation with and subject to approval by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) (and, as required, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation [OPRHP]).
If the proposed project is approved, it is anticipated that site preparation and construction for the project would commence in late 2014 and the first full year of operation is expected to be 2018.
The proposed project would be facilitated by the following discretionary actions:
Since the Armory is a NYCL and is currently City-owned, the proposed changes to the building would require a Binding Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission pursuant to the New York City Landmarks Law. The project sponsor also would seek federal historic preservation tax credits for the proposed renovation of the building.
On April 23, 2013, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (ODMED) issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the KNIC project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that a DEIS be prepared. At the same time, a draft Scope of Work for an EIS was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a public Scoping Meeting was held beginning at 5:30 P.M. on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at the Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY. Written comments on the draft Scope of Work were accepted by the ODMED until 5:00 P.M. Monday, June 3, 2013. On July 15, 2013, ODMED issued the Final Scope of Work to guide the preparation of an EIS.
The Notice of Completion for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued on July 17, 2013, which marked the beginning of the public comment period on this document. The public hearing on the DEIS was held concurrently with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure public hearing on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at 10:00 A.M. in Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, New York, New York. Written comments on the DEIS were accepted through 5:00 P.M. on Monday, October 21, 2013. The Notice of Completion for the FEIS was issued on October 25, 2013.
The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.