A few weeks back, the members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition,the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA), and the Mary Mitchell Center had a small historic demonstration outside of the The Kingsbridge Armory, also known as the Eighth Regiment Armory.
The Armory which is located on West Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx was built in the 1910s and is possibly the largest armory in the world.
The demonstration was a celebration. The Armony which was closed to the community since 1996, is scheduled to reopen due to the redevelopment proposals announced last year.
The Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) includes:
- More than 50,00o square feet of community space
- 9 year round indoor ice rinks
- 1 Million to sponsor local children’s ice time
- 100% Living wage jobs and 51% local targeted hiring for local residents
- mentoring and after-school programs
- a small business incubator and opportunities for minority own businesses
The community seemed excited for the reopening of the armory but not too many seemed that excited about it becoming an ice-rink. I do not think many Bronx residents are New York Ranger fans. When Mark Messir, who is pictured here, was announced to the platform, not to many people knew that he was a former professional ice hockey player (myself included).
Nevertheless, I don’t think that matters. I think what matters the most is through the Armory, many will be introduced to new and different sports, many will be able to support themselves and their families with jobs and more children will have places to go after school. Dreams will be made and goals will be reached.