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Armory Redevelopment Will Bring About Change to Northwest Bronx

Armory Redevelopment Will Bring About Change to Northwest Bronx
National ice sports center is set to open in 2017.

The Kingsbridge Armory has sat silently at the corner of Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Avenue for more than a decade. 

The Armory has been vacant since the military turned it over to the city in 1996.  But, all that will change in 2017, when the armory is converted into a national ice sports center. 

Diseree Pilgrim-Hunter is a community activist.  She helped negotiate an agreement to make sure the development benefits the surrounding neighborhood.   That includes jobs that pay a living wage for local residents.

"The wages that are being paid in this community right now do not support an individual or a family.  And so it became key that we advocate for living wage jobs," Pilgrim-Hunter said. 

The agreement also includes a revenue stream for community projects, and money to help local business beautify their establishments.  But, Pilgrim-Hunter says there are still concerns, like whether all this development will push long-time residents out.

"The elephant in the room is of course gentrification.  There is no way in the world that a facility that is expecting to see 2.5 million people a year going in and out of it is not going to change the community." 

That said Pilgrim-Hunter is hopeful the old neighborhood won't be left behind in the development, and the ice center will provide local kids with a brighter future.

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