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.