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Rents Near Kingsbridge Armory Jump

Rents Near Kingsbridge Armory Jump
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Rising rents are driving some Bronx small businesses out.

The Kingsbridge Armory in the Northwest Bronx is slated to become the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, a massive ice sports complex. It opens in 2018, but many businesses across the street are already seeing their rents skyrocket.

George Vangelatos has owned the New Capitol Diner across the street for 18 years. He says the landlord is doubling his rent. The situation has left him unsure about the future.

"I don't know what's going to happen. You know, because right now, we don't talk," Vangelatos said.

The ice center signed a community benefits agreement last year, a contract between the developer and community groups. It was designed to help local businesses thrive in the changing neighborhood. But the agreement doesn't go into effect until the armory's lease is officially signed, which has been delayed.

Dustin Engleken is the district manager of Bronx Community Board 7. He says the rent spike caught people off-guard.

"I don't think anyone anticipated it would be quite so dramatic and quite so early," said Engleken.

The board is meeting tomorrow with businesses and the property management company to try to work out a comprimise.