NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After years of discussions, the future of the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx is clear.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that it will become the world’s largest indoor skating facility.
The 750,000-square-foot project is to include nine rinks on two levels. One rink would be designed to host hockey tournaments and ice shows.
“It will include nine regulation-size ice rinks, including a feature ring that will seat 5,000 people,” Bloomberg told reporters including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.
Former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier and figure skater Sarah Hughes, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2002, are involved in the project.
The city plans to lease the building to a private development group that involves Messier and Hughes.
Construction is expected to start next year with $275 million in private money and is expected to generate nearly 900 construction jobs and more than 250 permanent jobs.
Developer Kevin Parker said he’s excited about the future Kingsbridge National Ice Center.
“It was important that we felt when we walked in here for the first time that we dream big. And that this building deserves nothing less than a big vision and a grand vision,” Parker said.
“This building is a piece of living history. It’s an awe-inspiring and iconic building, a castle right here in New York City. And, really, there’s really no place like it anywhere in the world.”