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Council Deal For Kingsbridge Armory Ice-Rink Complex

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Dec 10, 2013

The City Council took the biggest leap yet in ensuring the Bronx’s long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory development into an ice-skating rink complex, approving the project and closing out the largest hurdle in the land-use review process.

The councilman for the district that includes the armory, Fernando Cabrera, hailed the development deal on Tuesday as “simply incredible” despite vowing to vote against the project as recently as a day before. The Bronx legislator didn’t answer a reporter’s question on what specially changed his mind overnight, instead calling himself the catalyst for the project.

“I’m very content and happy with the resolution we came to,” Cabrera said.

Part of that resolution, Cabrera said, will includes 180 living-wage jobs, almost 1,000 construction jobs, $250,000 to address traffic concerns in the armory’s neighboring area and $150,000 targeted to help local small businesses.

Cabrera refused to answer any questions about reports that he attempted to secure $100,000 a year for 99 years to Community Action Unlimited through the deal’s community benefits agreement. The group is associated with New Life Outreach, the church where Cabrera serves as pastor.

But he previously defended himself against the allegations.

“I find that offensive,” he told the New York Daily News on Sunday. “For those who make assumptions, I say assumptions are the lowest form of knowledge.”


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