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The Bronx has struggled to exude as much appeal as some of its sister boroughs have in recent years (looking at you, Brooklyn). Still, the change and renewal that The Bronx has seen today—from record low crime rates, to its boost in employment opportunities and housing—has warranted plenty of adoration from the media and the city alike. These advances may be evidence of the “New Bronx” that Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. so often touts. From better transit to shopping malls and parkland remodeling, here are 5 projects, both underway and under consideration, that will change the Bronx for the better.

1. The Kingsbridge National Ice Center

kingsbridge national ice center-knic-bronx-new york city-untapped cities-brennan ortizRendering of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center via New York Daily News.

Originally built to house the National Guard’s Eight Coastal Artillery Regiment in the 1910s, the Kingsbridge Armory also became the stage for exhibits, film sets, boxing matches and was even the temporary meeting place of the United Nations after World War II.  Following its military use, the armory sat unused since 1996.

Today, after evading previous plans to become a shopping center, the colossal structure will instead be converted into the largest indoor ice facility in the world. The Kingsbridge National Ice Center or KNIC, will feature nine ice rinks, a 5,000-seat arena, dedicated space for community activities, and a free after-school program with tutoring and skating lessons.

kingsbridge armory-bronx-nyc-untapped cities-010Rendering of KNIC’s interior. Photo via NYCEDC.

This will undoubtedly change the Kingsbridge and Fordham Heights neighborhoods and benefit the borough as a whole, all the while adding to the existing sports presence in the borough. We can expect to strap on our ice skates by 2018 for the completion of the project!

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  1. BronxResident says:

    The Bronx is a totally different place than it was from the 1960-90s, even 2000s. New developments totally embrace urbanity (most anyway), resulting in vibrant neighborhoods full of amenities. Gone is the proliferation of vacant land and buildings from large sections of the borough.

    I’m not a fan of the Bay Plaza Malls (which should have been a massive mixed use community) but there is so much good construction going on now. Some of my favorites are the reclamation of the Bronx River waterfront, the coming Metro North Stations, new and proposed pedestrian plazas, Via Verde and other dense/sustainable/mixed use apartment complexes.

  2. Tabby says:

    The Bronx is moving up. The Bronx is changing and will become great. Finally a place to shop, have things to do like ice skating, better places to dine. More attractive housing.

    We do we have to go to Manhattan or Westchester when we can stay in our borough for the wonderful life.

    I am 100% for it.

  3. Extension of the Metro-North Railroad into The East Bronx and Rezoning Will HELP ALOT.

  4. Eric Klein says:

    so more stores and an bunch of ice skating rinks? You think that’s going to revitalize the poorest. most unhealthiest borough? These are all very misguided attempts. You are not going to attract people from out of the borough to the Bronx unless you bring in companies – i.e. office space. The Kingsbridge armory ice skating rink will sit largely empty because ice skating is not a popular pastime at all. Even the rink in Van Cortlandt park does not attract enough business so they closed early. Very few people like ice skating and even less like Hockey in NYC. See what the 3 local hockey teams draw per year. And more shopping malls…….because the one near Yankee Stadium is doing so well. I imagine that’s why that garage sits 90% empty every day, and can’t pay back its loans. Yes everyone wants to drive up to the Bronx to shop when the suburbs have free parking lots and more stores. I live in the Bronx, but drive out of the Bronx to take advantage of free parking in Westchester County to shop. We need less shopping. We need to attract business to the Bronx.

    • BronxResident says:

      It’s not just more stores and ice skating rinks. The area has seen reinvestment of all kinds, from improved mass transportation infrastructure to dense, energy efficient/mixed use apartment complexes.

      Your assumption about the Kingsbridge armory is not accurate because no such facility of that size exist anywhere in the NYC metropolitan area. There are many people excited about it’s creation, including the New York Rangers who will practice there. Already, rents in the surrounding area have risen significantly.

      The parking lots around the new Yankee Stadium are largely empty because most people utilize mass transportation to reach the games (e.g. Barclays). Those lots are planned for redevelopment.

      As for driving to other locations to shop, actually, most Bronxites do not even have access to automobiles so it is important to provide walkable amenities locally.

      It takes time and there has been significant commercial investment in the borough.

      • Hey says:

        While I agree with most of what you said – I disagree regarding Bay Plaza. I don’t like malls – but the reality is that the stores that are in there now wouldn’t move to Fordham Road nor The Hub anytime soon. So if it takes that enclosed mall to keep those dollars from going to Westchester or Rockland (the Palisades Mall) – it’s good for young people needing a starter job – and keeps sales tax in the city.

  5. John DeMicoli says:

    Nice, but the question immediately becomes, “who are these improvements really for?”

    • Hey says:

      they are for ppl who work

    • Jackson says:

      I agree, Ice Skating for who? Not the people that may barely pay the rent that is sure to go up by far now that THE WORLDS LARGES ICE SKATING RINK is across the street. wow how about a Domestic Learning/Supply Center. This will be a place where people learn skills; whilst providing services to make funds to run the program. ie: City contracts: cooking( school lunches), City/Private: Dry cleaning/ Taylor services, I.T. : Teach tec. support and have internal I.T. team save on cost.

      I am no one special, I just know that it cost a lot of money to ice skate!

      • Hey says:

        why are ppl so close/small minded? actually there is 50k square feet of space for the community at the rink. so lobby your local councilman to implement the program. the developer is also donating money for programming each year of it’s business operates. stop complaining and start doig.

      • BronxResident says:

        Not everyone in the Bronx is poor. It’s actually significantly economically diverse. There are a lot of households below poverty but I ensure you that the demand for such amenities is there. All those services you described are already offered in abundance here.

        Amenities like the Kingsbridge Armory and quality retail are something we lack here.

    • ty stevenonson says:

      Exactly. For people who aren’t RICH ENOUGH to live in Manhattan but still want to boast of their “New York Minus New Yorker Experience”.

  6. Someone who grew up in the BX says:

    I 100% welcome this. Are you kidding me, the Bronx was one of the worst thing that happened to me and my childhood. We were stripped of a childhood. Danger, inefficiency, lack of resources. I HAPPILY WELCOME THIS TYPE OF GROWTH. And I hope that they can start investing in the BX soon.

    • Sonia says:

      I completely agree with you and welcome the growth. If Williamsburg in Brooklyn and other locations in Brooklyn were revitalized the Bronx can also. Investment will happen. There are pros and cons in just about everything. Focus on the good and the positive.

  7. How about the Highbridge accessible pedestrian bridge Slated to open in 2015 A la the Highline ? @ 170 th spanning the Harlem River and reconnecting the Bronx & Washington Heights

  8. Get Out says:

    GTFO. SoBro. Ugh. Repugnant. The people of the Bronx do not want you, and they will resist.

    • imagineonce says:

      SoBro yes please! I’m just bought a coop and am already looking into another property to rent out. I welcome any and all improvements! You know the Bronx truly made it when we see a few Starbucks and a Wholefoods!

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