Let’s say you’re planning to produce a remake of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and you’re looking for a large sound stage that comes with a recreation of a castle with medieval battlements. Your budget doesn’t include on-site locations in Europe.
What’s that you say, you also need the location to kick in $200M to the production cost of the remake? No problem, just jump on the Number 4 train and head to Jerome Avenue in the heart of the Bronx.
There’s a site there that’s been waiting for you since 1996, when the National Guard stopped using it.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to lease, redevelop and operate the Kingsbridge Armory, the vacant 570K SF landmark that was decommissioned in 1996 and handed back to the city by the National Guard.
According to the RFP, released by the EDC on Friday, the city and state are pledging $200M in grant funding for the project.
Developers may propose a triple-net ground lease for the property lasting up to 99 years, pending negotiation with EDC after an independent appraisal. The project is expected to generate returns to the city through lease rent, tax and payment in lieu of tax (also known as PILOT) revenue.
EDC said it is seeking a plan for a mixed-use project that will commit to use union labor and to reserve 25K SF of space that will be subleased to a community organization at a discounted rate.
According to the RFP, the project is required to promote sustainability and carbon neutrality, while preserving the landmarked exterior of the Armory. Developers have been given a deadline of Jan. 18, 2024 to respond to the RFP.
“RFP respondents are encouraged to consider the involvement of community-based organizations and emerging developers when developing their proposals,” EDC said, in a release.
The RFP was the result the “Together for Kingsbridge Vision Plan” announced last month by the Adams administration after several months of community engagement.
“After sitting down with more than 4,000 Bronxites over the past nine months, we are proud to deliver their vision for the armory’s next chapter—a source for good union jobs and a beacon of opportunity for the Bronx,” Mayor Adams said, in a statement.
The city is hoping the third time is the charm for the historic armory; two other high-profile adaptive reuse efforts failed. In 2008, Related Companies proposed a $310M plan to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall.
In 2012, Mark Messier, the NHL Hall of Famer who led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory in 1994, backed a plan to transform the armory into an indoor rink that would have been called the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.
Also known as the Eighth Regiment Armory, the Kingsbridge Armory opened in 1917 at 1 West Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Avenue. It was designated a city landmark in 1974 and eight years later was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.