This morning, Mayor Bloomberg announced plans to transform the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest indoor ice facility. The design calls for the historic landmark, which has been vacant since 1996, to be redeveloped into the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC), a 750,000-square-foot ice facility boasting nine year-round indoor regulation size ice rinks. When complete, the center is expected to attract more than 2 million visitors a year.

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“Through this redevelopment the Kingsbridge Armory will now have an interior program befitting its iconic exterior architecture,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The construction of the world’s largest indoor ice rink facility will create recreational opportunities for millions of visitors and local residents, and most importantly create hundreds of jobs for the local community. This plan is proof that working together we can put aside our differences and do what’s best for the city.”

Plans for the Kingsbridge National Ice Center include a feature rink that can seat about 5,000 viewers and host hockey tournaments, figure and speed skating competitions and ice shows. The center will also have 50,000 square feet of community use space and at least two of the rinks will be sled hockey-compatible for people with disabilities. Other amenities available at the facility will include a wellness center with off-ice training fitness and rehabilitation and sports therapy programs, dressing rooms and lockers with storage, concession space, retail space and parking. There are also plans to create a foundation to establish free after-school ice sports and academic tutoring programs for disadvantaged youth.

When complete, the KNIC will be the only year-round ice rink in New York located in the Bronx. The project, funded by an investment by KNIC Partners LLC of $275 million, is expected to generate 890 construction jobs and 267 permanent jobs.

Photos via nycmayorsoffice Flickr Photostream