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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Investors put $14 million on ice

By Tanisia Morris
Posted
A rendering of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

The Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC), the massive indoor ice facility project set to transform the iconic Kingsbridge Armory at 29 West Kingsbridge Road, will receive a major investment from a leading global hockey brand. 

Bauer Hockey, a prominent New-Hampshire manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, has agreed to invest $4 million to aid in the development of the Bronx ice arena. Bauer Hockey will also pitch in on the development of several programs at the ice facility, including its Grow the Game initiative, which aims to introduce as many as 1 million new participants to hockey by 2022. 

The Bauer investment was announced on Monday and comes six days after developers announced a multi-million dollar investment from a Michigan-based philanthropic foundation.

The Kresge Foundation, a philanthropic private foundation, is investing $10 million in the project, according to Cynthia Blue Shaw, director of communications of the Kresge Foundation. On Aug. 12, NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier, the chief executive officer of the ice arena, announced that KNIC received an institutional equity investment from the $3-billion foundation. 

According to Robert J. Manilla, Kresge’s vice president and chief investment officer, about 20 to 25 percent of the foundation’s capital stays in Detroit. Earlier this year, the team pledged $150 million to Detroit Future City, a 50-year urban planning initiative that reimagines the potential of its own bankrupted hometown of Detroit. Mr. Manilla cites its forthcoming 3.3-mile light-rail, regional mass transit system M-1 Rail, which aims to drive economic development, as an example of how transformative projects may make struggling cities more investable. 

“I think the same thing can happen in the Bronx,” said Mr. Manilla. “Detroit was really kind of a framework to think about urban planning in a broader context.”

In the Bronx, the poorest borough in New York, 29 percent of residents are living below the poverty level, compared to New York’s overall 14.9 percent poverty level, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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