Hip Hop pioneer, Godfather, icon, Afrika Bambaataa is putting his substantial weight behind a new proposal to transform the abandoned Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a community cultural, recreational and market center that would include a National Museum of Hip-Hop.
Bam, a Bronx native, has signed a letter-of-intent to help create a National Museum of Hip Hop in the Bronx’s landmark Kingsbridge Armory, not far from where Hip Hop culture originated, if Youngwoo & Associates, the group bidding to transform the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory into a market/food/recreation destination is selected as the developer by the NYC EDC.
The Armory’s been empty for nearly 20 years and, if YWA wins the bid, the project is expected to bring jobs and stimulate new businesses including low-cost space for start-ups.
Mercado Mirabo, as the proposed project is being called, has pledges to collaborate with CJ CGV, the company offering the world’s first advanced 4D environmental effects bringing a sensory-immersive cinema experience to moviegoers. The theater at Mercado Mirabo would be the first in the nation to have the advanced 4D effects. Mercado Mirabo also has partnership agreements with Crunch Gym, The New York Gauchos basketball program and Brooklyn Boulders rock climbing gym and with international arts leaders Putumayo World Music, Pinta, and Grupo Ars.
Mr. Bambaataa is rounding up support from an alliance and team of other legendary Hip Hop pioneers and plans to meet with the Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to champion the project. Currently Diaz is supporting a plan to turn the armory into an ice skating rink.