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Judge tosses former Armory developers ownership claims

The fighting may finally be coming to an end over the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

A Bronx judge Monday threw out an ownership claim by three former associates of the principal developer selected to turn the former Kingsbridge Armory into a skating megaplex, a plan that won city approval last December.

The ruling could thaw the deep freeze that has delayed Kevin Parker from beginning work on the $ 320 million conversion.

“We think the holding pattern is over,” lawyer Bill Brewer, whose firm Bickel and Brewer represents Parker, told the Daily News. “This paves the way for us to go forward without any confusion as to who the owners are.”

Bronx Supreme Court Justice John Barone upheld Parker’s claim that his former business partners, Jonathan Richter, Marcus Wignell and Jeff Spiritos, had no ownership stake in the development team.

Monday’s result echoed a July ruling by a Manhattan judge that rejected the trio’s request to halt lease negotiations with the city.

The three sued Parker in June, alleging that he squeezed them out after they worked to help steer the project through the city’s review process.

Kevin Parker, second from left, is the sole owner of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, ruled a Bronx judge Monday.Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg Kevin Parker, second from left, is the sole owner of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, ruled a Bronx judge Monday.

Lawyers will now haggle over the embittered former associates’ claim that they’re entitled to some payment for their work.

The plans call for a nine-rink ice center that will be run by Rangers legend Mark Messier and include a 5,000 seat arena.

“The lease is ready to go,” said Brewer. “And we believe the project will be moving forward.”

A spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corp. insisted that the developers’ legal tussle has not “significantly impacted” the lease signing.

bkochman@nydailynews.com

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Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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