Praying For a Living Wage at the Armory
Eliot Brown Dec. 3, 2009, 2:53 p.m.
A possible City Council vote on the controversial Bronx Kingsbridge Armory project was postponed Thursday, pushing the matter back at least a few more days. The Subcomittee on Zoning and Franchises has recessed until Monday, Dec. 7. They could vote then, or push back the matter until the slated meeting next Wednesday.
But members of the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA) held a prayer vigil for what they call responsible development at the giant building. Less than 15 members stood in a circle, singing, praying and reading the words of those against the project. “Development should be a blessing, not a curse,” said one attendee.
KARA is demanding the developer, the Related Companies, among other things such as schools and recreational space, require a living wage for retail tenants. Related has said such a requirement would make the project impossible to finance.
Councilman Tony Avella says the postponement will only be helpful to those against the development plan.
“More time to negotiate the better,” he said. “More time gets pushed on the administration to go with the living wage proposal.”
Mr. Avella thinks if the Bloomberg administration asks Related to require a living wage, the company will do it, despite Related’s threat that it will pull out if a living wage is required. “It’s a matter of how much do you want it,” Mr. Avella said.