Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
, local activists, and labor leaders
said that if the Kingsbridge Armory was going to be turned into a mall, as the city proposed, its management should be made to pay workers "living wage" rates. It looks like they won't get their wish: the City Planning Commission voted 8-4 in favor of a plan with no wage requirements
other than those mandated by law. The city council has to vote on this within 50 days, but is not expected to oppose the plan, attached to the developer Related Companies, which had claimed that any living-wage requirement would "render the project un-leasable, un-buildable and un-financeable
," and "result in the loss of 1,000 new union construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs."
The Times mentions that another Bronx shopping center run by Related, the Gateway Mall, offers mostly low-wage jobs. Unemployment in The Bronx is over 13 percent.
Diaz says he is "hopeful that the developer will sit down with my office to negotiate this issue and others prior to the City Council's upcoming vote on the project," but it's hard to figure why Related would do that.