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Local coalition vows to fight for living wage with Kingsbridge Armory Development

"The strong local opposition comes as something of a surprise."

Why? Many members of the coalition originally fought for development of Kingsbridge Armory but will abandon support of the project if it doesn't come with a living wage. It's sad that a living wage in New York City is NOT market wage.

"...a pledge to pay more than the market rate would be a death sentence for the project," says a developers spokesman.

Those who play by market rules have obviously figured out how to build big box in New York City. The jobs are welcome at first; the amenities as well. City Planning approves it as a development opportunity, hoping to spur on local business. But then you find out the jobs don't pay a living wage. As the community lives with the unveiled development, it starts to feel the negative impacts of having the development in their neighborhoods: increased traffic, diminished pedestrian experience, a shriveled public life. We're only beginning to learn how to track the physical impacts of such incongruous buildings.

First Gateway Center in the South Bronx. Then East Harlem Plaza. I hope that the Bronx community sticks to its guns on the Kingsbridge project. After the greenlight from the City, the marketplace players can forget all the promises they've made.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


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