Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Commission Approves Bronx Development


by Cody Lyon
...The Kingsbridge Armory Development, which has seen community opposition and controversy over wages and another debate over grocery stores, would be a $310-million outside investment in the poorest urban county in the United States by the Related Cos.

Project opponents are asking that Related and future tenants provide living wage jobs and benefits. The hourly "living wage" for one adult in the Bronx is $11.86 per hour. However, for two adults with two children, a living wage is $30.30 per hour, according to the Living Wage Calculator developed by MIT’s Amy Glasmeier.

Sources close to the developer-community disputes over Kingsbridge’s future point out to that with the exception of supermarkets, no retailer pays a living wage. As a research associate from the Fiscal Policy Institute noted in her June 2009 testimony before Bronx Community Board 7, the median wage of a New York City non-managerial retail worker is $10.78 per hour.

With that, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., who currently opposes the project, says he’s hopeful the developer will sit down and negotiate with his office prior to the City Council’s upcoming vote on the project.

Diaz tells that "the office is willing to help the developer identify tenants that would offer a living wage to its employees."

A Related spokeswoman tells that "Related has always committed to union construction and paid the employees within its direct employee a living wage." However, she says, "demands on the retail community to pay a living wage that are not required anywhere else in New York City or New York State render the project un-leasable, un-buildable and un-financable for Related or any other developer."

She adds, "The requirement would therefore result in the loss of 1,000 new union construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs that would be created at the Kingsbridge Armory."

Full story at

No comments: