Many, many months after the Related Companies reached a deal to turn the Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall, the City Council voted down the project today by 45 votes to 1 (burn!). There have been hints of discontent since the very beginning of the process, when community groups expressed worries that the mall would hurt local business and create only low-wage jobs. These early battle lines evolved into a debate about whether all retailers at the future mall should be required to pay their employees at least $10 per hour. Related said it couldn't get financing or tenants with that condition, but the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said it would rather have no jobs at all than be stuck with "poverty jobs." In a statement, Mayor Bloomberg said the project would have created 1,200 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs and called today's vote "disappointing and irrational." There's already talk that the vote will set a precedent or, as the Observer puts it, "inject a new sense of hazard into New York's land-use fights, in which the Council often threatens to vote against a given project but never actually pulls the trigger." Consider that trigger pulled, doubters.
· Council Hands a Rare Defeat to Related Over Armory Project [NYO]
· Kingsbridge Armory coverage [Curbed]