- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Armory Update: City Votes Tomorrow on Rewarding Developer Tax Breaks | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Armory Update: City Votes Tomorrow on Rewarding Developer Tax Breaks

The New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will decide tomorrow if the Kingsbridge Armory developer, Related Companies, should receive $17.8 million in tax breaks.

As we've reported in the Norwood News and on this blog, Related plans to turn the historic landmark into a shopping center. At the IDA's meeting last Thursday, community activists demanded the agency postpone its decision until the developer commits to negotiating a binding community benefits agreement (CBA). Activists are hoping to bring much needed resources to Bronx residents by ensuring that Related provides living wage jobs with benefits, community space for youth and seniors, and the option for employees to unionize.

The agency has a history of supporting big private development projects in the borough, including the Bronx Gateway Mall, Fordham Plaza and the new Yankees Stadium. Last Thursday, the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA) organized a rally prior to the IDA's meeting. Several community leaders and elected officials, including IDA board member and City Comptroller Bill Thompson, urged the agency to postpone its decision until Related had sat down with KARA.

Related's development lawyer Jesse Masyr told the Daily News (story not posted online) they would sit down with KARA, but only as part of a larger community benefits panel that included Community Board 7 and members of City Council. Council member Joel Rivera spoke at KARA's rally last week and voiced his support for KARA getting a seat at the table. To this point, Related has been reluctant to negotiate with the alliance, which is made up of community groups, religious leaders, labor unions and elected officials.

A spokesman for Thompson said he couldn't comment on the matter until after the IDA's board met tomorrow morning.

The agency's full board of directors will meet tomorrow at the office of the Economic Development Corporation in downtown Manhattan, 110 William Street, 4th floor, at 9 a.m. Members of the community are welcomed to attend. The Norwood News will be at the meeting and posting an update as soon as the board votes. Stay tuned.


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