We just got word that, while the City Planning Commission gave the thumbs up to the Related Companies' proposal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory, the representatives of two other borough presidents -- Marty Markowitz of Brooklyn and Scott Stringer of Manhattan -- and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum's rep joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz's appointee, Kenneth Knuckles, in opposing the plan. The final decision will be made within 50 days in the City Council. We'll have more soon, but here's what Diaz said in a statement.
“While I am disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote, I am heartened that several of my colleagues from other boroughs stood with the people of my borough and agreed that the current proposal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory is a bad deal for The Bronx. Related has not adequately addressed the concerns that my office, in conjunction with the elected officials, community board and community groups from the area, have laid out in our community benefits agreement, nor does the developer seem at all interested in doing so.
“We are not asking for anything radical or extreme. We are simply asking that, in a borough that has the highest poverty rate in the nation and has consistently seen the highest unemployment numbers in New York State, Related and their future tenants provide living wage jobs with benefits that allow Bronxites a chance to provide for their families and to build a better life. I am 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, and I will continue to stand up and do what is right for the people of The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.