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Monday, October 19, 2009

City Planning Vote Was 8 to 4 in Favor of Armory Plan; Council Has Final Say

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. spoke on the steps of City Hall at a press conference following the City Planning Commission vote. Heidi Hynes of KARA is at left.

Following up on the previous post, the vote at City Planning on the Kingsbridge Armory was 8 to 4. A defeat? Obviously. But hardly a nail in the coffin as many Council members will look to the votes of their borough presidents -- and three BP reps (Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan) voted against it -- as they decide whether to give the plan the final OK, or kill it. There are 40 Council members in the three boroughs where the reps voted no. Some of those may not vote for the project, but opponents only need 26 votes to defeat the plan.

We'll have more reporting to come, but it wouldn't surprise us if what happened at City Planning today gets the Related Companies in a negotiating mood on that elusive Community Benefits Agreement.

Here's what the chair of the City Planning Commission had to say about her vote:

“Related Company's proposal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory represents the most significant private investment in the northwest Bronx in generations. The plan provides an important opportunity to reactivate a unique asset that has been vacant for the past 15 years and to bring jobs, needed services and retail to a dense, transit-rich part of the Bronx. The plan was developed closely with the community and elected officials as part of Mayor Bloomberg's Kingsbridge Armory Task Force.

“Throughout the ULURP process, there has been spirited discussion about many issues related to how to ensure this major plan is a good fit within its community. Some of these issues are within the purview of the land use process, and some are not.

“I believe the City Planning Commission should not restrict the disposition of the property and should allow flexibility in the tenanting of the Armory to help ensure the success of the project and best serve the needs of the community over time.

“For this application, as we have consistently held with other applications in the past, the issue of a Community Benefit Agreement including commitment to living wages should not weigh in our consideration of the merits of the land-use application for rezoning, disposition of City-owned property, and changes to the City Map. I vote yes.”

And here's what Bedford Park resident and KARA (Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance) leader Heidi Hynes had to say on the steps of City Hall at a press conferene with the borough president.
"This is a public project and its development must improve the lives of working people in the community. Our City Council representatives now have a golden opportunity to set a precedent that ensures that future development in the City benefit the people of the City, and not just the developers. The City Council must vote 'No' on the development of the Kingsbridge Armory until Related signs a binding Community Benefits Agreement."


  1. This is Mark Rodriguez from The Political Parent Party and it is a shame that the City Planning Commission would vote yes on this project without pressing for a Community Benefits Agreement. I wish to challange those who voted yes to please reveal their yearly salary and benefits online and answer yes or no if they would ever work for minimum wage. I am sure they would not accept my challange. Two thousand years ago a great man once said, Do onto others as you would have done onto you. It is a shame that some of these "leaders" and corporate suits do not have a moral bone in their bodies and that is why WE THE PEOPLE MUST STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS! We must stop being so ignorant to think these people are looking out for our best interests. Look at what happened at Stella D'Oro and what's happening to our once busy shopping strips like Fordham Road. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  2. spokesman for the Bloomberg administration tells GlobeSt.com, "The plan always included an option for a supermarket, but it wasn't a requirement." He says the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Task Force and Advisory Committee, comprised of elected officials and community leaders, "has long been vocal about its support for a supermarket,"


  3. Good News-Bloomberg says No Supermarket
    Bad News-Another Bloomberg Victory????

    Does anybody know how to vote::::;Bill Thompson!!!!!


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