Around City Hall this afternoon, fingers of blame will be pointing in all directions if – as seems likely at the moment – the mayor’s proposal for the Kingsbridge Armory is voted down today.
At last count, the Bronx council delegation and borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. claimed to be holding strong to their stance in favor of a community demand that new jobs created by the massive subsidized development project pay a living wage of $10 an hour. Bloomberg and his designated developer. Steve Ross of the Related Group, have said if that’s the deal, they’d rather pull the plug than go ahead.
The plucky Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance, which has been fighting for years to have the cavernous old structure turned into a community asset, is holding a press conference at noon.
Those looking to understand the history and what’s at stake should consult the excellent rundown provided today by the Bronx News Network‘s Jordan Moss who wrote his first story about the armory back in 1993. Here’s Moss’s take on the upshot:
“We’ve arrived at this point because of the hard work Bronxites have put into reclaiming this local landmark. Without it, there would be no new roof on the drill hall, there would still be no RFP, and there certainly wouldn’t be talk of new city legislation requiring the living wage in similar developments in the future.
“But now it’s in the hands of Bronx elected officials who have shown some rare moxie in the fight thus far. They are finally in the driver’s seat after being taken for a ride at Gateway, Yankee Stadium and the filtration plant.
They can proudly cross the finish line or meekly hand the keys back to Mayor Bloomberg.
We’ll know very soon what they’re made of.”