Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kingsbridge Armory plans rejected, 45-1

The New York City Council yesterday rejected the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment plans by a vote of 45 to 1, with one abstention. The vote turned primarily on developer Related's refusal to impose a living wage requirement on retail tenants, a stance that prevented finalization of a CBA between Related and the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance.

The vote was not altogether surprising, as the Bronx delegation to the city council has been actively pushing for the living wage requirement, but it nevertheless comes as a defeat to the Bloomberg administration, which saw the project as a boon to the borough. The rejection comes just about a week after an appellate court threw a wrench into Columbia's plans to build a new campus in West Harlem by holding that the project could not use eminent domain.

Under the New York City Charter section 197-d (available here), Bloomberg has the chance to file a written disapproval of the action, which can only be overturned by a two thirds majority of the city council. Council speaker Christine Quinn has stated that she has the votes to overturn any mayoral veto. If the rejection is sustained, Related will have 30 days to file a complaint for judicial review.

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