03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Report: Armory Project Not Worth It Without Living Wage

The Drum Major Institute, a progressive non-partisan think tank, recently released this timely report saying that without a guarantee of living wage jobs, the Kingsbridge Armory shopping mall project will end up being and economic loss for the city.
It's actually a pretty quick read, but the basic point is:
"New York City is diverting scarce public funds to subsidize the developer of the Kingsbridge Armory [Related Companies]; offering local residents insufficient benefits to justify the subsidy; and ignoring the fact that creating more low-wage retail jobs in which workers require public assistance to make ends meet will only continue to fuel the city and state tax burden at a time of crippling budget crisis in New York City and Albany."
The city and Related have pushed this project as an engine for job creation and, indeed, the construction jobs it will create will be living wage jobs ($10 an hour plus benefits) or better. But the retail jobs that will be a permanent fixture at the Armory mall will much lower-wage. The city might counter that any job is a good job or at least a starting point for getting better jobs.
But this report hammers home the point that the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA) and Council Member Joel Rivera and other members of the Bronx delegation, have been making lately for wanting to kill the project without a living wage guarantee: over the long-haul, the city and Related's plan will result in a net-loss for the community and the city.

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