After postponing two votes, two City Council subcommittees voted against a $310 million proposal to transform the Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping Mall. NY1 reports, "This is the first time the current City Council, that which was voted into office in 2001, has voted against a major Bloomberg administration proposal."
The biggest debate about the project was about the "living wage"—with critics saying that developer The Related Companies should promise that all the future permanent employees at the mall get $10/hour plus benefits. Related refused to make that promise, saying that it might scare potential tenants, because other retailers don't have those kinds of requirements. City Councilman Joel Rivera reiterated his concern, "Those who suffer the most are the low-income residents who struggle to pay their rent and pay their bills," but Councilman Robert Jackson said, "I'm afraid about the impact that's going to have on the future of the Bronx, as far as Kingsbridge Armory and the thousands of construction jobs that may not go forward."
Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement noting, "Given that the national recession continues to weigh on the entire city and keep unemployment high - particularly in The Bronx - the outcome and timing couldn’t be worse," but Councilman Tony Avella, who ran against the Mayor, called this "a great day for democracy because the council has to be independent of the mayor."