Kingsbridge Armory hearing set

If you think the Kingsbridge Armory should be a shopping mall, circle June 24 on your calendar. If you think it shouldn’t be a shopping mall, circle June 24.

If you think developer Related Companies should pay retail workers at the armory a living wage, circle June 24. If you consider a living wage unfeasible, circle June 24. If you want Related to sign a community benefits agreement, if you don’t, if you want Related to open a Kingsbridge Armory supermarket, if you don’t, if you want Related to build affordable housing, if you don’t, circle June 24.

If you want to see neighborhood planning in action, attend a public hearing on the future of the Kingsbridge Armory vis-à-vis Related on Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. The Community Board 7 hearing will take place in the Lehman College Faculty Dining Room at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West.

“It is important that the people in the neighborhood attend,” CB7 land use chair Ozzie Brown said. “There needs to be dialogue between the people, Related and elected officials.”

Register to speak between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. CB7 will ask you to provide a written copy of your testimony for the record. If you want to weigh in but don’t wish to speak, email your testimony to Related may or may not deliver a presentation on Shops at the Armory. If Related does deliver a presentation, it will last 15 minutes, CB7 district manager Fernando Tirado said. The hearing will conclude at 10 p.m.

Last April, a joint taskforce chose Related to restore the landmarked behemoth and build a $323 million shopping mall. CB7 and members of the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance want to sign a community benefits agreement with Related.

The agreement could stipulate a living wage for armory retail workers, a neighborhood hiring ordinance and square-footage for neighborhood groups at rock-bottom rent. It could also require Related to foster economic growth in Community District 7 and build affordable housing off-site. Related’s plan for the armory is under public review. CB7 will vote to recommend or condemn the plan in July. Then it will pass to the borough president and the city council.

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