Locals Demand Living Wage for Jobs at Kingsbridge Armory

A City Council committee is set to vote this morning on the controversial plan to turn a former National Guard Armory in the Bronx into a shopping mall. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: City Council members say it's the closest fight over any real estate in years. A coalition of community organizations and labor unions has been pushing the developer of the Kingsbridge Armory to guarantee that all the jobs at the new shopping mall will pay a living wage. They define a living wage as $11.50 an hour, or $10 an hour if benefits are provided. Elected officials from the Bronx have largely taken their side. The Bloomberg administration is supporting the developer, the Related Companies, which says that mandating a living wage will scare away retail tenants. A subcommitee and committee must approve a zoning change first, but if successful, the full City Council could vote on the project Wednesday afternoon. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.