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Public Hearing on Kingsbridge Armory Today

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hundreds of people are expected to show up at City Hall this morning for a public hearing about the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has the details.

REPORTER: The Related Companies is proposing to turn the former National Guard Armory into one of the largest shopping malls in the city.

More than 20 churches, unions and community organizations have waged a strong fight to force retailers there to guarantee "living wages". Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Junior has joined their cause. They say all employees at the mall should earn at least ten dollars an hour, plus benefits, since the project is getting millions of dollars in tax breaks and other subsidies from the Bloomberg administration and federal government.

A lawyer for Related, Jesse Masyr, says a living wage requirement would doom the project. He says no retailer would be willing to move to a location where they'd have to pay employees more than if they located somewhere else. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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