In 2009, you may or may not remember, the City Council nixed the Kingsbridge Armory mall project in the Bronx. The developers of the project were to receive $50 million in exemptions and tax credits — but the Council, after much argument, knocked it down, because neither the developer nor the future mall tenants would agree to pay workers a minimum of $10 an hour. ($10 an hour is basically $21,000 a year, by the way, before taxes are withheld.)
But the developer and its associates wouldn’t agree to do this, so the Council told them to get stuffed. The Mayor got all huffy and passive-aggressive that the City Council wouldn’t let the developer “create jobs” in the Bronx. (He even called it “a great tragedy.”) Amusingly, the developer wouldn’t build the mall without the subsidies, even though it would have likely done pretty well for them.
Mike Bloomberg still opposes mandating wages for publicly funded building projects. Now the lastest version of the bill that would mandate that developers receiving these incentives agree to pay workers that minimum of $10 an hour is going to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s desk.
At the same time, a poll released today finds that voting New Yorkers support this “Living Wage” act, to the tune of a whopping 74–19 percent.
The developer of the Kingsbridge Armory mall, by the way, was The Related Companies L.P.; they are the New York affiliate of the Related Group. The chairman of the Related Group is Jorge M. Pérez, who recently had the name of the publicly funded Miami Art Museum changed to the Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County, for just $10 million in cash on top of another $5 million, plus some art. So that’s the dude who can’t pay people $10 an hour.