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NEW YORK CITY-The Related Cos.’ plan to redevelop the long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx was declared dead on Monday after the City Council voted 45-1 to oppose the rezoning for the controversial mixed-use project. Opponents of the $310-million plan cited the developer’s refusal to guarantee living wages for workers at the 575,000-square-foot facility–a refusal supported by the Bloomberg administration.

“We believe, and I think most New Yorkers believe, that when public dollars are used to promote private development, New Yorkers have the right to expect something in return: that the jobs they’re creating will lift workers and their families out of poverty,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, at a press conference after the council’s vote.

In a statement, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., who opposed the redevelopment plan, says the project’s opponents wanted to have the armory “developed in such a way that not only the developer and the tenants benefit, but also the people of the borough of the Bronx. What today’s vote confirms is that we can no longer support any project that only ensures profits for the developer while leaving our residents in poverty.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was out of town at the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference on Monday, but issued a statement expressing disappointment with the vote. The council’s rejection of the zoning, which followed a similarly lopsided vote against the project by the council’s Land Use Committee, “means the loss of a rare opportunity to bring thousands of jobs and more than $300 million in private investment to the Bronx,” Bloomberg says. “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.” He adds that his administration had decided early in the planning process for the project that adding mandatory wage requirements “was a line we were never going to cross.”

At the partnership for New York City, president and CEO Kathryn Wylde says the vote “should serve as a warning that excessive government mandates on private employers will ultimately cost the city a lot of jobs. This is especially true in industries like retail, where margins are too slim to meet political expectations.” A statement from the Regional Plan Association says the council’s vote sets “a dangerous precedent” by tying land-use approval of the project to conditions that other developers have not been expected to meet.

A spokeswoman for Related calls the vote a result of “outside groups” manipulating the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and says it undermines the integrity of the public approvals process. “This was never about the money involved, but about outside groups imposing artificial wage demands that do not exist anywhere else in New York City or New York State that were then adopted by the Bronx borough president and Bronx Council delegation without any independent critical analysis,” she says. “These demands simply made the project unviable.”

The Related spokeswoman says the real losers in the council’s vote are the residents of the Bronx, “who are suffering through the highest unemployment in the state,” and construction workers who will not be working on the project. “All of the residents of the City of New York will also now continue to carry the operating costs of an empty Armory and will pay the price for the unrealized tax revenues that would have been generated to pay for basic city services such as police, fire, sanitation and education,” she says.

Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, says in a statement, “Only in the world of self-serving special interests can no job be better than a job with no strings attached. Sadly, that is what a group of narrow-minded activists have achieved today by stopping the Kingsbridge redevelopment project in the Bronx.”

Construction industry leaders also weighed in on the vote, with Richard T. Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, calling it “dismaying, to say the least. At a moment when our city is hemorrhaging jobs and in need of immediate economic stimulus, the Bloomberg administration and Related were willing to invest $300 million in the Bronx and create 1,000 immediate construction jobs, as well as thousands of additional full-time jobs, for members of the community.  Unfortunately, the City Council killed the deal by insisting that the developer also absorb prohibitive, extra-legal requirements.”

Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, says in a statement that the council vote is “simply bad public policy.” His counterpart at the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Gary LaBarbera, calls the vote “deeply unfortunate.”

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