Friday, May 06, 2005

Intro 621, the Terminal Market and the Mayor

Today's Crain's Insider observes that the Street Vendor Bill, Intro 621, has apparently stalled in committee and gives credit to the Neighborhood Retail Alliance for spearheading the opposition. The unanimity of the opposition would seem to indicate that Anne Michaud, the Insider’s political maven, is probably correct. Let's hope so.

Yesterday was the date of the court hearing on the Bronx Terminal Market and it appears that the beleaguered merchants are not going to be evicted any time soon. The judge has appointed a referee to settle outstanding rent disputes and lawyers for the merchant association are confident that this is the first step on the eventual victory that the mostly minority entrepreneurs will win against the city, slumlord Buntzman and the Related Companies.

In related (no pun intended) news the Times is reporting that published letters indicate that Mayor Bloomberg has been spending an inordinate amount of his administration's time on development of the Jets Stadium. The mayor, however, feels the criticism is unfair and blames the press for not focusing on his other brilliant development moves - likes, yes, the Bronx Terminal Market.

Mister Mayor, be careful what you wish for. Bloomberg is probably unaware, his Spanish is not quite fluent, that the Hispanic media is beating up on this foul-smelling project. Props also to Juan Gonzalez, who the other day called this development a prime example of "crony capitalism." Given the fact that Bloomberg, Related's CEO Steve Ross and Dan Doctoroff are all worth billions, it might be fair to call the BTM project an example of "patricianage."

In any case, if the mayor feels that the market redevelopment is not getting enough attention why doesn't he come up to the Bronx site where he will be greeted first by a Bronx cheer and then by the familiar Bronx salute.

Update: As was pointed out to us, Bloomberg is essentially complaining that he is not receiving enough coverage of a Bronx Terminal Market development plan that has been conducted in secret and without any competitive bidding. If the Mayor wants to encourage a sub rosa development process he can't simultaneously expect the media to cover it.