"All kinds of alternative visions for the site were never entertained," a lobbyist for small businesses, Richard Lipsky, said. "These people were an afterthought." Mr. Lipsky is spokesman for the Bronx Terminal Market Merchant Preservation Association.It is important to emphasize that we are not trying to stop the project but to preserve the market in its entirety and make sure the deal is thoroughly scrutinized:
He acknowledged that the support in the Bronx would make it difficult to block the deal. His primary concern, he said, was getting the community more benefits, protecting the merchants, and ensuring more transparency. The transparency issue has dogged the administration before, most notably on the West Side stadium proposal the mayor was pushing.There is no doubt that this area of the Bronx needs redevelopment but the question still remains why does redevelopment here necessitate the breakup of a viable ethnic market and a process that excludes multiple visions and community input.
"We're trying to show that this was an unfair deal that uses millions of public dollars and reeks of favoritism," Mr. Lipsky said.
One other interesting side note is that Related has hired the Marino Organization, the same publicist that Wal-Mart is using in New York City. We guess birds of a feather do flock together.
Maria Vega in El Diario also covers the hearing and the mentions the uneasiness among certain Bronx officials and community members vis-à-vis the Bronx Terminal Market redevelopments.