There will be a City Council hearing today at 1:00 p.m. which will take a hard look at the lack of relocation plan for the merchants and the overall deal that gave Related the rights to redevelop the sight. The hearing, a joint session of the Contracts and Small Business committees headed, respectively, by Council members Jackson and Nelson, will feature tough questions directed at EDC and Related as to why, among other things, no attempt was ever made to preserve the market either within the development or on another viable site.
Specifically, these are some of the questions we hope that the Council members in attendance will ask:
1) Why, if this was a city-sponsored deal, was there no open bidding process to choose the developer for the Bronx Terminal Market redevelopment?
2) Why is the city guaranteeing that if this deal falls through that it will pay back Related the $40 million the developer used to buyout the previous owner?
3) What role did Deputy Mayor Doctoroff play in enabling Related to get what amounts to a sole source bid for 1 million square feet of retail space?
4) How much public money is being allocated to Related for this project?
5) Why hasn’t the community been involved in deciding what will be built?
6) Why is the City pushing ahead with certification of this project when the fate of the merchants has yet to be decided and a lawsuit is still pending in court?
7) Why hasn’t EDC attempted to preserve the market either by finding it a new home or by suggesting it be incorporated into the redevelopment? What officials participated in the decision not to retain the merchants on-site or move them to another viable location?