Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Freddy and the Bronx Terminal Market

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21st, the merchants at the Bronx Terminal Market will be joining with the Latino Officers Association (LOA), and members of the community at a press conference at City Hall. The merchants will announce that they will no longer be paying rent to the Related Companies because the developer is not performing its legally required landlord duties.

The merchants, who are currently paying Related around $280,000/month while the company is only paying the city $22,000/month, are tired of the city's lack of good faith and foot dragging when it comes to any meaningful relocation plan. In addition, they are no longer willing to see their rent money being used for their own execution. The city appears to have unlimited funds for the Gateway Mall, is eager as well to giveaway valuable city property to Related, but is unwilling to lift even a finger for the beleaguered small businesses at the BTM.

The LOA will be sending a letter to the US Attorney's Office requesting that a full-scale investigation be launched into bid rigging and collusion between the city (In the person of Deputy Dan Doctoroff), and Related's Steve Ross. They will all be joined by Councilmembers Monserrate and Barron who will be pressing the merchant's case.

It is now the right time for Freddy to become actively engaged with this signature issue. The BTM, more than any other issue, symbolizes the mayor's total lack of concern for small, especially immigrant, entrepreneurs and his complete disregard for neighborhoods. We urge Freddy to join the fight.