Steven Wishnia in The Indypendent:
BCDI [The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative], a network of various Bronx community groups, was formed in 2011, after then-mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration proposed turning the disused armory into a shopping mall or a big-box store. Community residents opposed that, insisting that the jobs created should pay a “living wage” and arguing that the building would be better used as a school or a community center.
Their campaign brought together community organizations, labor unions, elected officials, and “socially oriented developers,” says Yorman Nuñez, director of the Just Urban Economies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Community Innovators Lab, which works closely with BCDI. They won a “halfway victory”: The mall plan was stopped and they got what BCDI calls “a landmark community benefits agreement,” but the building remains empty.