As part of a semester-long project, Youth Channel Community Journalist Janet Perez produced a video and wrote an accompanying story spotlighting the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment project.
By Janet Perez
The redevelopment plans of the Kingsbridge Armory has turned many Bronx residents and merchants to skeptical critics as development plans of the new world’s largest ice-skating center are starting to become more visible. Following a personal narrative, featuring Jay Espy who is a tenant of one of the buildings around the Kingsbridge Road area and organizer of People Power Movement, the Youth Channel at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network captured the ramifications that the new development of the Kingsbridge Armory is causing to businesses and tenants of the area alike.
Tenants and businesses’ issues are not independent of each other, but rather a conglomerate of consequences of the ongoing gentrification that not only the Kingsbridge area has been experiencing, but also the city as well.
In a long battle against the Kingsbridge redevelopment, tenants of building 2800 University Avenue convened together to revive The Tenant Association Association, of which had long dwindled overtime. The story captures the repairs and safety violations that are experienced by tenants and how they are battling the Major Capital Improvement (MCI) increase which will set permanent rent increases even after repairs are improved. In addition, the journey captures struggling business owners in an attempt to fight rent increases from a faceless landlord who planned to double rent as he learnt of the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge armory.
The People Power Movement continues to organize and mobilize its community around social justice issues such as, rising rent hikes and landlord harassment, among others.