youngwoo & associates purchase landmarked bronx post office building

From the NY Daily News via tweeter @fromTheBronx:

A developer that was spurned in its bid to land the Kingsbridge Armory site has finally found a way to put its stamp on the Bronx.

Youngwoo & Associates has purchased the landmarked Bronx General Post Office, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service confirmed late Wednesday.

You might remember Youngwoo & Associates as the developer that threw its hat into the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Project (I supported their proposal, for the record). While I’m excited to see how Youngwoo develops the space, I have mixed feelings about the sale.

More from the Daily News article:

“The USPS has disregarded the voices of the Bronx community, elected officials, historic preservationists, and their own employees — all of whom opposed this process and this sale,” [Bronx Congressman Jose] Serrano added.
“With that said, it’s time to move forward and we will work with the new owner to ensure that appropriate, community-inclusive development is brought to this historic site,” [said John DeSio, a spokesman for Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.]

As you can see, there was strong opposition to the sale from many fronts due to the site’s landmark status. It reminds me of Mayor Bloomberg’s 2009 mall proposal for the Kingsbridge Armory, which wasn’t approved for similar reasons. These factors – including the possibility that Youngwoo obtained the property for much less than it’s actually worth ($14M according to the article) – make me a bit wary. I’m also concerned about community involvement in the development process and whether or not the development results in living-wage jobs for Bronxites.

If Youngwoo is willing to work with the community on this project, then fine – mayhap this will resemble their proposed “Mercado Mirabo” Armory proposal. If they don’t, however, I see serious problems down the line.

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