New York's City Council last week approved a $394 million, 17-acre shopping mall just south of Yankee Stadium, clearing the way for the largest retail center in the Bronx, after its developer, Related Cos., promised to keep out Wal-Mart Stores.
The Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market, part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's development strategy for the borough, won the council's support by a 49 to 1 vote with one abstention. Lawmakers said they backed the plan because of New York-based Related's promise to ban Wal-Mart and provide more than 5,200 jobs, including hundreds for local residents.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has faced opposition across the U.S. as it locates its stores in more densely populated areas. In the past two years, it has scotched plans to open stores in Chicago, Inglewood, Calif., and in the New York borough of Queens, where local officials threatened to deny it zoning or planning board approval. Labor leaders have said the merchant should improve benefits and wages.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mia Masten said she didn't know whether the company would challenge the ban. She said her company is continuing its search to set up its first store in the New York City market.