Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Badminton, Anyone?

Now that New York’s 2012 Olympics bid has gone down in flames and won't be revived for 2016, I’ve been wondering what is going to happen to all the development proposals attached to it. So I cursorily checked on one such project that threatened to eradicate the Bronx Terminal Market. At one time the largest Hispanic market in the country, the BTM sits on more than 30 acres of city-owned waterfront property just south of Yankee stadium, and is about as dilapidated. Part of the Olympics proposal was to knock it down to build a velodrome, or a badminton arena (along with some retail, of course) – a particularly insulting sport to be displaced by, especially if that’s where you’ve worked your entire life, as several of the merchants have. So now for the update: The Related Companies' retail portion of the redevelopment project is going forward even though the velodrome is not, but the merchants have been assured that they will be relocated to better facilities. According to Stanley Mayer, president of the BTM Preservation Association, “We got a very firm commitment [from the Bronx city council delegation] that we’re not going to be disbanded and broken up. We have reserved optimism they’ll find a spot for us.” That's nice and all, but where are New Yorkers going to play badminton?