Yesterday on New12 The Bronx, a lot of fanfare was made about the new mall coming to the Southern Boulevard BID in Hunts Point which is being touted as bringing much a much needed economic boost to the area but at what cost?
The first tenant causing a bit of concern is a McDonald’s. Is this something to really be proud of and get all excited about when the area is already filled with nothing but fast food and low-wage jobs? The proposed location is in between TWO other McDonald’s that are walking distance from the site.
McDonald’s recently told its own employees that eating their food is UNHEALTHY so why should we allow another one in the area?
Soon after McDonald’s put up the website warning its employees about eating the food there, they immediately yanked the site.
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Hunts Point residents already suffer the ultimate irony of being neighbors with the largest food distribution industrial park in the world yet have little to no access to the healthy fruits and vegetables coming out of there.
This disparity, coupled with the plethora of fast food joints, has contributed to our neighborhoods having some of the highest rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes in the city.
The second tenant causing concern is Red Lobster. They are planning for a giant 9,000 square foot restaurant which they say will employ 200 workers according to an article in the Hunts Point Express.
The reason for concern is that Red Lobster’s future is uncertain for now. Its parent company, Darden Restaurants, announced last week that it intends to sell or spin-off the popular seafood chain into a separate entity — something which could effect the bottom line down the road considering that the pricey restaurant will sit in a neighborhood with a median income barely at $24,000.
While I applaud bringing in a new retail space into the area which will spur economic activity, I, along with other residents agree that we can do better than McDonald’s and area residents should demand that the landlord attract a tenant that will actually benefit the residents. Another gym in the area will not hurt.
Crossings Mall is scheduled to open sometime in 2015.