BRONX MERCHANTS SENT PACKING

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The Bronx Terminal Market merchants are scrambling to find a new home after State Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn ruled last week that the city could move forward with plans to oust them and lease the site to a private developer. The merchants had challenged the deal, arguing that the new lease should have been subject to competitive bidding. Instead, the city’s Economic Development Corporation helped negotiate an agreement with the Related Companies, whose chair and CEO, Stephen Ross, has personal ties to Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff. The city’s Law Department praised the court’s decision, saying it “paves the way for an eagerly awaited redevelopment.” Meanwhile, the merchants are weighing an appeal and plotting their next move. Stanley Mayer, president of the Bronx Terminal Market Preservation Association, said the city’s relocation efforts have thus far come up short. “What they’ve offered us is to scatter us to the four corners of the Bronx, which doesn’t work,” he said. “There’s a synergy between us as a market.” Mayer prefers the plan proposed by Chelsea Market developer Irwin Cohen, which involves moving the merchants en masse to an adjacent site.(C. Feldman)