City Planning approves Bedford Union Armory project
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 31, 2017 | 467 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A controversial development in Crown Heights that has sparked protests from activists and community leaders is one step closer to becoming reality.

On Monday, the City Planning Commission approved the redevelopment of the Bedford Union Armory, a project led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and developer BFC Partners. The plans call for 330 rental units, 60 condominiums and a 45,000-square-foot recreational facility at the corner of Bedford Avenue and President Street.

“As we move to transform the historic Bedford Union Armory into a world-class recreation center and much-needed housing, we will continue to work with council member [Laurie] Cumbo and other stakeholders to ensure this project serves the Crown Heights community,” said Anthony Hogrebe, EDC’s senior vice president of Public Affairs.

Though backed by the city, the project has faced significant opposition from the community and elected officials, including Borough President Eric Adams, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

Cumbo, who at first liked the prospect of adding low-income housing, jobs and space for nonprofit organizations, eventually decided not to support it. In May, she pledged not to back any development that includes luxury condos.

Vaughn Armour, a leader of the advocacy group New York Communities for Change, which has vigorously opposed the project, said in a statement that the plan is a “giveaway for luxury housing.”

“There is nothing progressive about giving public resources to luxury developers who will further gentrify my neighborhood and push longtime residents like me out of my home,” he said.

“During her campaign, Laurie Cumbo promised over and over again that she would fight for 100 percent affordable housing at the Bedford Armory,” Armour added. “Now the ball is in her court.”
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