City Planning Commission Approves Bedford-Union Armory Redevelopment Plan

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CROWN HEIGHTS – The City Planning Commission voted 11-1 on Monday to give the go-ahead to the divisive Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project.

Bedford-Union Armory (Ben Foldy / BKLYNER)

In 2014, the mayor’s Economic Development Corporation requested proposals to convert the vacant former National Guard Armory, located at Bedford Avenue and Union Street, into a recreation center. In December 2015, EDC announced that BFC Partners would develop the site into a 542,000-square-foot complex including a recreation center, office space for community organizations, 330 rental units, and 60 condos.

The recreation center would be available to the community and feature athletic facilities, such as a basketball court, and a swimming pool. Of the 330 rental apartments, 166 would be set aside as affordable units while the remaining 164 would be market-rate. Forty-eight of the 60 condos would be market-rate while 12 would be reserved for families making up to 120-percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Proceeds from the development’s market-rate rentals and condo sales would finance the recreation center.

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Opponents to the plan believe since the project is being developed on city-owned land that all the residential units should be made affordable. While Mayor de Blasio supports BFC’s plan, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Laurie Cumbo, who represents Crown Heights, oppose it.

Locals argue that the proposed rents for the affordable units, determined by the AMI, aren’t “affordable for the neighborhood.”

“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 Cumbo and other stakeholders to ensure this project serves the Crown Heights community,” Anthony Hogrebe, NYC EDC Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, said in a statement released on Monday.

The plan still needs to be presented to the City Council for approval before it can move forward, Curbed reports.

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