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.”
Despite protestors disrupting the meeting, the City Planning Commission approved the embattled conversion of the Bedford-Union Armory at a meeting on Monday. The city’s Economic Development Corporation is the lead city agency pushing this project forward through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), and following the CPC’s verdict, EDC released the following statement from its senior vice president of public affairs, Anthony Hogrebe:
“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.”
The City Planning Commission voted 11 to 1 this afternoon to approve the contentious plan to redevelop the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights into a mix of condominiums, rentals and a recreation center… City Council candidate Jabari Brisport, who is running on the Green Party line against incumbent Laurie Cumbo for the council seat that represents Crown Heights, and Crown Heights tenant union member Joel Feingold were arrested and hauled away from the hearing in handcuffs, according to NYCC organizers.
Commissioner Michelle de La Uz was the lone dissenting vote against the armory plan, which has inspired protests and charges of gentrification since entering the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) in March.
Despite the opposition and protests, the project has the backing of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is particularly in favor of the community facilities the project will bring to Crown Heights, including basketball courts, and a swimming pool. As plans stand right now, BFC Partners wants to redevelop the armory site into 330 rentals and 60 condos. Half of the rentals and 20 percent of the condos will be affordable.
On Monday, the CPC voted 11-1 in favor of the redevelopment, and now the project heads to the City Council.