The hearing was the first major milestone for the project since a contentious city council election that focused on the controversial development plan for the site.
City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who was reelected to her seat by a wide margin in both the primary and general election, didn’t appear to be backing down from her stance that the breakdown in affordable rentals was not acceptable and that she wouldn’t approve a deal that included market-rate condominiums.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation promised on Tuesday to reevaluate its controversial affordable housing plan for the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project in Crown Heights.
Amid critics’ pleas for the plan to be rejected, the proposed redevelopment faced its first test in the City Council on Tuesday during a subcommittee hearing on several land use applications filed by the EDC.
James Patchett, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation, said during the hearing that his agency and the developer are reevaluating the project’s affordable housing plan.
Cumbo defeated Jabari Brisport, who was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, 68 to 29 percent, according to the Times.
Like it was during the Democratic primary, the development of the Bedford-Union Armory became a point of contention in the race to represent Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
The city chose BFC Partners to develop the vacant Crown Heights armory, but some advocates were not pleased with the housing portion of the plan. Cumbo has said that she cannot vote for a plan that contains luxury condominiums but has left the door open for possible negotiations.
Activists argue that the ball is now in Cumbo’s court after the NYC Planning Commission on Oct. 30 voted 11-1 in favor of the redevelopment plan for the Bedford-Union Armory located at 1579 Bedford Ave. Two people were arrested at the CPB meeting. According to sources, 50 protesters were present.
The plan calls for 20 percent affordable housing, which does not square with activists and politicians who say that affordable housing must be 100 percent, adding that the armory is “public property.”
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.”