The ongoing redevelopment of the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but today, developer BFC Partners announced a partnership with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) to provide the non-profit organization with affordable office space. The group will rent a 3,500-square-foot office that will serve as its new headquarters.
The WIADCA will use the space to plan for the annual West Indian American Carnival, which happens along Eastern Parkway every September, while also promoting Caribbean culture, arts, and history throughout the year. “We commend BFC Partners for their commitment to providing truly affordable office space that will enable us to keep celebrating and sharing our traditions for generations to come,” said WIADCA president William Howard.
It’s a big move for the Armory redevelopment project, which remains something of a lightning rod in the community. Back in September, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony pulled his support from the project after receiving an open letter from the community protesting the conversion. Some folks want the conversion to be halted altogether, and others charge that all 300 of the project’s new apartments should be affordable. The biggest fear is that the units will accelerate gentrification in Crown Heights and units deemed affordable will not benefit the residents already within the community.
A press release also notes that plans for the Armory “will likely enter the city’s land use review process in the coming months,” a crucial step in pushing the redevelopment forward.