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.”
In recent months, the BFC Partners-proposed conversion has come under increasing opposition from local residents, Crown Heights’ community board, and the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams. Many have argued that since the project is being built on city-owned land, it should be fully affordable.
Futhermore City Council member Laurie Cumbo has withdrawn her support from the project, which could potentially imperil it as it now heads to the City Council for a final round of votes for approval.
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.