The Real Deal New York

Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony pulls support for Crown Heights armory plan

Basketball star’s foundation will no longer give money to the rec center
September 14, 2016 05:10PM

Interior of Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights (credit: Brooklyn Borough President's Office) and Carmelo Anthony

Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights (credit: Brooklyn Borough President) and Carmelo Anthony

Just a month after Slate Property Group agreed to sell its stake in the Bedford-Union Armory development, the Crown Heights project has lost a high-profile backer.

Basketball star Carmelo Anthony was expected to contribute money to the development’s athletic center, but has now pulled out following activists’ opposition to the deal, the New York Daily News reported.

Last month, Slate Property Group TRData LogoTINY agreed to sell its stake in the development amid pressure from City Hall. The city has accused Slate of deliberately misleading it over plans to convert Rivington House, a nursery on the Lower East Side, into luxury condominiums. BFC Partners, to whom Slate’s stake was sold, is now continuing with the development alone.

But even with Slate off the project, many activists still oppose the project and say it will lead to excessive gentrification of Crown Heights.

“Carmelo is our hero,” said Bertha Lewis, founder of the Black Institute, who led the campaign to get Anthony to withdraw support, told the newspaper.

The plan is for the Bedford Armory building to be turned into 300 apartments, 12 townhouses and a sports center.  Half of the apartments are to be affordable, but opponents have scoffed at that plan, saying they’ll still be too expensive for locals. [NYDN]Miriam Hall