City under pressure to make BK armory project 100% affordable

BFC Partners plans to build 300 units, 12 townhouses and a sports center in Crown Heights

TRD New York /
Oct.October 18, 2016 10:35 AM

The Bedford Union Armory development is again facing backlash — this time from local politicians who say all of the units should be affordable.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, state Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assembly members Walter Mosley and Diana Richardson wrote to the New York City Economic Development Corporation asking that 100 percent of the units at the city-owned site be below-market rate, the New York Daily News reported.

Developer BFC Partners plans to turn the Bedford Union Armory building into 300 apartments, 12 townhouses and a sports center. According to BFC’s plan, half of the apartments would be designated affordable. But local politicians and community activists say that still puts the units out of the reach of many in the neighborhood.

The state and federal representatives also want the number of apartments that give preference to locals to increase from 50 percent to 80 percent. They also say no more than 40 percent of the apartments should be studios and one bedrooms.

“Our concerns with the proposed project outweigh the supposed good that the project does in the community,” the elected officials wrote, according to the paper. “Public land is a public resource, and we only have one chance to get this project correct.” They also noted the land is the last large vacant site in the rapidly-gentrifying area.

The project was originally a partnership between BFC Partners and Slate Property Group. But in August, Slate bowed to pressure from City Hall and agreed to sell its stake to BFC. The city has accused Slate of misleading it over plans to convert Rivington House from a nursery into luxury condominiums.

Last month, New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony pulled his support for the Bedford-Union Armory development, following pressure from community groups.  Anthony was set to contribute money to the site’s athletic center. [NYDN]Miriam Hall

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