BFC’s nonprofit partner on Bedford-Union Armory project raises concerns

Local Development Corp. took in $752K last year but paid head $1.15M

TRD New York /
Mar.March 13, 2017 09:30 AM

The nonprofit that BFC Partners selected to team up with on the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment in Crown Heights is raising some concerns amid scrutiny.

Caple Spence, executive director of Crown Heights’ Local Development Corporation, has an employment contract that gives him a 10 percent share of the charity’s profits and 20 percent of profits from developer fees – a rarity in the world of nonprofits, Crain’s reported.

It was unclear whether the Local Development Corporation or BFC would get the developer fees for the project and if the revenues would be divided between the two, according to Crain’s.

In 2014, the nonprofit reported revenue of roughly $752,000, but Spence raked in about $1.15 million in total compensation.

“I would say this salary falls into the range of screwiness,” said Odell Mays, an adjunct lecturer at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies who reviewed the Local Development Corporation’s filings. “There is a lot of stuff in here that is ripe for being questioned.”

BFC TRData LogoTINY brought the nonprofit onto the project to help overcome opposition from the local community.

“After more than a year of community engagement, there was consensus among Crown Heights stakeholders that [it] would be the most appropriate local, nonprofit partner for the Bedford-Union Armory project,” BFC said in a statement. “The … team’s deep community roots and our comprehensive approach to this project will ensure that the armory is a success for all Crown Heights families.” [Crain’s]Rich Bockmann


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