Bedford Union Armory redevelopment project in Crown Heights breaks ground

December 11, 2019

Rendering courtesy of BFC Partners.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) along with Council Member Laurie Cumbo, BFC Partners and community members today celebrated the groundbreaking of the redevelopment project finally underway at the historic Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights. The new community hub will offer affordable space for local non-profits, recreational space for youth and hundreds of units of affordable housing as shown in new renderings. The road to this latest milestone has been a long and storied one since community leaders first envisioned the massive armory as a multi-use gathering space for the Crown Heights community.

Bedford Union Armory, Crown Heights Armory

The re-born former National Guard Armory will be home to community enrichment activities as well as educational programs like computer and coding classes, dance and performance studios and literacy courses. A recreation center will offer three basketball courts, a multi-use ball field, a full length swimming pool, a fitness center and boxing and archery areas.

Bedford Union Armory, Crown Heights Armory

The project will offer a permanent, affordable home to non-profits and other civic organizations including New Heights Youth, Imagine Swimming, Digital Girl, Inc., the Brooklyn Community Pride Center and the Carey Gabay Foundation. There will also be space set aside for use by local schools and Yeshivas who will have access to its facilities. Operators in the Armory will also offer literacy, STEAM, and computer classes for local residents as well as meeting and exhibition spaces. There will also be space for entertainment and arts events, and a café on the premises will be open to the public during events and programming.

The residential portion of the Armory project, which will be will be developed from the ground up on adjacent land, will be comprised of 415 units of housing, 250 of which will be affordable to low-income individuals and their families earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Some of the affordable units will be reserved for formerly homeless New Yorkers and others reserved for households earning as low as $20,000 for an individual and $28,000 for a family of four.

The armory became city-owned property in 2013. The de Blasio administration has been a vocal champion of the development of a recreation center and housing, but the plan has has come under fire by neighborhood housing advocacy groups who feel that not enough affordable housing is being offered to the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood and who oppose the development of market-rate housing at the site.

Bedford Union Armory, Crown Heights Armory
Photo by Kreg Holt.

Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louise Carroll said in a statement, “Today we celebrate the renewal of one of our city’s pillars of the past. Once serving the most exclusive National Guard unit in Brooklyn, this armory will now serve the most important people of this borough – the children, the families, and the individuals who call this community home. We are proud to have worked with our partners to guarantee that this future development includes 50 homes that will serve the lowest incomes, by deepening affordability and ensuring meaningful community services on site.”

The Armory is expected to open by the end of 2020 with the residential components becoming available in 2021 and 2022.


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