Bedford Union Armory

adaptive reuse, Crown Heights, Policy

BEDFORD UNION ARMORY, KINGSBRIDGE ARMORY, MAYOR DE BLASIO, NYC ARMORIES, PARK AVENUE ARMORY, Laurie Cumbo, Affordable housing, adaptive reuse, historic buildings

Rendering of the Bedford Courts development planned for the Bedford-Union Armory; image: BFC Partners/Bedford Courts

Amid growing opposition, the proposed Crown Heights Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project began its evaluation by the City Council at a hearing Tuesday on land use applications filed by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), amNewYork reports. The massive armory, once housing for the National Guard, became city property in 2013. The EDC plans to sell the property to developer BFC Partners for the creation of 56 condos, of which 20 percent would be income restricted. The remaining market rate condos would help pay for the rest of the project, which would be leased by BFC Partners and would include 330 rentals (165 affordable), office space and a recreation center. Critics say the city is setting a dangerous precedent by leasing public land for private use, especially when market-rate condos are included. The de Blasio administration has championed the recreation center and housing, but the plan has has come under fire by neighborhood advocacy groups and has had an uphill battle in achieving the City Council approval it needs.

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affordable housing, Policy, real estate trends

NYC affordable housing

Photo via Wiki Commons

Despite making affordable housing a policy priority, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan falls short for the poorest New Yorkers, a new study says. The report, released by the Real Affordability for All (RAFA) coalition last week, says low- and moderate-income households across the city face a worsening affordability crisis (h/t DNAinfo). Although the city’s lowest earners experience the largest gap between incomes and housing costs, de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, which aims to develop or preserve 200,000 affordable units over 10 years, sets aside more units for middle-income households than low-income ones.

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Featured Story

adaptive reuse, Features, History, Urban Design

Park Avenue Armory, image © PBDW Architects

Constructed between the 18th and 20th centuries to resemble massive European fortresses and serve as headquarters, housing, and arms storage for state volunteer militia, most of America’s armories that stand today had shed their military affiliations by the later part of the 20th century. Though a number of them did not survive, many of New York City’s historic armories still stand. While some remain in a state of limbo–a recent setback in the redevelopment plans of Brooklyn’s controversial Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights raises a familiar battle cry–the ways in which they’ve adapted to the city’s rollercoaster of change are as diverse as the neighborhoods that surround them.

Find out how the city’s armories have fared

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