Photo credit: Brett Bayer
The transformation of a former armory in Brooklyn into a recreation center is now complete. Located in Crown Heights, the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center opened its doors on Wednesday, bringing a new 60,000-square-foot community center with an indoor swimming pool, three basketball courts, a soccer field, dance studios, and space for local nonprofits to the neighborhood. The long-awaited project also includes 415 units of housing, expected to open in 2023.
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Rendering courtesy of NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
The city on Thursday launched an affordable housing lottery for 55 rentals at the Bedford Union Armory redevelopment in Crown Heights. Recently renamed the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center, the former home of the U.S. Army’s Cavalry Troop C is being transformed into a mixed-use building with recreational and community space, as well as mixed-income apartments and office space. New Yorkers earning 30, 40, 50, and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for the units available in this first phase, ranging from $367/month studios to $1,472/month three-bedrooms.
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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.
New renderings of the redeveloped armory, this way
Bedford Union Armory Redevelopment, rendering by JM Zoning via NY Yimby.
Last November, 6sqft reported that the proposed Bedford-Union Armory Crown Heights redevelopment project had begun a land use application evaluation process before the City Council, submitted by BFC Partners and the nonprofit NYC Economic Development Corporation, who intend to jointly develop the massive armory that was once housing for the National Guard. Though permits filed four months ago for a fifteen-story building are still pending approval, New York Yimby reports that new renderings have been revealed for the residential portion of the project. As planned, Marvel Architects is responsible for the design.
New renderings, this way
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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, Tue, September 19, 2017
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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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