It is open season on the Crown Heights armory

It is open season on the Crown Heights armory
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The Crown Heights armory is finally locked and looking for a load.

Three years after Borough President Markowitz announced his intention to turn the Bedford Union Armory on Bedford Avenue between Union and President streets into a recreation center, the city’s Economic Development Corporation has issued a formal request for proposals to get a company to help the neighborhood get a big play compound like the one in Park Slope’s former weapons storage facility, which was six years in the making.

“There is absolutely no reason why the residents of Crown Heights should not have the very same community amenities as those available in Park Slope and other neighborhoods,” Markowitz said in a written statement.

The city will choose a developer based on how much of the space a proposed design reserves for community use, whether the plan preserves the character of the historic building and its surroundings, and whether it incorporates sustainable design, among other goals, according to the city’s call for operators.

Developers have until Jan. 23, 2014 to turn in a pitch for the play space.

The Beep has already pledged $1-million toward the project’s redevelopment from the city’s capital budget.

The armory was built in 1903 and the New York National Guard stopped using it in 2011. The state has pledged to turn over use of the building to the city beginning in December.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.