Quick hit: Civic honchos waste no time voting against Bedford-Union Armory development

Disarmed: The Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights could become a community rec center, if the city finds someone to run it.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The nays still have it.

Crown Heights civic honchos wasted little time unanimously voting down a city-backed deal to convert the Bedford-Union Armory into luxury housing at a full meeting of Community Board 9 on Tuesday after the board’s chairman told the developer’s reps not to bother the panel with a presentation community members already slammed.

“It’s the exact same presentation we saw in the past, so there is no need for everyone to see it all over again,” said Chairman Musa Moore. “At this point it’s just a matter of voting.”

The board’s decision concluded the first leg of the public review process for Mayor DeBlasio’s plan to fork over the historic military structure on Bedford Avenue between President and Union streets to developer BFC Partners, which agreed to include below-market-rate housing and a non-for-profit recreation center in the project in exchange.

But the proposal continues to draw criticism for its 50 luxury condominiums also planned for the site, and because there are only 18 units among a total 330 that will be offered at rates within the means of area residents.

The review process now heads to the office of Borough President Adams — who said in May that he would recommend the city axe the deal — before it is handed off to the Department of City Planning.

The ultimate decision lies with City Council, which has authority over matters where public land is offered up to private developers, and the body can be expected to vote in line with Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (D–Crown Heights), who has vowed to oppose it.

But the mayor, who is still working to ram the project through, can veto the Council’s decision — which would require a two-thirds vote by the body to override — and, given the overwhelming opposition to the city’s scheme, it’s anyone’s guess what Hizzoner will do, according to a rep for Cumbo.

“It’s a wild card, who knows what he’s going to do,” said Kristia Beaubrun. “We’ve come out against it, the Borough President is against it, and the community board is against it. We’re in an interesting predicament.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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