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Shooting up: C’Heights armory will become housing, sports center

Tanks for the memories: The Crown Heights armory will rise to 13 stories with a residential addition.
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They’re embracing it with open arm-ories!

Developers will gut Crown Heights’ historic Bedford Union Armory and fill it with housing, a community center, and sports facilities, city honchos announced on Thursday — welcome news to residents, who say the plan is in sync with what they told officials they want to see there.

“I’m pleased to see that the developers have taken into consideration what the community would like to see at the Bedford Union Armory location,” said Demetrius Lawrence, the chairman of the local community board.

The city tapped developers BFC Partners and Slate Property Group for the long-awaited redevelopment of the vacant, century-old weapons storage facility at Bedford Avenue and Union Street, following two years of negotiations with local residents and prospective rebuilders on how to make-over the massive property.

The real-estate firms’ proposal for the site includes 24 condominiums and 330 apartments — 166 of which will be below-market-rate. One hundred of those will be set aside for households earning around $85,500 a year — based on a family of three — 48 will go to families earning roughly $36,500, and 18 will be for folks earning around $28,800.

The new building will also include offices, a community event space, and a recreational center — which may include basketball courts, a swimming pool, and an indoor turf field and will be partially designed by Knicks star and Red Hook native Carmelo Anthony.

The developers — who will take on a 99-year lease — plan to keep the cavernous structure’s iconic castle-like brick walls and curved roof, but will also stick a more modern-looking addition on top near President and Roger streets.

The city met with locals many times over the two-year search, and made its decision partially on how closely proposals resembled the community’s wishes for the space, according to a city rep.

For example, neighbors said they did not want any segregation between so-called “affordable” and market-rate housing — and as a result, all the units will be mixed in together.

Local leaders say they are thrilled to see the community’s feedback finally put into action after the lengthy negotiation period, and hope the city and the developers keep listening through a public review process and during construction.

“The hope is that the developer has an open and compassionate ear,” said Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D–Crown Heights).

The munitions depot has been empty since 2011, when troops stationed there were moved to Fort Hamilton, and then-Borough President Marty Markowitz began pushing to revitalize the propertyinspired by the $16-million redevelopment of the Park Slope armory.

The state finally handed the building over to the city in late 2013, and officials have been quietly hammering out details ever since.

In early November, some 5,000 hasidic rabbis from around the world used the vacant armory for a conference. Later that month, a music festival tried to hold a rave there, but eventually moved the party after local residents and pols complained it would be too loud and dangerous.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 3:56 am, December 18, 2015
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Reasonable discourse

Charles from Bklyn says:
Sounds good, but the history of for-profit developers is not interest in community building but profit t any expense, including housing affordability in the city. “The hope is that the developer has an open and compassionate ear." Yeh, keep hoping.

Of note, I troll the internet for these type of stories and then comment on them. I am a Troll, and I thank the Brooklyn Paper for the opportunity to comment.
Dec. 18, 2015, 11:51 am
jjm from c. hill says:
Once again, more housing that the average joe cant afford. When will these developers learn?
Dec. 18, 2015, 4:49 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sounds good. 330 affordable apartments. The city needs more of this.
Dec. 18, 2015, 7:11 pm
jay from nyc says:
Someday there will be a major emergency and people will curse the shortsighted fools who took this military installation out of use.
EVERY SINGLE TIME this country has cut it's military to the bone it has come back to bite us in the inevitable emergencies that rise, with the result being more dead.
This armory was already bought built and paid for, this is the time that the government can recoup its investment, instead it got rid of it.
We can either invest in our country with dollars or pay the price in blood, but the butchers bill will not be paid by the sons and daughter of the politicians who make these idiotic decisions, it will be paid by the every man/woman.
Remember that next time you vote, if you even bother to show up, and judging by the last mayors election turn out (29%) you probably won't show up.
Dec. 19, 2015, 12:33 pm

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