City Strikes Deal To Redevelop Bedford Union Armory


The city announced today that the vacant, century-old Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights will be redeveloped into a multi-purpose community facility complete with over 300 units of housing, a commercial building containing a sports and recreational facility, a community event space, and office space.”

“Activating the Bedford Union Armory has been a labor of love, a truly community-driven process where the residents of Crown Heights have ensured their voices were heard,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Thanks to the thoughtful input of engaged Brooklynites, we can proceed with a plan that adds tremendous value to a growing neighborhood.”

An art rendering of the side of the Bedford Union Armory. All renderings by Bedford Courts

After two public meetings in October 2014, where local community leaders and almost 250 community members met to discuss plans for the initiative, The New York City Economic Development Corporation met with Bedford Courts LLC, a joint venture of Brooklyn-based developers BFC Partners and Slate Property Group, and with Adams and City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) to see how the project could best reflect community needs.

Under the deal the City will enter into a 99 year lease with Bedford Courts except for a portion of the 330 units of housing which the developer will buy and sell as condominiums. About half of the units will be affordable.

Key organizations and people such as CAMBA, a Brooklyn non-profit that provides holistic programs to a wide range of New Yorkers, and Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks forward and founder of the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, will also assist in the operations for the redevelopment.

CAMBA intends to operate and provide associated programming for the recreational facility, auditorium, and community event space. Anthony will assist with the fit-out of the recreational facility, which could include basketball courts, a swimming pool, and an indoor turf field.

“This project hits close to home for me. We have a deep history in Brooklyn and I’m thankful to be able to give back by helping to offer more affordable housing and a community center in this neighborhood,” said Anthony.


Cumbo expressed her outlook for the initiative. “With well over a hundred units of affordable housing, a multi-sport recreational facility and community space, the residents of Crown Heights will undoubtedly benefit for years to come,” she said.

The undertaking to rebuild the Armory into a center that serves the community adds to the City’s efforts to expand economic and job opportunities. At the Bedford Union Armory, Bedford Courts is expected to utilize NYCEDC’s HireNYC program for disadvantaged workers.

Additionally, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is dedicated to supporting the contracting goals and hiring of construction workers from the community and the awarding of contracts to minority and women-owned business enterprises.

“This is a truly smart, community led re-development project that has been a long time in the making,” said Crown Heights Assembly Member Walter T. Mosley. “In the spirit of former Congressman Major Owens, who often discussed the need for compassion in public discourse, I will continue to advocate for a compassionate, community led process that will take into account all opinions and desires.”

“I’m excited about the proposed Bedford Armory Project,” said Community Board 9 Chairman Demetrius Lawrence. “This is a great milestone for the Crown Heights community and I am hopeful that the Developers & NYCEDC will keep the community leaders and residents engaged in the duration of the project.”

The armory at the Bedford Avenue and Union Street intersection is just blocks away from both the Franklin Avenue shuttle and many of the borough’s cultural institutions.