Bedford Armory Developer Inks Deal For Local Non-Profits To Get Affordable Office Space


BFC Partners, the Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights (LDCCH) and CAMBA today announced that six non-profit organizations will secure new, permanent and affordable office space at the redeveloped Bedford-Union Armory.

Non-profit tenants at the new Armory will include the Brooklyn Community Pride Center; Digital Girl, Inc.; Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy; the James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation; New Heights Youth and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

An arial view of the Bedford Armory

Under the agreement, all of the non-profits will now receive long-term leases at the Armory with rents at a fraction of the market rate, ensuring they can have permanent homes and continue serving residents of Crown Heights and Central Brooklyn for many years to come. Each non-profit will provide free or low-cost programing to the local community.

“Non-profits are part of the backbone of Central Brooklyn and we are committed to providing these institutions with the affordable space they need,” said Don Capoccia, Principal of BFC Partners. “We are excited to work with our community-based tenants and stakeholders to make the new Bedford-Union Armory a success for all Crown Heights families.”

“We are proud to provide an affordable, long-term home for non-profit organizations that help make our Crown Heights community so great,” said LDCCH Executive Director Caple Spence. “Keeping our non-profits thriving means ensuring a better future for the many thousands of local residents they will serve each year.”

“As a Brooklyn-based non-profit, we recognize the powerful role these organizations play in all aspects of our community,” said Joanne M. Oplustil of CAMBA. “We are committed to providing incredible non-profit programming at the new Armory and we look forward to working with all of our diverse and experienced head house tenants.”

All six non-profit institutions will take affordable space in the Armory’s historic head house, which will be updated and modernized to best serve each organization’s diverse programming needs. The head house, which fronts on Bedford Avenue, adjacent to the Armory’s iconic drill hall, will also be home to a new community event space with seating for up to 500 guests.

The current plan calls for the Armory redevelopment to include 330 rental units of housing, 50% of which will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents; and 56 condominium units, 20% of which will be affordable to middle-income.

The controversial part of the proposal is that Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) continues to lead the fight, with alliances from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville), State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights) to make the entire Armory project 100 percent affordable housing.

While BFC has not said they will make the project 100 percent affordable, they have partnered with the Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights (LDCCH) to assist in providing much-needed recreational facilities, affordable office space and affordable housing off-site in the neighborhood.

The redevelopment of the Armory will also include a new 67,000-square-foot recreational space featuring basketball courts, multi-sport courts and a competitive-length swimming pool to serve local youth sports leagues, senior programs and others. New commercial office space will be offered at discounted rates for local small businesses and non-profits in need of affordable rents.

The public scoping meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 7 at Ebbets Field M.S 352, 46 Mckeever Place in Crown Heights.