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Old Posted Oct 18, 2016, 7:34 PM
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Crown Heights pols want Bedford Union Armory transformed into 300 affordable housing units

Crown Heights pols are asking the city to make the controversial development project at the Bedford Union Armory 100% affordable housing.

Developers are planning to transform the massive armory into 300 new apartments, half of them with restricted rents.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, and Assemblymembers Walter Mosley and Diana Richardson penned a letter to the Economic Development Corporation urging them to instead make all the apartments below market rate, since the site is owned by the city.

“Our concerns with the proposed project outweigh the supposed good that the project does in the community. Public land is a public resource, and we only have one chance to get this project correct,” they wrote, noting the parcel is the last large-scale vacant site in the fast-gentrifying neighborhood.

The project was originally set to be developed by Slate Property Group and BFC Partners.

But controversy erupted over Slate’s involvement after the developer was accused of misleading the city to get a deed restriction lifted at Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home they are now turning into market rate housing. Under pressure from the city, Slate dropped out of the deal.

The development has continued to generate controversy among activists who say the apartments will be too expensive for the neighborhood. The Daily News reported last month that Carmelo Anthony, who had been supporting a sports center on the site, dropped out after being targeted by community groups.

The federal and state reps also want the number of apartments that give preference to current neighborhood residents increased from 50% to 80%, and for no more than 40% of the apartments to be studios and one bedrooms.

“We stand resolutely with our constituents who will not support this project until changes are made,” they wrote.
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