Bedford-Union Armory Advances With 15 Stories, 250 Affordable Apartments, Marvel Architects

Previous rendering via BFC Partners

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After years of controversy, the New York City Economic Development Corp. Tuesday filed with the Department of Buildings to redevelop the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights with a higher proportion of affordable housing than previous plans.

The mid-rise tower, located on city-owned land at 1579 Bedford Avenue, will ascend 15 stories and contain 330 rentals. Marvel Architects is designing, the permit application confirms. The building will have below ground parking for 201 cars and 178 bicycles.

Photo by Susan De Vries

Photo by Susan De Vries

Per the city council agreement hammered out in November, the entire development will contain 415 apartments, 250 of which, or slightly more than half, will be rent regulated and reserved for low income tenants. The rest will be market rate. A plan for condos was nixed.

bedford union armory crown heights non profit

Rendering via BFC Partners

The Bedford Union Armory development will take up an entire block and include a recreational center operated by CAMBA and open to the public. It will include a swimming pool, basketball courts, and free and low-cost after school programs.

bedford union armory crown heights non profit

Rendering via BFC Partners

Nonprofits will have inexpensive office space in the complex, and there will be a medical center. A community event space will be big enough for community board meetings and performances.

bedford union armory crown heights non profit

Rendering via BFC Partners

The developers are the NYCEDC and BFC Partners. The Downtown Brooklyn-based firm also developed the Toren, City Point and, with Brownstoner Media (Brownstoner’s former owner), 1000 Dean in Crown Heights.

bedford union armory crown heights marvel 1555 bedford avenue

Photo by Susan De Vries

Now that the condos have been nixed, what will happen to the stables along the President Street of the Armory is unclear. Updated renderings have not yet been released.

Some of Marvel Architects many Brooklyn projects include Building 77 at the Navy Yard, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the condo conversion of the Brooklyn Heights public library branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West, and the controversial Pierhouse condos and hotel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

bedford union armory crown heights non profit

The Armory in 2014. Photo by Rebecca Baird-Remba

Critics argued the development, on city-owned property, should be 100 percent affordable. Just before the final city council vote in November, Crown Heights residents and the Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit against the development on the grounds that the environmental review did not include rent regulated tenants in its displacement projections, the New York Daily News reported at the time.

Circa 1905 postcard of Bedford-Union Armory via eBay

Circa 1905 postcard of Bedford-Union Armory via eBay

Shortly before the vote, developer BFC Partners brought on community nonprofit Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights, the local arm of the NYCEDC, as a development partner.

The Bedford-Union Armory has sat in Crown Heights for over a century. Built in 1903, it had troops stationed there until 2011 when they were moved to Fort Hamilton. The city has been seeking to redevelop the site since at least 2013, when it issued a call for proposals.

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