CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN — The developer chosen to transform Crown Heights’ Bedford-Union Armory, along with the city corporation that’s overseeing the project, were grilled for more than an hour on Tuesday at a City Council hearing focused on the plan.
The hearing was the first major milestone for the project since a contentious City Council election that focused on the controversial development plan for the site.
City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who was reelected to her seat by a wide margin in both the primary and general election, didn’t appear to be backing down from her stance that the breakdown in affordable rentals was not acceptable and that she wouldn’t approve a deal that included market-rate condominiums.
“There is a need to continue to look at the affordability here,” James Patchett, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said when discussing the rates of rental units. “We hope to continue in those conversations with you.”
Cumbo said time was running out to do that.
“Your response has been very, ‘we’re looking into’, ‘we hear you’, ‘we’ve heard’. But we, as a Council, are not seeing,” she said. “The seeing and the thinking and the hearing are going to have to translate into something for this proposal to even be considered,” Cumbo said, calling it “inappropriate” to come to the hearing with no significant changes to the project.
The armory development has become a flashpoint in a neighborhood experiencing rapid gentrification. (Marc Torrence, Patch National Staff, Nov. 14, 2017)