By Rachel Holliday Smith DNA Info
The City Planning Commission on Monday approved a plan to repurpose the Bedford-Union Armory over community protests and concerns about the controversial redevelopment project.
The CPC voted 11 to 1 to give the 540,000-square-foot development a green light as protesters attempted to interrupt the commission’s hearing in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.
The plan still needs approval from the City Council and mayor before it’s finalized.
Dozens of people opposed to the project chanted throughout the start of the hearing, forcing security staff to move them outside. Two demonstrators were arrested in the process. Jabari Brisport, the Green Party candidate for City Council, and Crown Heights Tenant Union founding member Joel Feingold were led away in handcuffs and issued civil summonses, they told DNAinfo New York.
So far, both the Crown Heights community board and the Brooklyn borough president have rejected the plan as part of ULURP.
The area’s councilmember, Laurie Cumbo, has come out publicly against the plan as it currently stands, taking particular issue with the plan to build condominiums on the site.
“As we move to transform the historic Bedford Union Armory into a world-class recreation center and much-needed housing, we will continue to work with Council Member Cumbo and other stakeholders to ensure this project serves the Crown Heights community,” Anthony Hogrebe, NYCEDC Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, said Monday after the vote.
But the city has concluded the development will not make gentrification worse in the neighborhood. In an official environmental review of the project, the city found the repurposed armory would have no significant impact on displacing residents, higher rent prices, or the “neighborhood character” of Crown Heights.