The Repurposing of the Armory at Bedford and UNION - Page 6 - Brooklynian

The Repurposing of the Armory at Bedford and UNION

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Comments

  • As result of BFC's moves, it's opposition is no longer able to paint the project as being not for the community (which seems to be a euphemism for low income long term residents, which is a euphemism for black people).

    As you maybe aware, one of the main forces opposed is unions: They want only (expensive) union labor to be used in the project.

    However, this group comes into conflict with the opposition people who want it to be "100% affordable"

    So, the opposition is at risk of falling apart now that First Baptist, WIADCA and Davis have signed on in support of the project.

    Sorry, there isn't enough money that EVERYONE can get more than they deserve.
  • "As part of the partnership in development, CAMBA will oversee the rec space, which will include Team First, New Heights Youth, Central Brooklyn Soccer Club, Imagine Swimming and the Kings County Tennis League. Additionally, all programming will be free or discounted for Crown Heights residents. There will be more opportunities for other operators at the Armory’s rec center and additional operators are expected to join in the near future." 


    I swear to god, if the "community" effs up this deal, I'm gonna throw a hissy fit.
  • Dare I ask how they are going to define "Crown Heights"?

    Does PLG and Brownsville have less of a claim to this city owned armory?
  • @crownheightster ... call our councilwoman and tell her you want this.  http://council.nyc.gov/district-35/
  • @b_funk -- I've called Laurie so many times that her chief of staff knows me by name :)
  • lol.  me too.  just wanted to make sure she's hearing from the supporters too!
  • Construction Unions have become so weak that they can no longer compete for many market rate projects, and must really fight to get the government and quasi government ones.

    This is a quasi government one.

    I won't be sad if they do not get it.
  • Whynot, what's your sense of what happens with this project now?  And when will we know?  

  • I believe we will know after Laurie Cumbo's re-election in November.

    ...and it will happen, but take far longer than it should because it won't be very profitable to construct, and developers will prioritize other projects as a result.

    Note: In the unlikely event that Cumbo is defeated by Ede Fox, it will still happen but take even longer.

    ...and we may end up with a rec center that is always closed because it lacks a subsidy.
  • edited May 4
    The soccer club weighs in: 

    "If you believe it is time to create new athletic, educational and skill-building opportunities for young people in Crown Heights, stand up and support the city’s plan to redevelop the Bedford-Union Armory with a rec center that will positively impact thousands of local families. By working together, we can level the playing field for kids of all backgrounds and ensure a brighter, more just future for our city."
  • BFC seems to have found its stride, and is rapidly rolling out programming to shut up the opposition. image
  • And here is the evidence of self-enrichment.  I hope someone challenges him. 

    "Both Mr. Hamilton and Ms. Alcantara received powerful chairmanships after joining the I.D.C. Mr. Hamilton leads the Banks Committee, while Ms. Alcantara, in her first year as senator, leads the Labor Committee.

    The financial bonus for becoming a chairman is evident: Mr. Hamilton, for example, had previously been a member of the mainline Democrats, led by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and was the ranking member of the Banking Committee, earning a stipend of $9,500 a year.

    In November, Mr. Hamilton left Ms. Stewart-Cousins’s camp for Mr. Klein’s conference, saying that “they get results.” Now, as banking chairman, Mr. Hamilton gets a $15,000 stipend — a $5,500 raise."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/nyregion/new-york-independent-democratic-conference-republicans.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront


  • Yes, those opposed to the project have financial support from labor.

    Those in favor of the project have financial support from the developer
  • edited May 18
    BFC lost Laurie's backing (guess Ede Fox scared the s*it out of her!): https://ny.curbed.com/2017/5/18/15660384/bedford-union-armory-laurie-cumbo
  • edited May 18
    " Cumbo’s announcement Thursday afternoon comes just a week before the City Planning Commission will vote on the project. The final say, however. rests with the City Council, and council members usually tend to defer to the elected official from that neighborhood, so at this point it seems very unlikely that the project will move forward." --- Yup, it is effectively dead
  • So... assuming this dies, what happens... Can organizations resume holding events in there? Will it be forced to sit and languish until another idea is proposed? Homeless shelter?
  • edited May 18
    Sit and languish until money falls from the sky that will simultaneously allow: - deeply subsidized affordable housing, - highly paid union construction workers, and - a recreation center that is open 24 hours a day with programming that is simultaneously attractive to the area's wealthiest and poorest.
  • edited May 18
    Laurie's statement: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Announcement-on-the-Bedford-Union-Armory-Project.html?soid=1116258586297&aid=5fQzUgdEUZk ---------------------------------------------------------------"We thank Council Member Laurie Cumbo and the other elected officials for recognizing that the Bedford-Union Armory plan is deeply flawed and does not represent the community needs. We especially thank her for her support on the issue that any developer chosen for Bedford Armory meet with the New York City trade unions, utilize local hire, and make sure construction is done at the highest level of safety standard," said Patrick Purcell, Jr., Executive Director, GNY LECET Laborers & Employers Cooperation and Education Trust.
  • What do you think about it? It seems like they are passing up the best possible deal for this building. Maybe it is the press that is spinning it that way? Hard to see how such an expensive project can be made without some market rate housing or a rec center that charges high prices.
  • Also, a very interesting article on the current use of some armories around the country: https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/05/a-recipe-for-getting-armory-reuse-projects-right/527082/
  • edited May 18
    "While 20 percent of the condos and 50 percent of the rental units in the current proposal are classified as affordable, their designation has come under scrutiny given the actual incomes of area residents." ...............So, are we going to wait to build it until the area's low income residents are no longer present, that way the units look affordable?
  • "...............So, are we going to wait to build it until the area's low income residents are no longer present, that way the units look affordable? " Certainly setting themselves up for it with all this talk about meeting the community's needs.
  • Except for the occasional concert, the armory has sat vacant since 2011. Do you think they would allow me to rent it for a TedTalk style presentation? Here's what I am thinking should be the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_by_committee
  • I think -- just like the way that Bertha screwed low-income people out of a chance to get an affordable apartment at the Barclays Center housing options by dragging out lawsuits during the time that the low-income people stopped being able to live in the priority area for getting such apartments -- this armory will sit vacant for another 8 years, until another developer comes along and does the same project, just with less community opposition because that community will have moved on by then. I truly don't understand how any of these activists think that this armory redevelopment can be funded by a local development corps. I don't understand why they think that all of a sudden, there will be magic funding available to build housing affordable to people at NYCHA levels (the funding does not exist anymore). I can't believe that they are willing to screw a bunch of local non-profits out of affordable office space. I can't believe they are passing up an opportunity for an actual, usable recreational space, that would be available nearly for free to community members and kids. Maybe Laurie will get a concession from the developer on the condos, and change her mind. What a lost opportunity.
  • Thinking logically and big picture probabaly doesn't make sense... the people who organize and vote in blocks want it to be all affordable and they have the most to gain if it goes that way. The others, like many of us on the forum it seems, aren't invested enough to organize loudly and proudly. We don't have the same incentive (like highly subsidized housing for life) to care enough to make a real impact in politicians lives. So politicians follow the real and promised votes. Even when they don't get what they want, they still get the votes. And that matters most to them.
  • I'm just baffled because the same crowds are also saying that NYCHA is horrible, underfunded, no repairs, quality of life is not great, concentration of poverty is not desirable, probably have to go high-rise to make the economics work...and yet it seems what they want the Armory to be is a similar all-low income housing development. Which will come with all the attendant problems of such facilities, because the market-rate housing helps keep the property managers invested in making sure the complex is maintained. Oh well. Like @Marco555 says, its not like people are thinking rationally.
  • edited May 21
    Many people fail to understand that it is not JUST land that is expensive in NYC. ...The costs of labor, materials, taxes, insurance, etc is also quite high. One needs an ongoing funding stream for these, that is far more stable than the present politicians and popular will.
  • http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/nimby-compoops-bedford-union-armory-crown-heights-article-1.3180442 The Daily News shares your sentiments. It's bizarre how much the anti-development folks are starting to remind me of right wing Republicans in their commitment to saying no to everything, even when it harms their own self interest. There seems to be a fundamental failure to understand the realities of supply/demand economics at work here. Housing costs have actually stopped rising (or have even gone down) because of the boom in new housing construction. Unless you plan on eliminating demand by returning NYC back to its crime filled, broke past, the only thing you can do is increase supply. By preventing that the people clamoring for more affordable housing are ironically the biggest barrier to housing becoming more affordable. The other weird part of this is how the same people opposed to condos are also opposed to shelters and even take issue with affordable housing for those making 40,000 to 80,000/household. So basically, any housing that isn't for people making less than 30,000 is problematic, but "ew, I don't want poor people living in shelters near me." The same way the GOP thinks that obstructing progress will somehow magically take us back to a magical 50s utopia that never existed, so too do these folks think that simply obstructing anything and everything will return Crown Heights to....I don't even know when. The reality is that most people want all the benefits of development, while all the costs are apparently to be paid with magical fairy dust. This plan would have effectively funded benefits to long time members of the community at no cost to themselves, at the expense of the very newcomers they so despise, and even that's not good enough. I have no problem with differences of opinion, but I loathe stupidity and irrationality, and that's the only explanation for why we are where we are now. Ugh.
  • Unsurprisingly, I have not read any coverage of the issue that must-be-never-spoken. IE If we were to allow market rate units that were even more upscale than those planned, a sufficient subsidy for units for very low income people would exist. However, the very rich and the very poor do no get along and can't live together peacefully. ...and a seperate building for each would not fly. Poor doors are political suicide in a district that will not hesitate to call their politicians Uncle Toms.
  • I see a day when the Armory becomes "The Armory Houses." And people still won't be happy b/c the only rec available will be a battered basketball court.
  • @mcpoet , I'd suggest you're giving the anti armory people too much credit. This isn't about the benefit of the community, neighborhood or city. They want to benefit themselves and nothing more. Plus, theyre organized enough to demand and have reelection-seeking politicians listen. Logic doesn't win here, delivered votes do. Also, it seems that for whatever reason, they've been told to or shown they can expect nothing less.
  • The unions already fail to get their members onto commercial builds. ...if they can't get their members on government builds, there stops being much of a reason for unions from the perspective of the average member. These contracts are "must win" for them. The days of flexing their muscles are gone, and they now view this as a fight for the survival of their union.
  • Marco555 said:
    Thinking logically and big picture probabaly doesn't make sense... the people who organize and vote in blocks want it to be all affordable and they have the most to gain if it goes that way. The others, like many of us on the forum it seems, aren't invested enough to organize loudly and proudly. We don't have the same incentive (like highly subsidized housing for life) to care enough to make a real impact in politicians lives. So politicians follow the real and promised votes. Even when they don't get what they want, they still get the votes. And that matters most to them.
    What do you mean "highly subsidized housing"? Are you referring to rent-stabilization? I remember one of the officers from the community affairs division of the 71st Precinct had made a comment about that during a contentious Community Board 9 meeting; he got booed. Not everyone in "affordable housing" is receiving subsidies toward rent.
  • edited May 22
    I'm just baffled because the same crowds are also saying that NYCHA is horrible, underfunded, no repairs, quality of life is not great, concentration of poverty is not desirable, probably have to go high-rise to make the economics work...and yet it seems what they want the Armory to be is a similar all-low income housing development. Which will come with all the attendant problems of such facilities, because the market-rate housing helps keep the property managers invested in making sure the complex is maintained. Oh well. Like @Marco555 says, its not like people are thinking rationally.
    NYCHA certainly has its issues. Would you define what you mean by "low-income housing"? NYCHA claims(http://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/eligibility/eligibility.page):
    Eligibility The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs.
    NYCHA doesn't only provide "low-income housing". Also, those who are of "low-income" aren't the only ones worried about displacement.
  • mcpoet said:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/nimby-compoops-bedford-union-armory-crown-heights-article-1.3180442 The other weird part of this is how the same people opposed to condos are also opposed to shelters and even take issue with affordable housing for those making 40,000 to 80,000/household. So basically, any housing that isn't for people making less than 30,000 is problematic, but "ew, I don't want poor people living in shelters near me."
    While there are probably some who oppose the shelters because they don't want homeless people hanging around in the neighborhood, there is a larger issue of fairness: some neighborhoods tend to have a percentage of shelters that is disproportionate to that of other neighborhoods, when they are supposed to be distributed evenly throughout the city. *shrug*
  • whynot_31 said:
    Except for the occasional concert, the armory has sat vacant since 2011. Do you think they would allow me to rent it for a TedTalk style presentation? Here's what I am thinking should be the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_by_committee
    @whynot_31 - Do you have the funding to rent it out? ;) I may be interesting in attending a TedTalk there.
  • edited May 22
    Marco555 said:
    Thinking logically and big picture probabaly doesn't make sense... the people who organize and vote in blocks want it to be all affordable and they have the most to gain if it goes that way. The others, like many of us on the forum it seems, aren't invested enough to organize loudly and proudly. We don't have the same incentive (like highly subsidized housing for life) to care enough to make a real impact in politicians lives. So politicians follow the real and promised votes. Even when they don't get what they want, they still get the votes. And that matters most to them.
    What do you mean "highly subsidized housing"? Are you referring to rent-stabilization? I remember one of the officers from the community affairs division of the 71st Precinct had made a comment about that during a contentious Community Board 9 meeting; he got booed. Not everyone in "affordable housing" is receiving subsidies toward rent.
    Thankfully, I'm not a politician :wink: I'm referring to proposal that all potential housing in the Armory should be below market rate. I don't know if that would technically be "Affordable" or "rent stabilized," and I'm not sure it matters for this conversation. Additionally, "Affordable housing" residents do receive housing subsidies that allow it to be "affordable." These might not be handed to them directly in the form of a voucher, but another entity (or entities) is paying part of their share.
  • edited May 22
    @Marco555 approaches one of the key problems: Some tenants of affordable housing believe that their rent is enough to cover the expenses they incur, and that the landlord makes "enough profit" from the other units. From this perspective, landlords could make all of the units affordable units and break even. The city "lets" the landlords build the for profit units and is "in charge". Regular readers likely know that I do not hold this perspective.
  • Based on what I hear it seems the only thing that everyone would agree on is the Trader Joe's Apartment and Basketball Complex. Regular NYC apartments at Trader Joe's prices. Subsidized by their free lease on the property for their grocery store. I can picture the youth league's jerseys now... :smiley:
  • edited May 22
    BFC (and therefore EDC) states it is going to continue to pursue the plan, despite losing Ms. Cumbo's support. https://patch.com/new-york/prospectheights/brooklyn-armory-project-will-move-forward-despite-opposition-local ............. http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2017/5/22/amid-controversy-bedford-union-armory-ulurp-process-kicks-brooklyn Clearly, they are being paid regardless of whether they succeed. ...
  • Crazy articles. Anyway, @whynot_31, how does BFC get paid regardless of outcome?
  • edited May 23
    For starters, they continue to be "paid" in good will by the EDC, which is a tool of the mayor. They will continue to do EDC's bidding while DeBlasio figures out a way to get Ms Cumbo back on board. She may come back onboard after the election. Or, they may reconfigure some of the housing in a mix that does not really affect the bottom line, but does include space for an entity like Friends of Crown Heights: http://www.fochdaycare.org In such a scenario, Ms. Cumbo will be able to announce the victory just before election, in say late October, surrounded by about 90 of their current students. For fun, here is one of the original articles by EDC, listing all of the politicians who were for it, but have now withdrawn their support until their demands are met: https://www.nycedc.com/press-release/nycedc-president-torres-springer-borough-president-adams-council-member-cumbo-and I believe the saying goes "One can't mug someone who isn't present." The local machine has played its cards very well. ...it has created a scenario in which BFC/EDC/DeBlasio have lots of sunk costs, and there is a governor in place that would love to say "I literally gave you an armory and you did nothing with it" .
  • edited May 23
    Marco555 said:
    Marco555 said:
    Thinking logically and big picture probabaly doesn't make sense... the people who organize and vote in blocks want it to be all affordable and they have the most to gain if it goes that way. The others, like many of us on the forum it seems, aren't invested enough to organize loudly and proudly. We don't have the same incentive (like highly subsidized housing for life) to care enough to make a real impact in politicians lives. So politicians follow the real and promised votes. Even when they don't get what they want, they still get the votes. And that matters most to them.
    What do you mean "highly subsidized housing"? Are you referring to rent-stabilization? I remember one of the officers from the community affairs division of the 71st Precinct had made a comment about that during a contentious Community Board 9 meeting; he got booed. Not everyone in "affordable housing" is receiving subsidies toward rent.
    Thankfully, I'm not a politician :wink: I'm referring to proposal that all potential housing in the Armory should be below market rate. I don't know if that would technically be "Affordable" or "rent stabilized," and I'm not sure it matters for this conversation. Additionally, "Affordable housing" residents do receive housing subsidies that allow it to be "affordable." These might not be handed to them directly in the form of a voucher, but another entity (or entities) is paying part of their share.
    Housing that is "rent-stabilized" would (theoretically) provide protections to tenants from rent-gouging, which would be a concern for those who are looking for "affordable housing". The term "affordable housing" seems too amorphous. re:
    Rent stabilization generally covers buildings built after 1947 and before 1974, and apartments removed from rent control. It also covers buildings that receive J-51 and 421-a tax benefits. http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac1.pdf
    It's easier to see how someone who is in a stabilized unit covered by J-51 and 421-a tax benefits may be benefitting from subsidizes, but what about a tenant who is in stabilized unit in a building built between 1947 and 1974? @whynot_31, I invite you to jump in. :)
  • dmiami2 said:
    Based on what I hear it seems the only thing that everyone would agree on is the Trader Joe's Apartment and Basketball Complex. Regular NYC apartments at Trader Joe's prices. Subsidized by their free lease on the property for their grocery store. I can picture the youth league's jerseys now... :smiley:
    I'd settle for an Aldi's. Have people been leading an organized drive to petition Trader Joe's to open a location here? ;)
  • It's easier to see how someone who is in a stabilized unit covered by J-51 and 421-a tax benefits may be benefitting from subsidizes, but what about a tenant who is in stabilized unit in a building built between 1947 and 1974?
    I'm not sure I see how the building's age impacts the issue? So-called price gouging happens because the land or apartment becomes more valuable and the landlord realizes the market is willing to pay more money than whatever the rent-stabilized tenant is giving. Therefore, the rent stabilization for a building of any age is an artificial limit placed on the building or apartment which means (1) the rent-stabilized tenant is paying below market rate, or less than the building or apartment is worth (2) therefore their housing is subsidized in some way because they are not paying its true value. tax benefits for the building owner (as you cite above) are a common approach. Too many of these, however, and this area loses out on tax revenue that it needs or wants for other services or projects. If or when the area goes to the city, state or federal government for help, they receive money that must come from other entities or people... (3) These limits on housing distort the market in some way. In NYC and San Francisco, for example, it makes the housing that is available (only a fraction of actual housing) at market rate absurdly high.
  • edited May 23
    Marco555 said:
    It's easier to see how someone who is in a stabilized unit covered by J-51 and 421-a tax benefits may be benefitting from subsidizes, but what about a tenant who is in stabilized unit in a building built between 1947 and 1974?
    I'm not sure I see how the building's age impacts the issue? So-called price gouging happens because the land or apartment becomes more valuable and the landlord realizes the market is willing to pay more money than whatever the rent-stabilized tenant is giving. Therefore, the rent stabilization for a building of any age is an artificial limit placed on the building or apartment which means (1) the rent-stabilized tenant is paying below market rate, or less than the building or apartment is worth (2) therefore their housing is subsidized in some way because they are not paying its true value. tax benefits for the building owner (as you cite above) are a common approach. Too many of these, however, and this area loses out on tax revenue that it needs or wants for other services or projects. If or when the area goes to the city, state or federal government for help, they receive money that must come from other entities or people... (3) These limits on housing distort the market in some way. In NYC and San Francisco, for example, it makes the housing that is available (only a fraction of actual housing) at market rate absurdly high.
    1. Re: price gouging -
    "Rent regulation is intended to protect tenants in privately-owned buildings from illegal rent increases and allow owners to maintain their buildings and realize a reasonable profit."http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac1.pdf
    The history of rent regulation in this state dates back to after World Word II when there was a housing shortage. The rent regulations are there to protect tenants from rental inflation. One can make the argument that as rental regulation places artificial limits on the price of a rental unit, the amount that a prospective tenant is willing to pay for a unit is an artificial indication of how much the unit is worth.

    2. Re: the age of a building - I'm waiting for someone to show/explain how a rental unit in a stabilized building that was constructed before 1974 is subsidized.

  • If anyone wants to contact the elected officials that just recently changed their minds on this development: Eric Adams askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov Laurie Cumbo LCumbo@council.nyc.gov Here is what they said when this project was announced: “Activating the Bedford Union Armory has been a labor of love, a truly community-driven process where the residents of Crown Heights have ensured their voices were heard,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Thanks to the thoughtful input of engaged Brooklynites, we can proceed with a plan that adds tremendous value to a growing neighborhood. In addition to generating scores of critically-needed affordable housing units in the heart of Central Brooklyn, the Bedford Union Armory will serve as an economic engine of opportunity as well as a beacon for the advancement of healthy living. I applaud the partnership between local stakeholders and NYCEDC that has fostered a quality vision that enhances the future of Crown Heights and Brooklyn as a whole.” “After listening to the concerns of the community, I feel that we will be getting all that we asked for,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “With well over a hundred units of affordable housing, a multi-sport recreational facility and community space, the residents of Crown Heights will undoubtedly benefit for years to come. I am pleased that CAMBA, a Brooklyn non-profit with a proven track record of providing holistic programs to a wide range of New Yorkers, will be operating the recreational facility and auditorium. I want to thank the entire NYCEDC team for working with the community and elected officials on this dynamic endeavor.”
  • what a shocker that the comments section on the "petition site" is filled with racist reactions, fear-mongering and small-mindedness
  • edited May 26
    None of the politicians now opposed to the project have any credible opponents to re-election. So, this is merely a matter of them setting a price for again supporting the project. ...we should not be so naive to think that subsidized housing is built "for" the residents. This is largely about union labor, and commitments from developers to contribute to causes that are important to the politicians. ...the politicians get to announce the funding and get applause. They love applause.
  • edited May 26
    "what a shocker that the comments section on the "petition site" is filled with racist reactions, fear-mongering and small-mindedness" - I think that what it really is filled with is naked self-interest. People want what they want, and tend to put their own needs ahead of the "common good."
  • Is there such thing as "the common good" in this situation? ...like fire departments, public vaccine programs and sewage treatment ? 99% of the public can get behind those.
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