City Launches RFP to Redevelop Crown Heights’ Bedford Union Armory
- Nov 10, 2013
The century-old Bedford Union Armory in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section is a likely candidate for transformation into a public recreation center. The New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) recently issued a request for proposals to revitalize the long-vacant armory into a community-friendly space or sports venue.
“We are looking forward to helping the Bedford Union Armory, a cornerstone of the Crown Heights community for more than a century, fulfill its potential as an engine of economic growth,” NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball said in an official statement. “Reactivating this historic property will generate jobs, spur economic activity, and revive a vibrant facility that will once again serve the neighborhood for years to come.”
The 138,000-square-foot property was built in 1903 for the Troop C Cavalry Unit and was used until 2011 when all its soldiers were relocated to Fort Hamilton, NY Daily News reports. In August this year the state handed over the armory to the City of New York, but meanwhile the property was used as a filming location for the most recent “Men in Black” movie and storage space.
This RFP is the result of a complex research study that was commissioned in 2012 by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz—a Crown Heights native—in an effort to find the best redevelopment possibilities for the Art Nouveau-style building. The options included a large roller skating rink, a community sports facility, an entertainment venue or, according to Brownstoner, even an affordable housing development that was proposed by a group of grad students at New York University’s Wagner Capstone program.
NYCEDC seems to be open to any redevelopment project, provided that it is “financially feasible and economically viable” and “a substantial portion of its uses are community-serving.” The revamp should also “incorporate principles of sustainable design” and “maximize permanent employment opportunities for the City’s local and disadvantaged residents.” Proposals are due on January 23, 2014.
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