Ahead of a crucial City Council vote, there is a new hurdle for the latest plan to develop the long-vacant Bedford-Union Armory in Brooklyn. NY1's Gene Apodaca has the story.
Outside City Hall, the Legal Aid Society announced a lawsuit challenging the city's latest plan for the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights. The group claims the city did not take a good enough count of people who could be displaced by the project.
"We would hope that the city studies the effects of its projects on all of the tenants in the surrounding community, those that are rent-regulated and those that are not, because we believe they are all facing displacement pressures," said Jennifer Levy, a supervising attorney for the Law Reform Unit at Legal Aid Society.
The plan cleared a key hurdle last week when the city agreed to increase the number of affordable apartments and eliminate 48 luxury condo units to win the approval of the local councilwoman. The project would also include a sports and recreation center and office space for non-profits.
But, the Legal Aid Society is questioning the city's methodology for calculating the impact on the neighborhood, specifically the displacement of tenants.
Askias Williams runs a business next to the Armory. He told NY1 that he's convinced rents will rise.
"The rent prices are already getting impacted due to the gentrification that we see is going on," the Crown Heights resident said. "The price is going to go up for sure."
The Legal Aid Society told NY1 that the city's current methodology not only puts residents in Crown Heights at risk, but that it could have implications for tenants across the city.
The revised plan would create 400 housing units, 250 of them affordable, with ten percent also designated for previously homeless people.
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo called it a win for the neighborhood, not only for the affordable housing, but also for the jobs which will be created.
In a statement to NY1, Cumbo said, "We are prepared to see this project through."
Moesha Chambers, who lives near the Armory, told NY1 she would like to see the long-vacant armory developed.
"I think the remodeling would be a great idea, because look at it now — it's shaggy, dilapidated. It needs to be rebuilt," said Chambers.
Late-Wednesday, the Legal Aid Society lost the first round of its challenge when a judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the project. The ruling clears the path for the full city council to vote on the project Thursday afternoon.