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Press Release

NYCEDC and BFC Partners Announce Boys’ Clubs of New York as Recreational Operator for Major Owens Center

May 18 2021
Bedford Union Armory

BROOKLYN, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and BFC Partners announced today that Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) has been selected as the recreational operator for the recently renamed Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center, formerly known as the Bedford Union Armory, in Crown Heights. BCNY will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations for the facility and will focus their resources on youth development and community building.

Additionally, BCNY will partner with several non-profit tenants who will soon occupy space in a section of the facility and connect with local community groups to maximize use of the athletic areas in the Major Owens Center. They will also promote utilization of the Betty Carter Auditorium for the Arts among non-profits and community partners.

“The Boys’ Club of NY brings a wealth of expertise in empowering youth throughout New York City and is a perfect complement to the other nonprofits that will take space at the Major Owens Center,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We are thrilled that BCNY will be the recreational operator and look forward to the facility opening later this year.”

“The Boys’ Club of New York was honored to be chosen to join our community partners at the Major Owens Center in this important venture,” said BCNY Executive Director Stephen Tosh. “We look forward to bringing our management expertise and commitment to inclusion and equity to the rich, vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Crown Heights.”

"We held an extensive search for the operator for the Major Owens Center, and it was clear that the Boys’ Club of NY is best equipped to lead this new venture," said Donald Capoccia, Principal at BFC Partners. "BCNY best fits our goals and aspirations for the space and will help our programming reach its full potential. Alongside them and NYCEDC, we are going to provide a space made for and centered around the Crown Heights community."

“As the opening for the Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center is underway, I am rather pleased to hear that Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) has been selected to serve as the recreational operator,” said NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo. “BCNY brings with them years of experience, a wealth of knowledge, and a track record in effective programming, which will undoubtedly benefit the Center’s non-profit tenants and community partners. I say welcome to BCNY, and look forward to working together as we manifest Major 2Owens’ vision of a community space reflective of the beauty and history of Crown Heights.”

"I congratulate the Boys’ Club of New York on being selected as the recreational operator for the new Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Once opened, this center will be a true educational and recreational hub for Crown Heights and the surrounding community, and BCNY has an outstanding track record of uplifting young people of all backgrounds, engaging them in math, science, sports, the arts, and so much more. I thank EDC for their partnership and look forward to celebrating the official opening of the center with them and our community partners soon."

“The Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center is now a reality! In 2008, Congressman Owens, then a professor at Medgar Evers College, began to envision a future for the Armory as a full-time community center with recreational opportunities and gathering spaces for Crown Heights children, families, and community stakeholders,” said Joe Coello, Interim Chair of the Major R. Owens Community Advisory Committee. “As one of Professor Owens and Professor Roger L. Green’s guest lecturer for the Dubois- Bunche Center at Medgar, I and many of his students and stakeholders, built local support for the idea of affordable housing, recreational opportunities, and nonprofit space for the Crown Heights community. We honor and cherish the legacy of the late Congressman Major R. Owens, a longtime advocate and voice for over 50 years in public service, as we now celebrate our new future with the Boys Club of New York.”

“We are working hard to ensure the tomorrows that will be made here are secure,” said Beverly Newsome, President of Ebbets Field Tenants Association and Chair of Outreach for the Major R. Owens Community Advisory Committee. “We anticipate Boys Club of New York being excellent custodians of them as well.”

The Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center is nearing completion and will soon house a 60,000 square-foot world-class recreation center, with an indoor swimming pool, three hardwood basketball courts, an indoor soccer field, dance and performance studios, a fitness center and areas designated for boxing and archery. The facility will also house space for local community-based non-profits, which will offer enrichment and educational programming such as coding, after-school support, athletic clinics, and camps. The center will provide year-round space for entertainment and arts events and access for local artists to teach theater, film, and music.

The Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center is expected to open by the end of 2021 with the residential components of the Armory project to open in 2022 and 2023.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

ABOUT THE BOYS’ CLUB OF NEW YORK
The Boys’ Club of New York provides enriching and inclusive after school programming to young people ages 7-21. Since, 1876, our open-door policy has ensured that any child can join, no matter his zip code, immigration status, income or housing status. For more information about BCNY please visit bcny.org.