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Bringing a Community’s Vision to Life through Innovative Mixed-Use Development

A Historic Site

The Bedford Union Armory occupies nearly an entire city block in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, covering approximately three acres of land. Opened in 1908, the Armory was used by the US Army’s Cavalry Troop C for training and equipment storage, as well as a horse stable. When not being used for military purposes, the large, open space provided an excellent venue for sporting events and local community gatherings. Sometime after 2008, former US Congressman Major Owens, then a professor at nearby Medgar Evers college, began to envision a future for the Armory as a full-time community center with recreational opportunities and gathering spaces for the Crown Heights community. Along with his students and other local stakeholders, he built local support for the idea. The military finally decommissioned the building in 2013, and the City of New York took over the site.

Opportunity for Change

In 2013, local elected officials asked NYCEDC to issue a request for proposal to redevelop the the vacant site and transform it into a space for housing, jobs, and community. After years of extensive engagement with residents, business owners, elected officials, and other local stakeholders to help fully understand the needs of the Crown Heights community, it became evident that residents shared Congressman Owens' desire for an institution that will positively support the vibrant communities within Crown Heights and greater Central Brooklyn. In 2015, NYCEDC selected Bedford Courts LLC, an affiliate of BFC Partners, to manage construction and operation of the City-owned site, and bring the long-held community vision becomes to life.

Community Impact

By The Numbers


Affordable homes, 10% set aside for formerly homeless individuals and families

Bedford Union Armory
Community and Sports Facility
Bedford-Union Armory Pool
Indoor Swimming Pool
By The Numbers


Square feet of space for local non-profits and community programming

By The Numbers


Square-foot world-class recreation center

Bedford Union Armory Exterior
Affordable Housing

A New Vision for the Armory

The new Armory will be a center for community and culture that will strengthen Crown Heights and create new opportunities for neighborhood residents for generations to come.

It will feature:

  • A state-of-the-art recreation center with hardwood basketball courts, a full-length pool, and a multi-purpose court able to accommodate a wide variety of sports and community programming
  • Athletic facilities for local public schools and youth sports leagues
  • Free and low-cost sports and fitness programming for the community
  • A flexible space to host cultural events, as well as local civic and community meetings
  • Affordable office space for non-profit organizations
  • STEM classes and tutoring, LGBTQ support services, and additional cultural programming
  • 415 homes, 250 of which will be affordable for families of 3 making up to $58,000/year

The Bedford Union Armory is an iconic space in Crown Heights, and working in partnership with local stakeholders, this institution will bring new opportunities for community building and make New York stronger for us all.

Learn More


Learn more about the project and how you can get involved.

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