Crown Heights

Controversy-scarred developer pulls out of Bedford-Armory project

August 24, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
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In the wake of stiff community opposition and controversy over a past redevelopment deal, Slate Property Group has dropped out of the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project.

Slate principal David Schwartz sent a letter to city officials last week announcing that the firm had sold its shares to BFC Partners, the group it had been working with on the armory project, DNAinfo reported.

Earlier this month, several local activist groups called for Slate to be pulled off the project to redevelop the long-vacant, 138,000-square-foot armory into market rate and affordable housing, a recreation center and condominiums. The activists argued that Slate couldn’t be trusted to make good on its pledge to develop 150 units of affordable housing at the armory site.

Slate is the same firm that was found to have conspired to cover up plans to redevelop the former Rivington House nursing home on the Lower East Side into luxury housing until the city lifted a restriction mandating that the property be used solely for health care purposes.

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According to the DNAinfo report, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Slate’s involvement in the Rivington House deal “inappropriate” and said his administration would take a “hard look” at its connection with the armory project.

After Slate’s pullout was announced, mayoral spokesman Austin Finan said “We believe this is the right decision. It protects the vital affordable housing coming to this site.”

—James Harney, Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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