Dubbed the Bedford-Union Armory project, which sought to redevelop the Crown Heights armory into more than a handful of apartments, local residents were opposed to the construction out of the fear that the housing development wouldn’t host affordable units, as Slate Property Group claimed. Anthony’s foundation was set to fund the project’s sports recreational center.
“It was so galling — here’s a couple of basketball courts, a swimming pool, and a slice of watermelon,” said activist and Black Institute founder, Bertha Lewis, to the news site. “Now they can’t use [Anthony] anymore with the black community, and that’s what they were doing.” Fellow activists also believe this development would facilitate the wave of gentrification within Crown Heights.
In August, Lewis wrote a note directed at Anthony urging him to pull his support from the development.
“While you may have added your name in hopes that this will be a great asset for the local community, it will not,” she said. “This public land has the potential of creating much-needed affordable housing for local residents who are rent burdened, or for the Crown Heights residents who have already been displaced due to rents that have been rising exponentially. Yet this development includes little-to-no affordable apartments for the local residents. … As it stands, the Bedford Armory development will further exacerbate the gentrification of Crown Heights.