CROWN HEIGHTS — The team behind the controversial Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment has lost its star player.
Anthony had previously lent his name and support to the city’s effort to repurpose the Crown Heights armory — which is set to be turned into a recreation center and affordable and market-rate housing — through his foundation. But now, the Knicks star is “no longer involved with the project,” his attorney Alan Hock said.
Hock would not say why Anthony made the decision to cut ties with the redevelopment and an inquiry to the Carmelo Anthony Foundation was not returned.
But the move follows pressure from housing advocates (in the form of a rally, open letter and online petition) calling for the basketball player to drop a plan that “will further exacerbate the gentrification” of Crown Heights, the petition by New York Communities for Change read.
NYCC, working with the Crown Heights Tenant Union and others, also called for the removal of developer Slate Property Group from the project for their involvement with the controversial sale and conversion of the Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home, into luxury housing.
Soon afterwards, Slate backed out of the redevelopment following pressure from the mayor’s office, sources told DNAinfo New York.
“Carmelo is our hero,” said Bertha Lewis, the former CEO of NYCC when it was known as ACORN, in a first report about Anthony’s decision in the New York Daily News.
Currently, the redevelopment project will continue with BFC Partners, the real estate group chosen by the New York City Economic Development Corp. to co-develop with Slate. But NYCC is pushing to start from square one on the project.
“The whole project needs to scrapped, and the administration needs to start over,” Lewis told the newspaper.
The EDC did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.