Overwhelming opposition to the Crown Heights development deal emerges in the congregation, while church higher ups like Daniel Honoré promote the deal in the media.
Developer Hope Street Capital is in talks to partially demolish the landmarked Hebron Seventh Day Adventist School at 914-920 Park Place in order to build a massive 180-unit building of mostly one-bedroom rentals guaranteed to contribute to the gentrification of the neighborhood and destroy green space. (More information on the plan here.)
The media has repeatedly quoted Daniel Honoré, head of the Northeast Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, promoting the deal. But congregants who actually attend this church (Honoré does not) are appalled by the plan, and the deceptive deal-making that has taken place.
While everyone agrees that the church is in need of repair, many grants exist for the landmarked church (they have long been proposed by the Crown Heights North Association in documented meetings with the church). Instead of pursuing them, Honoré has ignored congregants in favor of a fast windfall, even promoting a petition that presents this deal as the church’s only option.
“Instead of the Conference making efforts to hear the concerns of the members to come up with a solution together, the Administration and Conference decided to come up with a counter-petition for the sale of the school. They mislead the public to believe that this deal was in the school’s best interest,” said Rebecca Cenatus, who was born in the Church. “This is called poor leadership.”
The congregation refuses to accept the lack of transparency, and the misrepresentations that Honoré is putting forward in the media.
“The Northeastern Conference signed contracts behind the backs of the members of Hebron Church,” said Barbara Germain. “I attended Hebron Bilingual School from the nursery to the 8th grade. The school needs to be rehabilitated, renewed but not sold away for profit.”
Information about the proposed development:
Information about the historic Hebron School:
Images available at this link:
About Friends of 920 Park:
Friends of 920 Park is made up of a growing group of concerned neighbors who care deeply about Crown Heights North, the historic, architecturally significant neighborhood they call home, and who wish to protect its heritage from the rapacious development that continues to spread through Brooklyn. Find them online at friendsof920park.com, on Instagram at @friendsof920park, and Twitter at @920parkfriends.