Brooklyn community center to be named in honor of Carey Gabay, Cuomo says

A new community center in Brooklyn will be named after Carey Gabay, a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration who was fatally shot during the annual J’Ouvert festival three years ago.

Cuomo made the announcement on Monday at the West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, just days before the anniversary of Gabay’s death.

“Carey Gabay exemplified what it truly means to be a public servant, choosing to dedicate his talents to helping others and making this a better community, a better state and a better world,” Cuomo said on Monday. “This center will help continue Carey’s inspiring legacy of good work and support our efforts to create new opportunities in Brooklyn communities.”

The $15 million, 60,000-square-foot community center will be housed within the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights. The City Council approved a proposal to redevelop the armory in December, making way for the construction of a recreation center, office space for nonprofits and an apartment complex.

The Carey Gabay Community Center will include services ranging from health care and a youth mentoring program to arts and cultural programming, according to the governor’s office. Seven community-based organizations will operate out of the community center, and Crown Heights residents will have access to a fitness room, swimming pool, basketball courts and a multisport court space.

Gabay, 43, was shot in the head by a stray bullet around 3:40 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2015, while attending the J’Ouvert festival, a tradition that takes place in the early morning hours of Labor Day before the West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights. He was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between two gangs and died at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County more than a week later on Sept. 15, 2015.

Gabay, an attorney, served as an assistant counsel to Cuomo before taking on the role of first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation.

Once complete, the community center will serve as headquarters for the Carey Gabay Foundation. Gabay’s widow, Trenelle Gabay, runs the foundation, providing leadership and youth programs and advocating for responsible gun ownership. The center will also provide a permanent space for The West Indian American Day Carnival Association, which organizes the West Indian Day Parade.

Cuomo also announced on Monday the five winners of the 2018 Carey Gabay Memorial Scholarship, which covers the cost of college tuition, room and board, supplies and transportation for students attending a four-year SUNY college.

This year’s winners include Moses Delacruz, of Harlem; Zarah Glaze-Williams, of the Bronx; Joselyn Garcia, of Brooklyn; Mina Gul, of Plattsburgh; and Daniella Levanti, of Massapequa.

With Alison Fox