Review Process For NYC’s Borough-Based Jail System Underway

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[UPDATE: Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 5:15pm] The Community Board 2 Borough-Based Jail System public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, April 11 from 5pm to 9pm at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, 357 Clermont Avenue. (Doors open at 4:30pm. Enter on Greene Avenue. Stair-free entrance on Clermont Avenue)

BOERUM HILL – Earlier this week the NYC Planning Commission approved the ULURP application for the NYC Borough-Based Jail System which allows the public review process to begin.

Rendering of the expanded Brooklyn Detention Center, 275 Atlantic Avenue

Mayor de Blasio committed in 2017 to close Rikers Island by 2027 and replace the facility with four new or renovated “modern and humane” borough-based jails in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. The system would house a jail population of approximately 5,000 in smaller, improved facilities closer to courthouses, healthcare facilities, and detainees’ families, according to the city.

As part of the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process, the city will allow community members to provide feedback about the city’s plan which includes demolishing and expanding the existing Atlantic Avenue Detention Center at 275 Atlantic Avenue.

The plan initially proposed to replace the 62-year-old, 800-bed Brooklyn Detention Center with a 1,510-bed facility that would include ground-floor retail, community space, and parking. The floor area ratio (FAR) for the new building was originally proposed to increase from 3.5 to 20, which would have allowed the 216-foot-tall building to rise up to 430 feet.

According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released by the NYC Department of Correction last Friday, the Brooklyn facility will now house up to 1,437 individuals and the height of the building has been reduced to 395 feet (approximately 40 stories). The building will also feature 30,000 square feet of ground-level community and/or commercial space (along Boerum Place, Atlantic Avenue, and Smith Street) as well as 292 employee parking spots.

The areas analyzed in the Draft EIS for each neighborhood included zoning, socioeconomic conditions, open space, shadows, water and sewer infrastructure, traffic, transit, and parking. “No significant adverse impacts” were found for the Brooklyn facility.

Under the ULURP process, the community boards representing the neighborhoods where the four sites are planned will have 60 days to host a public hearing and provide recommendations to the city. The four borough presidents will then have 30 days to provide their feedback. City Planning will then review and vote on the facilities followed by the City Council.

Brooklyn Community Board 2 is currently finalizing plans for its public hearing about the Atlantic Avenue Detention Center which is expected to take place in early April at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (357 Clermont Avenue) in Fort Greene. We will update this post once the details are confirmed.

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