A Cuomo-administration policy to divert minors from the state prison system has the Brooklyn Family Court on the lookout for new space. The court, which expects its caseload to increase dramatically, is eyeing 30,000 square feet at Forest City Ratner’s 1 Pierrepont Plaza.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in December that raises the age for nonviolent offenders who are tried in the criminal courts to 18. New York is one of only two states in the country that automatically tries 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, and as part of an effort to help rehabilitate young offenders, officials will start transferring young women and low-security-risk males from adult prisons to juvenile facilities come August.
In most misdemeanor cases, judges will be required to divert young offenders from the criminal justice system into family courts. But the Kings County Family Court Division has no room to expand at its current offices at 350 and 330 Jay Street, and the Department of Citywide Administrative services can’t find any suitable space within its real estate portfolio.
The city’s Law Department now seeks to lease 30,000 square feet for the court’s back offices on the full eighth floor of Forest City’s 19-story, 700,000 square-foot 1 Pierrepont Plaza, according to an application it filed with the Department of City Planning.
“Raise the Age, when approved, will add 16- and 17-year-olds to the Family Court Division’s juvenile delinquency practice, substantially increasing the workload of the division,” the application states.
Forest City’s Brooklyn Heights tower is anchored by Morgan Stanley, which is reportedly looking to shrink its 340,000-square-foot footprint there. The building is also home to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and houses the Office of Court Administration on the 14th floor.
A representative for Forest City declined to comment. Asking rents in the building are in the mid $40s per square foot, according to CoStar.
The City of New York leases some 1.09 million square feet from Forest City, accounting for more than 11 percent of the company’s national portfolio, according to its 2014 annual report.