The Real Deal New York

It’s official: City vows to close Rikers

April 02, 2017 09:00AM

Rikers Island

Rikers Island

Mayor de Blasio vowed yesterday at a news conference in the City Hall rotunda to close Rikers Island within a decade. However, it is yet unclear what will take its place.

“Anyone who’s concerned — first of all, they should know there’s no specific plan in place for any specific neighborhood or any specific size facility,” de Blasio said, regarding those concerned about new prisons opening near their home. “And if anything started to even be considered, it will trigger a very open, public process — the results of which are not a foregone conclusion.”

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that she was open to a new jail in her district, which includes East Harlem and the South Bronx, according to the New York Post.

Developers and investors have been eagerly awaiting an announcement regarding the prison. Rikers represent a major and one of a kind redevelopment opportunity. Thus far, real estate players and urban planners have floated ideas including a new residential village, a massive public park and an expansion of nearby La Guardia airport onto the island.  [NYP]Christopher Cameron