Lower Manhattan could someday be home to a 45-story jail, although the possibility has already drawn the ire of community groups.
The jail would rise at 125 White Street as part of the city’s 10-year plan to close Rikers Island, https://therealdeal.com/tag/rikers-island/according to the Architect’s Newspaper. The address is currently home to the Manhattan Detention Complex, also known as “the Tombs,” and the new facility planned for the site would span 1.27 million square feet and contain 1,440 beds.
The city had previously planned to move inmates to a 40-story tower at 80 Centre Street, but that plan fell through in November.
The Rikers replacement plan should be finished in 2026 and is currently working its way through the Uniform Land Use Review Process. The four borough-based jails that would replace Rikers are all facing public feedback, and the one for Lower Manhattan would require a City Planning Commission permit since it would be 37 percent larger than what is allowed under the neighborhood’s current zoning rules.
Local residents have raised concerns over the cost, the shadows the tower would cast, and the impact that demolishing the Tombs would have on the nearby neighborhood. Community Board 3 recently passed a resolution saying that demolishing the Tombs “would undermine the value of a visible piece of the criminal justice history and the historical development of NYC.”
The city is holding strong to its plan, telling the outlet that renovating Rikers is no longer an option.
“The facilities are too archaic and old, and they don’t have the appropriate space or programming,” a spokesperson said. “To say that Rikers can be rehabilitated is untrue.” [Architect’s Newspaper] https://archpaper.com/2019/05/manhattan-tombs-rikers-45-story-jail-tower/ –Eddie Small