Peter Buffett, developer to transform old Chelsea prison

NoVo Foundation, Goren Group redeveloping 100K sf Bayview Correctional Facility into offices

From left: Peter Buffett and Lela Goren
From left: Peter Buffett and Lela Goren

A women’s advocacy nonprofit run by Warren Buffett’s son will set up shop at a former women’s prison.

NoVo Foundation, led by Peter Buffett and his wife Jennifer, signed a 99-year lease at the 100,000-square-foot former Bayview Correctional Facility at 550 West 20th Street in Chelsea. The nonprofit will pay a total of $200 million over the lease’s term.

The Goren Group, a development firm led by Lela Goren, has been tapped to redevelop the building and preserve its historical elements.

The finished product will be dubbed the “Women’s Building” and will house organizations advocating for women’s rights.

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The structure was initially built as a YMCA for merchant sailors and became a prison in the 1970s. It closed in 2012, the New York Observer reported.

“We take down an institution of failure and defeat,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference. “[What will] rise from those ashes will be a building about the future and potential, and true social reform. And that’s what the Women’s Building will be all about.”

The Goren Group is also behind the $150 million conversion of a former power plant in Yonkers into an art exhibition space. [NYO] – Ariel Stulberg