City considers opening new jail downtown
Facility would open as part of plan to close Rikers Island
A massive new jail could be on its way to Lower Manhattan as part of the city’s plan to shutter Rikers Island.
The jail would rise at 80 Centre Street, which currently houses the city’s marriage bureau and offices for the Manhattan District Attorney, along with multiple other government agencies, according to the Daily News. The building spans 700,000 square feet and stands nine stories tall, but if it were converted into a jail, it would be completely gutted and could stand 40 stories tall.
The complex could include affordable housing as well.
The city had planned to have a jail in each borough except Staten Island when Rikers shut down. As a part of that plan, the city considered expanding the Manhattan Detention Complex, often referred to as The Tombs. However, officials have since determined that would be too small.
City Councilwoman Margaret Chin represents the area and told the News in a statement that it would be very important for the building to include affordable housing.
“Today, we are presented with an opportunity to take the rest of that land back to create more affordable housing, cultural amenities and much needed parking for Chinatown,” she said. “We must maximize this opportunity by ensuring that all voices are heard as part of this process.” [NYDN] – Eddie Small