The Brooklyn House of Detention at Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, aka the Jail with Retail, around which controversy has been swirling for more than a year is open again. Let's just say that people aren't happy, although it's not clear if the guests at the Nu Hotel are aware that people are staying across the street for a lot less than they're paying for their rooms. No sooner were inmates moved back into the Big House--which is slated for a $450 million expansion with ground floor retail--then local officials were protesting and issuing press releases. The city's plan is to eventually house about 1,500 prisoners at the site. The jail closed in 2003 because of surplus of space on Rikers Island. There's some serious neighborhood opposition to reopening and expanding the jail. Council Member David Yassky says “At a time of unparalleled financial crisis, this administration would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reopen and expand a jail we don’t need in the middle of the city’s third-largest commercial district." But when will the new stores be open?
· Critics howl as Brooklyn jail reopens cells [NYDN]
· Jail with Retail Coverage [Curbed]