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Poor Brooklyn Jail with Retail Can't Catch a Break

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Yesterday, we reported that a judge had imposed a temporary restraining order on the reopening and expansion of the the Brooklyn House of Detention, that valuable piece of real estate at Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street also known as the Jail with Retail because expansion plans call for stores at street level. Today brings more detail about our favorite troubled House of Detention. It turns out that while there is, indeed, a restraining order on using the jail until December 18, that all parties have agreed to sit down and have a discussion about why the city might want to spend $430 million on the thing in the middle of a budget meltdown. "I've got to believe in this environment where we're cutting back on schools, parks and infrastructure, [city officials] are taking a second hard look at this project," City Councilman David Yassky, who was one of the people that filed the lawsuit, told the Daily News. "The Department of Corrections has decided to pause, put the spending for this project on hold and sit down and talk with the community. That's a terrific first step." The city's move of 31 prisoners into the jail to fix it up to accept more prisoners sparked the suit. Residents and community groups says the city is trying to pull a fast one by claiming the jail (which was shut in 2003) never really closed so that it can avoid a contentious environmental review and vote. There's also an online petition urging the jail be torn down and the land used for affordable housing and a middle school.
· Plan to expand Brooklyn House of Detention halted due to budget crisis [NYDN]
· Jail with Retail Coverage [Curbed]