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What Will Happen to Chelsea's Empty Prison Building?

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The Bayview Correctional Facility at 550 West 20th Street will soon be more than the place residents of West Chelsea's starchitecture see from their windows. The prison has been closed as part of 2013-2014 state budget cuts, according to the Times, after being unoccupied since last fall due to Hurricane Sandy damage. That means the building will be sold or leased. And predictably, there are two schools of thought regarding its future. That's right: it's time for developers vs. preservationists, round 87,934,567.

Developers are already "circling the skies like vultures" around the building, says community board housing committee chair Joe Restuccia. The Empire State Development Corporation will ultimately decide who gets to redevelop the site, and the agency says it is discussing options with the community and elected officials. Some members of the community argue that the building should be preserved?the historical value is that the structure, built in 1931 by the same firm as the Empire State Building, was a lodging house for seafaring merchants during the depression.
· Empty Prison in Chelsea Is Now a Valuable Piece of Real Estate [City Room]
· New 120 Eleventh Avenue Penthouses Hit the Market With Views [Curbed]