Jail Update: The first stage of a 30-story jail for White Street is underway

Photos by Rose Yardeni

When I saw the recent post in Yimby about the jail (thanks to T.) I thought they had a typo in the height of the building. After all, the city originally came to the community saying they planned to build a 45-story jail in summer 2018. But by fall 2019, they had somehow made it smaller, without a lot of rationale for how. However, there is still a cap of 295 feet, as stated in the ULURP that was passed in 2019, but the actual height will be revealed in the design/build process.

This from the mayor’s press office:
The height of the building has not been determined yet. There is a maximum height under the ULURP that the Council passed under the previous administration, but the actual height of the structure will be determined through the design-build process.

The last massing drawings we saw were below; there are no other renderings that the city could share.

The new facility will contain 886 beds for men and provide 125 accessory parking spaces below grade for staff and service providers. The facility will also provide 20,000 square feet of community and commercial space on the ground floor. You can see the design guidelines here, which discuss (in vague terms) the relationship the building must have to the community, including acknowlegement that since White Street is being taken off the grid for this building, views down the block from Tribeca must be considered. White Street will remain as a pedestrian arcade.

Local businesses have to be concerned. When there are giant cranes hovering over Baxter and White, it will not encourage pedestrian traffic. Already it sounds like two businesses have closed. This from NUBC, or Neighbors United Below Canal, which has been the primary opponent to the jail:

“We have received multiple complaints and calls regarding the newly installed crane on Baxter Street. While the crane is ‘parked’ at the end of the day, the residents have said that the crane is ominously hanging over their buildings and the roadway, instead of over the empty and unoccupied jails. Their concerns are warranted, given the crane collapse on Worth Street some years ago that resulted in a death and subway shutdown, and the most recent crane in the Hudson Yards area that caught on fire and came crashing down onto neighboring buildings.”

There was a moment this summer when the elected officials thought they could halt the demolition, but that never came to be. Now NUBC continues to advocate for a seat at the table when the design/build process begins.

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  1. BTW many Corrections Officers live far from NYC and must drive in.
    Plus they have long shifts.

    There is parking at Rikers.
    However, it is not easy to drive to/park in lower Manhattan.

    So likely there will be longer commutes, parking and Congestion Pricing issues.

    No matter one’s opinion on carceration/criminal justice etc, I think we can all agree that additional stress on key employees is not a good thing.

  2. City double speak- they don’t want people driving into the city for work yet the new facility has 125 parking spaces for employees. Please don’t tell me that they will be given a pass on congestion parking while we the residents of the boro of Manhattan will have to pay for congestion parking 24/7, even when there is no “congestion”.

  3. From CB 1 newsletter:

    Manhattan Borough-Based Jail Facility Online Design Guidelines Input Online Feedback for the Design Guidelines Input Session Manhattan Borough-Based Jail Facility

    Please collaborate with us on the online feedback period for the Manhattan Borough-Based Jail Facility Design Guidelines Input Session.The platform is intended to augment the in-person community meeting held on November 29, 2023, and allow anyone unable to attend in person the chance to review and comment on materials. The comment period on this website will close on Friday, December 22 at 11:59 p.m.