Friday, February 15, 2008

Here's the Rejected Proposal for the Atlantic Ave. Jail

Atlantic Gateway

Yesterday, someone who it would be fair to say is not a fan of the city's decision to reject a proposal that would have radically remade the Brooklyn House of Detention at Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, emailed the proposal around. The proposal came from a group that included Hamlin Ventures and Time Equities as developers and Rogers Marvel and the Dutch firm MVRDV as architects. The project would have included a condo building, a rental building and a "reentry and rehabilitation center." In January, the city said that it "did not receive any satisfactory responses to its request for preliminary bids."

Which is not to say that it didn't get response. The Hamlin-Time Equities proposal for an Atlantic Gateway at Atlantic and Smith was apparently not quite what the city was looking for in its effort to double the capacity of the jail to about 1,400 beds. Instead, the developers would have replaced the jail beds with a variety of alternative programs and residences for non-violent offenders, including a 165,000 square foot "supportive housing" facility called Liberty House. The existing jail would have been demolished. The project would have included 275 Atlantic, a condo with 65 units, and State House, a 19-story rental building with 260 units, half of them affordable. Retail would have ringed the base at street level. The email that accompanied the 86-page proposal that land in our GL inbox said:
Please find an alternative proposal for the Brooklyn House of Detention site. It was the sole submission to the City's "Request for Expressions of Interest". This proposal is a forward looking and thoughtful solution for the HOD site. It includes a detention center, supportive services/transitional housing, 300 units of affordable housing and 190 units of market rate housing. Although, it was the only response to the official RFEI process it was dismissed by Commissioner Horn, without being shared with the Community.
The city is back to pitching a jail that is twice the size of the existing one with retail at street level.



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