Kew gardens jail

Kew gardens jail DEFAULT

First step of borough-based jail program begins in Kew Gardens

By Rachel Vick

The first phase of construction on the borough-based jails is slated to begin on the Kew Gardens facility, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

A parking garage and community space will be built adjacent to an existing lot on Union Turnpike near Queens Criminal Court, and will mark the first step in a process to close the facilities on Rikers Island by 2027.

“Today we move one huge step closer to our goal of a fairer and more equitable jail system for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Closing Rikers Island will make our city stronger and more just, and I’m proud to deliver a system that better reflects this city’s values.”

A flexible space for community use and 600 public parking spots are expected to be completed by 2023, and will be separate from the actual jail.

The spaces will include a partially planted green roof, solar panels and on-site stormwater retention, and is expected to earn LEED Gold certification for sustainability.

During the first phase of construction on the garage structure later this year, demolition will begin on the vacant Queens Detention Complex, where a portion of the new 886-bed jail will be built in its stead.

The design and construction of the jail are expected to take place in early 2023 and will be completed in 2027 — in time to meet the Rikers goal, according to the Department of Design and Construction.

The jail will not exceed a height of 195 feet  and is slated to include a separate facility to house all of the city’s female detainees. Proposed facilities will include a space for detainees to see their loved ones. 

DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer said the plan offers a “once-in-many-generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system.”

Both Community Board 9, which represents the neighborhood, and then-Borough President Melinda Katz rejected the proposal. 

CB 9 did not respond before print time.

Advocates of the plan, passed by City Council in 2019, say it will create more humane conditions than those at Rikers Island, both in keeping incarcerated individuals closer to their families and in living conditions.

“Reaching this significant milestone ahead of Mayor de Blasio’s transition out of office will help secure the permanent demolition of the 10 jails on Rikers, long-term divestment from mass incarceration, and a complete transformation of our criminal legal system and responses to violence,” said Brandon J. Holmes, co-director of Freedom Agenda at The Urban Justice Center. “We owe this to formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who have built this movement to shutter Rikers Island and improve conditions of confinement for anyone who remains incarcerated.”

Sours: https://queenseagle.com/all/2021/6/25/first-step-of-borough-based-jail-program-begins-in-kew-gardens

Construction Has Begun on Parking Garage and Community Space as Part of Kew Gardens Jail Project

A rendering of the parking garage and community space (NYC DDC)

June 28, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Workers have broken ground on a community space and parking garage near Queens Borough Hall — the first major step in the construction of a borough-based jail in Kew Gardens, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

The new facility, which will be 105 feet tall, will include a 25,000-square-foot multi-purpose community space and more than 600 public parking spots.

The facility is being built adjacent to the future site of a 195-foot-tall jail — where the decommissioned Queens Detention Complex at 182-02 82nd Ave. is located. The detention facility will be demolished while the garage is being built.

The garage/ community space building will be erected on the west side of an existing parking lot at Union Turnpike between 126th Street and 132nd Street. The future 886-bed jail will eventually span both the site of the former Queens Detention Complex and the east side of the parking lot.

However, the east side of the lot, with 140 parking spots, will remain open for public usage during construction of the parking garage — which is expected to be completed in early 2023.

The facility is being built ahead of the new jail — which earlier proposals slated design and construction to begin in 2023. 

Queens Detention Center Decommissioned in 2002. Building will be demolished and redeveloped for borough-based jail (Photo: QueensPost)

The future jail is part of the city’s larger $8.3 billion plan to close the jails on Rikers Island by 2026 and replace them with four smaller jails in every borough but Staten Island.

“Today we move one huge step closer to our goal of a fairer and more equitable jail system for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Closing Rikers Island will make our city stronger and more just, and I’m proud to deliver a system that better reflects this city’s values.”

The City Council voted to approve the borough-based jails plan in 2019, despite all four community boards where the jails will be sited rejecting it.

Queens Community Board 9 unanimously voted against the jail plan, arguing that large jails shouldn’t go up in residential areas.

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City to Present Plans of Parking Garage and Community Space for Future Kew Gardens Jail Site

A rendering of the parking garage and community space (NYC DDC)

March 23, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will present updated plans for the future Kew Gardens jail parking garage and community space — part of the borough-based jails plan — at a local community board meeting Thursday evening.

The department will present the renderings and collect feedback from members of the Queens Community Board 9 Land Use Committee at a virtual meeting Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

The city plans to begin the construction process of the parking garage — which will sit across from Queens Borough Hall — later this month, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by the Queens Post.

DDC will begin assessments and surveys of the site this month and excavation of the site this summer. The parking garage and community space are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023, according to the timeline.

Timeline of Kew Gardens borough-based jail and corresponding facilities (DDC)

The plan for the facilities coincides with the city’s plan to build a 19-story jail next to the parking garage–at the site of the decommissioned Queens Detention facility at 182-02 82nd Ave. The city plans to begin the design and construction process of the jail in 2023.

The city plans to build three other borough-based jails–with one in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx–in order to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island, which is set to shutter by 2026.

The City Council voted to approve the borough-based jails plan in 2019, despite all four community boards where the jails will be sited rejecting it.

Queens Community Board 9 unanimously voted against the jail plan, arguing that large jails shouldn’t go up in residential areas.

Last year, two Queens groups filed a joint suit against the city to challenge its plans to build the jail in Kew Gardens.

Local opposition to the plan has not ceased since then.

Leaders of the Kew Gardens Civic Association (KGCA) sent an email to members condemning the plans for the parking garage and community space, according to a Queens blog.

“These plans had NO community input and they are very different and far removed from those concepts described or implied during previous discussions over the last two years,” the president and executive chairman of the KGCA wrote in the email.

“In this they are like the plans for the jail project itself — developed in secret by a small group in the Mayor’s office with no input from any affected community or the Community Board and let loose upon us as a done deal.”

The KGCA didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The details of the Community Board 9 committee meeting are below.

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Sours: https://foresthillspost.com/city-to-present-plans-of-parking-garage-and-community-space-for-future-kew-gardens-jail-site
Residents Protest Jail Under Construction In Kew Gardens, Queens

Queens Residents Demand City Halt Construction Of Kew Gardens Jail

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Construction recently started on replacing Rikers Island with four borough-based jails in New York City.

But many residents who have opposed the idea from the beginning are appealing to the mayoral candidates to stop the project.

READ MORE: Here’s How The Plan To Close Rikers Island Is Supposed To Work

As CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Friday, an angry crowd of protestors gathered in front of the construction site near Queens Borough Hall, fighting to stop the building of the city’s newest jail.

“Today we have one voice, that is stop building the Kew Gardens jail!” said Queens resident Donghui Zang.

Back in 2019, the city voted to close the notorious Rikers Island and replace the complex with four smaller, borough-based jails. Protestors say the city ignored overwhelming opposition from local residents, selecting a location in Queens that’s near homes and businesses.

“Closing Rikers Island is wrongheaded and dangerous,” one person said.

“We need to protect the safety of the public. This is ridiculous what is going on,” said another.

“Mega-jails should not be in residential areas. It’s a danger for the community,” Queens resident David Rem said.

READ MORE: New York Lawmakers Pushing ‘Treatment Not Jails Act’ — More Comprehensive Support For Those In Legal System

Protestors say they aren’t against criminal justice reform, but they believe it’s better to renovate Rikers than spend $8.3 billion on new facilities. They hope the next mayor will agree.

“Bottom line is, there is no money for community jails,” said Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa.

While Sliwa supports keeping Rikers, his rival, Democratic candidate Eric Adams, agrees with shutting it down. But his spokesperson told Fan in a statement that Adams “has concerns about the cost, location and scope of some of the new jail facilities.”

“It’s never a done deal, because whoever wants to get elected in November has to hear from their own community, has to hear from their own districts,” said community organizer Phil Wong. “If they don’t care about residents and constituents in their own district, they do not deserve my vote.”

Closing Rikers will also shrink inmate capacity from a population of about 5,800 to 3,300.

Protesters fear fewer cells could mean more violent criminals on the streets.

MORE NEWS: Rikers Island Closure Could Be Delayed After Judge Rules City Can’t Tear Down Manhattan Detention Complex, Build New Jail

CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report.

Sours: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/08/06/kew-gardens-jail-protest/

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KEW GARDENS, QUEENS — Construction on the long-disputed Kew Gardens Jail site is slated to begin this year, according to the Mayor.

Last Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the jail's first phase of construction will include a 105-foot tall community space and parking garage with 600-plus spots. The garage structure will be built adjacent to the vacant Queens Detention Complex, located at 126-02 82nd Avenue, which is slated to be demolished and rebuilt as an 886-bed jail by 2027, according to the Mayor.

While locals have long opposed the jail's construction, Mayor Bill de Blasio and some other criminal justice reform advocates are celebrating the borough-based jail as the first step towards closing Rikers Island.

Find out what's happening in Forest Hills with free, real-time updates from Patch.

"Closing Rikers Island will make our city stronger and more just, and I'm proud to deliver a system that better reflects this city's values," said the Mayor, adding that the plan to stop incarcerating people on Rikers will make "a fairer and more equitable jail system for all New Yorkers."

In 2018, Mayor de Blasio's administration unveiled the plan to close the infamously inhumane jails on Rikers Island in lieu of four smaller, borough-based jail facilities, including the one in Kew Gardens.

Find out what's happening in Forest Hills with free, real-time updates from Patch.

The following year, after negotiations with City Council Member Karen Koslowitz to reduce the jail's size and guarantee the district a list of deal-sweeteners, the City Council voted to approve the Kew Gardens jail plan, plus three others across the five boroughs.

A group of local homeowners subsequently sued the city in a last ditch effort to block the jail's construction in 2020, citing a lack of specific land use review in Queens, since the city underwent a single land use application proposal for all four borough-based jails.

However, a New York judge ruled against the lawsuit in April 2021, writing that the city's land use application proposal "was lawful and rational."

Still, many locals remain strongly opposed to the jail — so much so that every single person running to replace Koslowitz for the District 29 City Council seat said they would aim to block the jail's construction.

But, as far as the Mayor is concerned, construction is already underway.

The garage structure is slated to be completed in early-2023, with the jail opening in the neighborhood four years later.

Since the garage and community building are being constructed at an existing parking lot, 140 parking spots on the east side of the lot will remain open during construction, the Mayor said.

In addition to limiting the infrastructural impact on the neighborhood during construction, the garage itself is being built to minimize the effects on the environment — it will have a partial planted green roof, solar panels, and on-site stormwater retention according to the Mayor's office.

The modernized facilities are not only expected to be more up-to-date, but more humane and better resourced, including space for families, options for medical and mental health care, and access to attorneys and the courts, according to NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer.

With Mayor de Blasio's term in City Hall coming to an end this year, Brandon J. Holmes, Co-Director of Freedom Agenda at The Urban Justice Center, sees the construction of the Kew Garden Jail as "a critical step" towards closing Rikers as well as the city's "long-term divestment from mass incarceration and a complete transformation of our criminal legal system and responses to violence."

"We owe this to formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who have built this movement to shutter Rikers Island and improve conditions of confinement for anyone who remains incarcerated," he said.

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Sours: https://patch.com/new-york/foresthills/jail-construction-begins-long-disputed-site-kew-gardens
NYC LIVE Walking Kew Gardens Hills, Queens \u0026 Future Neighborhood COVID Shutdown (October 6, 2020)

Construction underway on borough-based jail in Kew Gardens

The city is moving ahead with its controversial borough-based prison in Kew Gardens.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday, June 25, that construction is underway on the parking garage and community space alongside the new jail that will rise adjacent to Borough Hall and the Queens Criminal Courthouse.

The construction marks the first major activity in the borough-based jails program, an $8.3 billion effort to construct four new, smaller, more humane jails in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island.

“Today we move one step closer to our goal of a fairer and more equitable jail system for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “Closing Rikers Island will make our city stronger and more just, and I’m proud to deliver a system that better reflects this city’s values.”

The new 105-foot structure will house a 25,000-square-foot, two-level, multipurpose community space, plus more than 600 public parking spots. The structure is being built on the west side of the existing parking lot at Union Turnpike between 126th Street and 132nd Street.

The east side of the parking lot will remain open during construction, providing 140 parking spots to the community until work is complete in early 2023.

The adjacent Queens Detention Complex will begin demolition during the garage construction and then the new Queens jail will be built spanning the east side of the parking lot and the former Queens Detention Complex site.

“This project is part of a once-in-many-generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system that includes four facilities grounded in dignity and respect, offering better connections to and space for families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, education, therapeutic programming and service providers,” NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Jaimie Torres-Springer said. “This is a great milestone in the borough-based jails program, and we continue to seek and evaluate candidates for the design-build teams that will create the program’s other facilities.”

The 886-bed Queens jail will be designed with a maximum height of 195 feet and will house female detainees in a separate facility within the jail. The borough-based jails plan was approved by the City Council in October 2019.

“The beginning of major construction for the new borough-based jails program in Kew Gardens is exciting news and something we have been greatly anticipating since Mayor de Blasio pledged to close the antiquated facilities on Rikers Island,” Department of Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said. “It means we are one step closer to having modern facilities that are far better in every way than what exists today. The borough-based jails plan will create state-of-the-art, fully air-conditioned buildings and a more humane environment. It will also help us achieve our goal of creating the kind of environment any of us would want if someone we loved was incarcerated.”

The Kew Gardens jail was met with strong opposition from the community but it was approved following an extensive and multi-step public review process, including design workshops with neighborhood leaders, civic associations and community boards.

“The news about progress toward dismantling the Queens Detention Complex is a critical step towards implementing advocates’ plans to fully close Rikers Island by 2007 or sooner,” said Brandon J. Holmes, co-director of Freedom Agenda at The Urban Justice Center. “Reaching this significant milestone ahead of Mayor de Blasio’s transition out of office will help secure the permanent demolition of the 10 jails on Rikers, long-term divestment from mass incarceration, and a complete transformation of our criminal legal system and responses to violence. We owe this to formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who have built this movement to shutter Rikers Island and improve conditions of confinement for anyone who remains incarcerated.”

Sours: https://qns.com/2021/06/construction-underway-on-borough-based-jail-in-kew-gardens/

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Construction on NYC's first borough-based jail is officially underway, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.   

Work on the Kew Gardens, Queens facility marks the first major move to build four smaller and "more humane" jails in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. The $8.3 billion effort comes via the Borough-Based Jails Program, a controversial plan passed by the City Council in October 2019, aimed at closing the 10 jails now in operation on Rikers Island.

Marvel and Urbahn Architects via NYC DDC

The new 866-bed, Queens-based jail will replace the current Queens Detention Complex, which is located adjacent to Queens Borough Hall and the Queens Criminal Courthouse. The project will also include a 25,000-square-foot, two-level, multi-purpose community space, and a 600-car public parking garage. Both buildings will be topped with a partially planted green roof and solar panels and be supported with on-site stormwater retention.

A design-build team made up of Hunter Roberts Construction Group and architecture firms Marvel and Urbahn Architects are overseeing the work. Construction began on the garage and community space last month, and the jail facility is expected to open in early 2023.

Procurement and early site preparation activities are ongoing for the other three Borough-Based Jails sites in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, officials share. Later this year, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) expects to award a contract to dismantle the Brooklyn House of Detention in Cobble Hill and construct a temporary swing space to facilitate the DOC’s transfers for court appearances until construction of a new jail at the site is complete.

Sours: https://urbanize.city/nyc/post/first-nycs-borough-based-jails-now-under-construction-queens


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