October 18, 2019
The de Blasio administration’s $9-billion plan to close the Rikers Island prison facility and build four new jails to replace it passed the New York City Council on Thursday. Rikers will close in 2026, and smaller detention facilities will rise in Downtown Brooklyn, Manhattan’s Chinatown, Kew Gardens in Queens and Mott Haven in the Bronx.
Although the measure was widely expected to gain Council approval, a major point of contention was the height of the new detention centers. That was resolved this past Monday, when the de Blasio administration announced that the city’s projected jail population had dropped by 700, allowing it to reduce the facilities’ proposed height.
Post-closing, Rikers has been eyed for a number of potential uses, Crain’s New York Business reported. These include an expansion of nearby LaGuardia Airport, solar power development and a relocation site for city electrical and wastewater treatment facilities.
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