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The ‘jail alternative’ plan for Mott Haven

Jail location defies experts

Bronx Times
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Prior to the jail conundrum, there was another plan for the tow yard site.

Non-profit Diego Beekman Mutual Housing for years has been formulating an expansion plan that included the acquisition of the pound on East 141st Street and Concord Avenue.

Being part of a larger, neighborhood revitalization, representatives from Diego Beekman presented their affordable housing and development pitch to Community Board 1 on Thursday, May 31.

The proposed plan would split the superblock containing the current tow pound into two halves, creating two distinct blocks, while expanding adjacent Wales Avenue as a vehicular street that would run through the new development down into East 141st Street.

Major parts of the redevelopment include converting the NYPD grounds and surrounding block into 533 housing units spread throughout 12 individual buildings on the lot.

The plan also calls for a three-story light-manufacturing plant in addition to a supermarket with a rooftop parking deck.

“I supported the Beekman plan from the beginning,” Ayala said. “I don’t think that the jail and an affordable housing plan have to be mutually exclusive,” the councilwoman added.

“Instead of rewarding the people of Mott Haven for their hard work, Mayor de Blasio is punishing them,” Arline Parks, CEO of Diego Beekman said.

During a Community Board 1 meeting, Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr. addressed the issue of the jail, advocating that Mott Haven is not the right spot.

“The Lippman report indicates that best locations for jails are connected to civic centers which is why the courthouse is the right location, nobody wants a jail in their district but it is the right thing to do,” Salamanca told residents.

The Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform also specifically advised new jails should not be placed ‘in residential areas’.

Updated 3:55 pm, September 25, 2018
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