Former Prison for Women to Become a Place That Serves Them

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From New York Times :

Over the years, as West Chelsea went from gritty to glamorous, Bayview Correctional Facility, a notorious women’s prison, became an increasingly odd fit.

Art galleries surrounded the prison, at West 20th Street and 11th Avenue. The Chelsea Piers entertainment complex beckoned from across the street. And a gleaming condominium, where views from some apartments included the exercise yards on the prison’s roof, sat next door.

When the prison closed three years ago, some neighbors worried that the red-brick facility, which had the same designers as the Empire State Building, would get the luxury housing treatment.

But in an unusual move, the Art Deco structure near the Hudson River will instead be converted into offices, by developers who will rent mainly to nonprofit organizations focused on providing services for women.

“We’re thrilled,” said Pamela Wolff, a member of Community Board 4 in Manhattan. The board had urged the state, which owns the prison, to restrict how it could be reused.

She added that she was pleased “not only about the new use of the building but also for the fact that they are not going to tear it down and turn it into condos for extremely rich people.”

Announced by state officials in late October after a selection process lasting nearly two years, Bayview’s redevelopment plan will be led by the Goren Group, a developer, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, a philanthropic group established by Warren E. Buffett. The group’s co-presidents are his son Peter Buffett and Peter’s wife, Jennifer.

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