Yes. It's For Real. Brooklyn House of Detention Seen as a Jail With Retail
PAUL von ZIELBAUER in The NYTimes
"By almost any measure, the Brooklyn House of Detention, 10 stories of razor wire and wire-mesh windows in Boerum Hill, is a repellent sight. But, the city reasons, it need not be so. So, to attract people other than criminal suspects to the 760-bed jail, the Correction Department has decided to convert part of the complex into 24,000 square feet of retail shopping space. [...]
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mr. Horn said, "enthusiastically" supports the redevelopment plan, part of a $240 million reconception of the jail that will most likely also add more cell space. Mr. Horn declined to say exactly how many more inmates a bigger Brooklyn jail would hold. [...]
Mr. Markowitz, who is known to gush about how great Brooklyn is, said that even a boutique hotel on jail grounds would be nice — but only if the city razed the existing structure and rebuilt it from scratch.
"If it's designed in such a way that the guests feel totally comfortable," he said yesterday, "why not?"
Mr. Markowitz added that although he would prefer to see the jail closed permanently, if it is to be open it should also have retail and, preferably, residential space.
"Let's make it something that we never would have dreamed about," he said.
Retail experts said a deluxe supermarket would do well in the neighborhood, a nexus of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn.
"Food would be a very important component there," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a retail consulting and investment banking firm based in New York. "Coffee would be critical. From there, you might go to something jeans-oriented, or footwear."
And, of course, Mr. Davidowitz added, "a home store." (more)