Parolee reporting station may relocate to Gowanus

July 18, 2014 Heather Chin
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The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) may be preparing to relocate its parolee reporting station to 15 Second Avenue in Gowanus, where a three-story office building is listed as being in the works, according to the Department of Buildings (DOB) website’s information for that address.

Word about the planned relocation first arrived at Community Board 6 on July 8 in a letter dated July 2 from Chaim Simkowitz, manager of Fifteen Second Avenue LLC. According to Simkowitz, he has “been working closely with the [state] Office of General Services to help facilitate the relocation” at an “expedited” pace from DOCCS’ former space in Downtown Brooklyn at 350 Livingston Street.

DOCCS had not responded to requests to confirm or deny the plans, as of press time.

If true, the move leaves “many unanswered questions about this proposal,” said CB 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman in a letter to DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci.

First among those questions is what type of review process would this project have to follow? Would the state or property manager be required to present the plans to CB 6 for community input and recommendation/approval?

There is also the question of what impact such “a rapid transformation” would have on a site that sits in a protected Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) designated for future manufacturing use,” Hammerman wrote.

Also, why spend money on a new building when demand for prison facilities is seeing “epic reductions,” he noted.

“One of the most common observations is that this location is in a transit-starved area, so it would be extremely difficult for parolees to access a place like that,” said Hammerman. “But without even getting a confirmation from the state, we’re completely in the dark about whether DOCCS [actually] intends to put a facility there.”

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