Assemblywoman Millman Asks New York City to ‘Sell the Cells’ at the Brooklyn House of Detention

City’s plans to warehouse and refurbish house of detention limit fiscal growth and community development on Atlantic Avenue
September 22, 2003
Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D/WF – Brooklyn) called on the City, at yesterday’s Atlantic Antic, to decommission and re-develop the Brooklyn House of Detention. New York City is in the process of spending $30 million to refurbish the facility, which remains and will remain empty for the foreseeable future.

Assemblywoman Millman joined Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congressman Major Owens, State Senator Martin Connor, City Councilmember David Yassky, and local civic organizations in demanding the city close the Brooklyn House of Detention permanently. Millman stated, "Refurbishing this eyesore is a waste of valuable funds. As the Mayor implements his plan for a redeveloped downtown Brooklyn, I would hope he realizes that by warehousing this jail we are limiting the potential growth of our local economy."

While walking down Atlantic Avenue, Assemblywoman Millman said, "The potential for this site is remarkable, as evidenced by the two renditions presented at the Antic. We need to close the gap, sell the cells, and convince the City administration that the former House of Detention will be a welcomed economic boost for Brooklyn." Millman continued, "As we celebrate this great avenue, which is truly one of the best in Brooklyn, the City should ensure that the revitalization of Atlantic Avenue continues and further develops into one of the most beautiful, safest, and economically viable areas in all of New York."

Millman also questioned the City’s logic in pouring millions of dollars into refurbishing the building when stating, "How can we possibly afford to waste this kind of money to renovate an unused prison facility, when we’re closing firehouses, cutting sanitation services, cutting education funding and in a fiscal crisis?"