As , the long-dormant Brooklyn House of Detention occupying one full block on Atlantic Avenue near Smith Street will reopen its doors next week to pre-trial prisoners awaiting court dates in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
In a New York Times article published over the weekend, nearby residents—many of whom had fought to prevent the city jail from reopening—expressed concern for the future of what has become a desirable area for both families, high-end shops, and restaurants to exist.
"The issue isn’t that there are prisoners; it’s that they will have visitors—and all of a sudden that could bring more foot traffic and crime,” Lisa Goldfarb, who lives in one of the modern State Street town houses with her husband, Jack DeHovitz, told the Times. She said their four children walked by the jail to get to school every day.
“I never would have agreed to buy this house for all this money had I known it was opening,” she was quotesd as saying in the article, adding that real estate agents told her the jail was going to be converted into condominiums. The couple paid $3.4 million for the town house in July. “We took a gamble and lost on this neighborhood.”
Up to 100 inmates will be moving in per week, according to a previous report by The New York Daily News. The average stay will be 56 days; prisoners will be escorted from the complex to and from Brooklyn Criminal Court through an underground tunnel.
But before all of those highly anticipated guests arrive, 400 curious spectators signed up for a chance to peek inside during an open house that took place on Saturday. "Carrot cake made on Rikers Island, not bread and water, will be served," joked the Times.