The state Department of Corrections is inviting Gowanus residents to gather round on Monday to hear about the plan to move Brooklyn’s parole headquarters to an under-construction complex on Second Avenue.
The meeting will hopefully answer community questions about the move, which caught area residents by surprise when word of it surfaced in July, after work on the offices had begun, the administrator of a local panel said. The lack of outreach angered neighbors, said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6.
“People are frustrated that such a project could be happening under everyone’s noses,” he said. “I’m hoping that the meeting is going to be an honest and transparent and meaningful presentation on what the state process is and what the specifics are related to this particular facility.”
The Brooklyn Paper broke the news of the new parole center at 15 Second Ave., between Fifth Street and the Gowanus Canal, after the building’s owner penned a letter to Hammerman about the move. The deal is to consolidate parole offices that currently operate out of multiple locations into one big facility and news of its impending arrival drew concerns from neighbors.
The building is zoned for commercial use, but the area is part of the Southwest Brooklyn Business Industrial Zone, which the city created in 2006 to encourage manufacturing and industrial business. Industrial businesses in the area are worried that a non-manufacturing land use in the neighborhood could erode the designation, Hammerman said.
“They believed they had some sort of protection from the city, but the city has remained silent all along,” Hammerman said. “This sends a chilling message industrial zones do not have the same level of protection that people had counted on.”
Parole center relocation meeting, 78th Police Precinct station house (65 Sixth Ave. between Bergen and Dean streets in Prospect Heights, fourth floor courtroom). Sept. 15 at 6:30 pm.