Report to Gowanus for briefing on new parole office

The Brooklyn Paper
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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.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
Shouldn't meetings for a community be held in said community?
Sept. 12, 2014, 7:04 am
gowanus cares from gowanus says:
whole foods is in the IBZ as well. its arrival has doubled the value of real estate in the area and invited luxury condo development in gowanus. on the whole foods site alone, three mid-sized industrial businesses were pushed out. a parole center is necessary for a civil society and should be welcomed in the neighborhood.
Sept. 13, 2014, 10:46 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm not a big fan of the ol' Whole Foods (and I don't think they are being great neighbors), but what are you talking about? I remember a large vacant toxic lot (aka, brownfield) long before Whole Foods even thought about moving into the area.... What were these "mid-sized industrial businesses within the footprint of the current Whole Foods?! Name the companies and their locations.
Sept. 14, 2014, 11:53 am
The Duke from Flatbush says:

Those were the businesses that turned the Whole Foods lot into a brownfield.
Sept. 14, 2014, 4:35 pm
Red Hook Crushers from Gowanus says:
Was one business displaced by Whole Foods.
Sept. 14, 2014, 7:10 pm
gowanus cares from gowanus says:
all boro building supplies, red hook crushers and pippin radiators. most of the industrial contamination on this site predates those businesses resulting mostly from coal uses.
Sept. 14, 2014, 10:13 pm
Gowanus Works from CB6 says:
A city needs far more than affordable housing units to function. Industrial businesses, commercial ventures, and a facility with people needing job training and wok seem to be highly compatible; which is probably why there were no land use laws needing to be changed for this development.

Craig should help make it work for everyone by getting a good State funded jobs training program to go along with the facility, one that put trainees into growing local Gowanus businesses.
Sept. 15, 2014, 9:36 am
ty from pps says:
Red Hook Crushers was not on the site where Whole Foods is now... it was next door and was shuttered by the Department of Sanitation. Is "All Boro Building Supplies" the same as All Boro Mason Supplies that's now in Ozone Park? And Pippin Radiator (aka, A1 Radiator Express) is on 3rd Ave and 43rd. Were they even ever in the footprint of the land that was sold and purchased by the owners of that property?
Sept. 15, 2014, 12:56 pm
Gowanus resident from Gowanus says:
The problem isn't the nature of this business or facility or any other. The problem is the cars. With all of the development in the area attracting people from all over, be they shoppers at Whole Foods or people doing business at this facility, it's getting very dangerous to walk or bike in the area. Something must be done and I hope the area's leaders are paying attention.
Sept. 15, 2014, 3:22 pm
Berry from the neighborhood says:
On the transportation thing: The facility is bound by the canal on it's north side and west sides. You can not drive a direct route from Whole Foods to the facility. You get to the location by driving north from 9th St or west from 3rd Ave. But many would be approaching by subway, likely the Smith/9th F-train stop.

It is pretty much a dead zone right now. A place where busses are parked.

(And Whole Foods did take the Crushers out--it is now their parking lot.)
Sept. 16, 2014, 11:57 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
We need to know the names of all the DOCCS and State officials who made this decision. Dumping 400 murderers, rapists, and child abusers per day in the middle of a constellation of vibrant family neighborhoods is about the worst possible idea. When homes start to get burgled, cars stolen, and children disappearing by a huge influx of criminals, what then?
Sept. 30, 2014, 12:16 pm

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