Monday, January 28, 2019
Kew Gardens Town Hall meeting focusing on incoming mixed-use tower jail.
Forest Hills Post
A local coalition made up of several community groups is hosting a “call to action” town hall in Kew Gardens next week over the city’s controversial plans to build what some locals refer to as a “mega jail” in the neighborhood.
The town hall, organized by the Community Preservation Coalition, will take place on Jan. 31, and centers on the city’s borough-based jail proposal released last summer that aims to close the jails on Rikers Island and develop four new jails across the boroughs.
The plan would see the redevelopment and expansion of the Queens Detention Complex on 126-02 82nd Ave., which connects to Queens County Criminal Court, and the parking lot next to it into a 1.9 million square-foot detention facility with about 1,510 beds—a development approximately three times larger than the existing building.
The proposal, while garnering praise by many for its goal toward justice reform, has also been met with much criticism over the amount of community engagement in developing the plan, and even the scope and objective of the project.
Maddy Farooqui, a business owner, lifelong Kew Gardens resident, and a member of both the CPC and the Kew Gardens Civic Association, said locals have lots of questions about a plan that has been “railroaded” in, and are not fully aware of its extent.
“We want to inform and educate our neighbors about this very vague and rushed proposal,” she said, later adding, “A lot of people don’t understand the far-reaching impacts of this.”