HARLEM, Manhattan — Lincoln Correction Facility in Harlem has been home to work-release drug offenders and white collar criminals for more than 40 years. However, as part of a state budget agreement reached last month, which cited New York’s prison population on the decline, the minimum security men’s prison will be closing and its building sold off.
What makes this relevant is where the jail sits, right along 110th Street across the street from Central Park. Most realtors would agree that the building boasts a unique and desirable view, which looks south at Manhattan.
A panoramic sight that offers the greenery of the park with a back drop of Midtown and Downtown is enough for the New York Daily News to call the 8-story prison “NYC’s hottest real estate property.”
Developers are reportedly zeroing in on the building with hopes of converting it into a luxury condo.
“It is a terrible idea!” longtime Harlem resident Brian Ford told PIX11.
Ford, who lives next door, isn’t quite sold on the idea of converting the facility.
“It’s a public building, keep it a public building,” he said. “You could turn it into a museum, you can turn it into a lot of different things, but luxury housing? There is plenty of luxury housing as it is.”
Other residents we spoke to shared the same sentiment.
“Yeah, I mean, you could afford it if you’re making over $300,000 a year because that’s [what the city calls] affordable housing,” Matt Haynes quipped. “It’s unrealistic.”
The Empire State Development Corporation, which will have the final say in what happens to the building, did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Haynes, who has lived in the neighborhood for two decades, has just one request.
“Have a heart New York! Come on! We all want a slice.”