Aerial image of former prison site in Watertown, New York

Prison Redevelopment Commission

The first request for proposals for a Prison Redevelopment Commission site has been issued. Please find the RFP for Downstate Correctional Facility here.

RFPs must be received by ESD via DropBox by August 23, 2023 at 2 p.m. Potential Respondents may also attend a site tour that is anticipated to be scheduled on or around August 2, 2023. Please RSVP to [email protected] by July 31, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Additionally, ESD, in partnership with DOCCS and OGS, continues to work to advance recommendations from the report. Since the report was issued, razor wire has been removed on time and under budget from Mt. McGregor, Willard and Ogdensburg facilities. The removal of this wire will make the sites more conducive to redevelopment and cuts a considerable cost out of future redevelopment costs. 

Furthermore, at the recommendation of the Prison Redevelopment Commission, four sites have been kept warm. These sites include Willard, Moriah, Ogdensburg, and Livingston. This practice preserves the buildings and infrastructure on site between the time of closure and redevelopment, saving the costs associated with future renovation or demolition of deteriorating buildings.

On May 23, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of the Prison Redevelopment Commission, focused on reimagining closed prisons for innovative redevelopment opportunities across New York State. The 15-member panel, first announced as part of Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State address, is comprised of leading experts across real estate, community and economic development, criminal justice reform, and government.  The panel will be led by Hope Knight, Commissioner, President and CEO of Empire State Development and Darren Walker, President at the Ford Foundation.

In her 2022 State of the State address, Governor Hochul announced that she would form the commission to analyze prison redevelopment opportunities that serve the state’s economic needs and recommend a clear and credible plan of action. The closures identified by Governor Hochul in the fall of 2022 are in addition to the more than 20 that have been closed over the last 15 years. The closures provide an opportunity to transform these facilities in more creative and productive ways , paving the way for opportunities to spur investment and job creation.

The commission includes leadership from State agencies as well as foundations, regional leaders and stakeholders, and economic development experts who will be focused on developing an action plan to turn empty prisons, many of which were job centers in their rural communities, into opportunities for communities to thrive. The commission’s first meeting was held on May 23, 2022.

The commission panel convened throughout 2022 to engage in policy discussions, hear presentations from industry experts, and identify areas for deeper analysis. The State and ESD will also engaged with stakeholders representing each prison’s region for local feedback and perspective on future uses for the facilities that meet the area’s needs.  Following this process, the commission will produced a public report, including recommendations for next steps. The report can be found here.

Further information and updates will be added to this page as they become available.

Prison Redevelopment Commission Frequently Asked Questions

Commission Members

Hope Knight, President, CEO and Commissioner, Empire State Development

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

Anthony Annucci, Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Jeanette Moy, Commissioner, Office of General Services

Robert Mujica, Director, New York State Division of Budget

Roberta Reardon, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor

Steve Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties

Deborah Berke, Principal, Deborah Berke Architects

Heather Briccetti, President and CEO, Business Council of New York State

View Commission Member bios

Jeff Buell, Principal, Redburn Development

David Buicko, President and CEO, Galesi Group

Penny Hill, Dean for Economic Development and Workforce Initiatives, Hudson Valley Community College

Christa Hines, Executive Director, Hudson River Housing

Stanley Richards, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, The Fortune Society

Ryan Silva, Executive Director, New York State Economic Development Council

Deanna Van Buren, Founder, Designing Justice and Designing Spaces

Elizabeth Gaynes, former President and CEO of the Osborne Association