Former Dutchess County prison to be transformed into mixed-use housing development


New York Construction Report staff writer

A vacant prison in Dutchess County will be transformed into a mixed-use housing development.

“By reimagining state land like former prisons, we’ll create a more affordable and livable New York,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said on X.

Conifer Realty, LLC has been conditionally selected to transform the former Downstate Correctional Facility located in Fishkill, a mixed-use development that would include new housing and community space.

The multi-phase project will create up to 200 construction jobs and up to 1,300 units of housing over ten years, including permanently affordable housing options. The project will feature a playground, a walking trail, and common areas for residents, with additional public amenities being constructed over time, in consultation with the community.

“The former Downstate Correctional Facility represents an incredible opportunity to build the housing New Yorkers need, revitalize this community, and reimagine what’s possible on state land,” Hochul said. “With this proposal, we are bringing the recommendations of our Prison Redevelopment Commission to life and turning this former prison into affordable new homes and vibrant community space that will serve generations of New Yorkers in Dutchess County and beyond.”

The first phase of construction, which is expected in January 2026, would include 375 units of housing, including a minimum of 20 percent designated as permanently affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Housing options would include two story duplexes and triplexes and at least 25 percent of the units will include three bedrooms.

This project follows recommendations of the Prison Redevelopment Commission, a fifteen-member panel of real estate, community and economic development, criminal justice reform, and government experts created in 2022 to reimagine closed prisons for innovative redevelopment projects. In December 2022, the commission delivered recommendations to the Governor, which included:

  • Prioritizing the release of two Requests for Proposals and providing support for ESD through the RFP process.
  • Launching a Prison Redevelopment Fund, a capital grant program that would make funding available to developers and/or localities that acquire sites from the State.
  • Creating a Municipal Technical Assistance Fund to help communities with closed prisons operate the closed facilities (e.g. infrastructure acquisition and maintenance).
  • Establishing a community engagement process to support outreach and consensus building in impacted communities.
  • Prioritizing housing in future prison RFPs or other prison redevelopment efforts.
  • Investigating renewable energy opportunities and partnerships.


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