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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021




A Harlem Prison Is Set to Go Condo

Harlem, Manhattan

Prison to Condos

The Lincoln Correctional Facility is poised to become a luxury condominium (image via Google Maps).

May 31, 2019

It has served as a branch of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association, a rehab center for soldiers during World War II, an experimental school and, most recently, a prison for some notable lawbreakers, including Thomas Hagan, the man who assassinated Malcolm X

But like so many other buildings in New York City today, this eight-story brick structure on the northern edge of Central Park appears destined to become a luxury condominium, the Daily News reports

“It’s the perfect set-up for a condo or luxury rental,” says Mae Bagai, a global real estate adviser at Sotheby’s International Realty. “That view doesn’t exist anywhere. Only the Met has something comparable, that’s how desirable it is. It’s prime, trophy real estate, and it’s exactly what everyone wants. Whether you’re a buyer from New York, China, India, or the Middle East, people want a south-facing apartment in the city because you get sun all day.” 

The building, now known as the Lincoln Correctional Facility, has a cage on its rooftop that affords stunning views across Central Park to the sky-poking needles of Billionaires’ Row, all the way to the Empire State Building. The prison, due to declining incarceration rates, will be closed in the next 90 days and the building will be sold, most likely to a member of a large, salivating pack of developers. 

The likely conversion of the Lincoln Correctional Facility to a luxury condo is part of a trend that has been sweeping Harlem – and much of Manhattan – for years. The northeast and northwest corners of Central Park are clustered with luxury condos. A few doors down from the Lincoln, the dilapidated La Hermosa Christian Church has submitted a proposal to swap its current congregation for a new 33-story mixed-use tower with 160 residential units, according to real estate blog YIMBY. And around the corner at 10 Lenox Avenue, the Second Canaan Baptist Church has made a deal with Level One Holdings to raze its building to make way for 29 luxury condos, as well as a new space for the church.

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