Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

New Requests for Qualifications to be Issued for Manhattan Jail

Contact: Ian Michaels, (646) 939-6514,

(Long Island City NY – February 12, 2021) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that, as part of its effort to ensure the most efficient delivery in the building of a new jail facility in lower Manhattan, the agency will issue two new Requests for Qualifications (RFQs), one seeking highly qualified design-build teams to dismantle the facility that currently occupies the site and another seeking teams to design and build a new facility.

These RFQs replace an RFQ issued to identify teams to dismantle and build the new facility under one contract. Under the new approach, the Manhattan facility will still be completed by the August 2027 deadline specified under the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

“After careful consultation with the industry, it was clear that splitting the program into distinct demolition and design and construction phases would allow more control of the program and a faster path to completion,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “This transformational program is funded, planning and procurement are proceeding, and we remain on track to meet the deadline for achieving the closure of Rikers Island.

“In evaluating responses from firms that want to contract with us, DDC will emphasize a proven history of exceptional performance along with good labor relations and the ability to meet important diversity goals, while seeking innovative designs for buildings that will become civic assets in the years to come.”

Procurement for all Borough-Based Jails Program work takes place through a two-step process: submittal of a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) in response to an RFQ followed by submittal of a Proposal by short-listed vendors in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The first RFQ for demolition at the site was issued today. Responses in the form of SOQs must be returned to DDC by March 22, 2021. SOQs will be reviewed to create a shortlist of three firms that will be able to respond to a future Request for Proposals (RFP) for the demolition work. The second RFQ for the design and construction of the new facility will be issued later this year.

Passed by the City Council in October 2019, the City’s plan to close the jails on Rikers Island and build smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail facilities comes at a time when New York City has the lowest crime and incarceration rates of any large city in the United States. This is part of a once-in-many-generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system that includes four facilities grounded in dignity and respect, offering better connections to and space for families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, education, therapeutic programming and service providers.

In selecting the design-build teams and carrying out a collaborative design-build approach to project delivery, DDC is committed to using best practices as defined by the Design-Build Institute of America. DDC will utilize a best-value selection process that prioritizes design, quality, past performance and qualifications. DDC will make available stipends to short-listed firms that participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, but are not selected to be awarded a design-build contract.

The City highly encourages participation in the jails program by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and will set significant requirements for M/WBE participation in the program’s design-build contracts. To learn more about how eligible firms can become certified as an M/WBE, please visit Certify With the City.

M/WBE's interested in participating in this program should reach out to the short-listed firms to express their interest. Contact info for the short list is located in the shortlist announcement letter at


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit