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First RFQs for Borough-Based Jails Work to be Issued This Month

City Issues Notice of Intent for Borough-Based Jails Program Detailing Expected Release Dates for Design-Build Requests for Qualifications

DDC: Ian Michaels,

(New York, NY – November 8, 2019) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) today, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the NYC Department of Correction (DOC), released a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the City’s Borough-Based Jails Program detailing the anticipated schedule for the issuance of Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) that will help determine the Design-Build teams that will construct the new borough-based jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Passed by the City Council in early October, the City’s plan to close the jails on Rikers Island and build a network of smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail facilities come 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 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.
“As we move into the next phase of the City’s Borough-Based Jails Program it is essential we work with vendors who have Design-Build experience and a proven track record of excellence,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin.

“When selecting the eventual builders of the new jails, DDC will be looking for vendors with significant Design-Build experience, with an emphasis on a team’s ability to design facilities that integrate well into surrounding neighborhoods,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “A history of exceptional past performance, along with good labor relations and a history of meeting diversity goals, will be critical.”

“Today’s announcement is another step forward in delivering on our commitment that all New Yorkers deserve a criminal justice system that is smaller, safer and fairer. That includes not only those who are detained, but also their family members and loved ones, the attorneys who represent them, and the dedicated staff who work in City jails, all of whom are entitled to facilities that reflect the Department’s modern values,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann.

“New York City is at a transformational moment, rethinking and redoing the way in which its justice system operates to ensure it is as small, safe and fair as possible. Uniquely in the nation, the City has achieved record reductions in both crime and incarceration, even as it has lightened the touch of enforcement,” Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Elizabeth Glazer said. “These facilities must be beacons of high-quality civic architecture that integrate into the immediate neighborhood context and are assets to all New Yorkers.”

The NOI details RFQ release dates for seven total anticipated Design-Build contracts, three for early program work in Brooklyn and Queens necessary to advance the program, and four for the Design-Build teams that will construct the four Borough-Based Jails themselves.
Firms interested in participating in the Design-Build program can respond to the RFQs with Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) that will then be used to determine which firms can respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that will be issued. Further evaluation of the responses to the RFPs will lead to contracting with the Design-Build teams that will construct the four new facilities.
The first two RFQs for early program work, including a new parking garage at the Queens site and dismantling the existing building and building a swing space to facilitate DOC’s transfers for court appearances during construction at the Brooklyn site, are anticipated to be issued on November 18 with an anticipated due date for potential industry partners to respond with SOQs in the first quarter of 2020.
Another RFQ for early program work for dismantling the existing building and building a similar swing space at the Queens site is anticipated to be issued in the first quarter of 2020 with an expected due date for SOQs in the third quarter of 2020.
One additional overall RFQ is anticipated to be issued in the first quarter of 2020, covering all four of the new borough-based facilities, with phased submissions of SOQs beginning in early 2020. Ultimately, seven Design-Build contracts will be awarded to carry out all the work necessary to dismantle existing facilities where necessary and build the four new Borough-Based Jails.
Firms and companies interested in learning more about the Borough-Based Jails Program and how to participate are invited to attend an Industry Day on November 13 at 9:00 AM at DDC’s headquarters at 30-30 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens. Registration and proof of building industry credentials are required to attend.
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, such as a best-value selection that prioritizes design, quality, past performance and qualifications over price in accordance with the Rikers Island Jail Complex Replacement Act of 2018.
The City also 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.

Download the Notice of Intent here (pdf):

To learn more about the roadmap to closing Rikers, please visit:


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 such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 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