Council speaker addresses Oak Point jail concerns

Bronx business owners raised concerns Thursday to the City Council speaker about a planned jail on a plot of land known as Oak Point.

The Department of Corrections wants to build a 2,000-bed facility at the former rail yard site. Speaker Christine Quinn tried to answer residents' questions at the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Leadership Forum. Many business leaders say they would rather see retail opportunities and parks in the area than a jail.

Steven Smith, who is president of the company that owns Oak Point, says he's spoken to concerned residents. "I am in alignment with the community's thought that they want to see a public process. I'm not anti-jail, but I am anti-one thing being rammed down the throat of the community," said Smith.

Quinn says the City Council is working to push the New York City Economic Development Corporation to release information on the project.

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