Rochester Firm Selected to Redevelop Downstate Correctional in Fishkill

Downstate Correctional Facility was a maximum-security prison until its closure in 2022.

Rochester Firm Selected to Redevelop Downstate Correctional in Fishkill
Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, a former maximum-security prison, was closed in 2022. The redevelopment plan calls for nearly 1,300 units of mixed-income housing at the site.

ALBANY—On Friday, (June 21) New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that Conifer Realty, LLC had been conditionally selected to transform the former Downstate Correctional Facility located in Fishkill, Dutchess County, into a vibrant, mixed-use development that would feature 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 10 years, including permanently affordable housing options. Conifer Realty is headquartered in Rochester and also has offices in New York State on Long Island, according to its website. The company also maintains offices in New Jersey, Boston, and Maryland, while expanding into new markets across the Eastern Seaboard.

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 project builds on Governor Hochul’s commitment to reimagining vacant and underutilized prisons to address New York’s housing crisis and follows the recommendations of the Governor’s Prison Redevelopment Commission.

Downstate Correctional Facility was a maximum-security prison until its closure in 2022.

“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,” Gov. 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.”

Conifer President Sam Leone said, “We are honored to be selected by ESD to lead the redevelopment of the Downstate Correctional Facility. With nearly 50 years of experience and more than 21,000 affordable homes developed across 300-plus communities, Conifer Realty excels in managing complex, large-scale, transformational redevelopments such as this. Our expertise in creating high-quality, affordable housing uniquely positions us to tackle this ambitious project. We are committed to meeting the needs of the Fishkill community and we look forward to working closely with local governments and the community to bring this vision to life and make a lasting impact on the region for years to come.”

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

Conifer Realty LLC is a nationally respected builder, owner, and manager in the creation of best-in-class affordable and attainable multi-family housing communities and has developed more than 21,000 affordable housing apartments across more than 300 residential communities. Conifer’s development team will engage with local governments and the community to determine the housing plan for the next two phases and will consider homeownership units in the second and third phase of the project, the company stated.

This project advances recommendations of the Prison Redevelopment Commission, a fifteen-member panel of real estate, community and economic development, criminal justice reform, and government experts convened by the Governor 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.

This designation remains subject to required approvals including, but not limited to, ESD Director approval, and environmental review and findings in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Real Estate In-Depth.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.