The real estate development company Conifer Realty, LLC has been selected to redevelop the former Downstate Correctional Facility in Dutchess County into nearly 1,300 units of housing and community space as part of a 10-year project that will create 200 construction jobs, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday.  

Construction on the project, which was created through New York state's prison redevelopment process, is expected to start in January 2026 with 375 two-story duplexes and triplexes, at least 20% of which will be designated for households earning less than 80% percent of the area median income.

Hochul said the project advances recommendations from the Prison Redevelopment Commission, a 15-member panel convened two years ago to find new uses for closed prisons.

“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,” 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.”

Empire State Development, partnering with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and Office of General Services, selected Conifer Realty's proposal to remake the Fishkill prison, which closed in 2022.

The July 2023 request for proposals (RFP) for the project indicates designated developers may apply for up to $8 million in grant funds, and the funds may be used toward eligible capital costs related to the site redevelopment.

Conifer President Sam Leone said the company is "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.” 

Hochul announced last year a winning plan to renovate the former Lincoln Correctional Facility in New York City into 105 units of housing with arts and community space. In February, ESD officials handed over the former Livingston Correctional Facility near Rochester to Livingston County IDA, which has plans to develop it for commercial and industrial use. An RFP is out to redevelop Bayview Correctional Facility in New York City.