NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former women’s prison in downtown Manhattan will be turned into a hub for girls and women’s rights in New York City.

Empire State Development awarded the NoVo Foundation the rights to restore the former Bayview Correctional Facility and turn it into The Women’s Building – a facility which will host a collection of women’s rights advocate groups.

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The facility will include gallery space for public meetings, as well as support and resource services for women’s groups, the NoVo Foundation said in a release. The NoVo Foundation has partnered with the Goren Group, a women-owned real estate development and investment company, to help with renovations.

The original building was constructed in 1931 and served as a YMCA for merchant sailors. It was converted into a medium-security prison for women in the 1970s.

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The Goren Group said that it plans to work closely with the Historic Preservation Office to help maintain the building’s historical elements.

Bayview Correctional Facility closed in October 2012 following Superstorm Sandy and has remained empty despite some opposition from state politicians.

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