City gains control over Governors Island

Image: Courtesy of West 8 / Rogers Marvel Architects / Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Mathews Nielsen / Urban Design +

City-controlled operating entity will be responsible for implementing island’s recently released redevelopment master plan. On April 11, 2010, the City and State announced an agreement that would transfer to the City primary responsibility for operating Governors Island and for implementing the development goals of the Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan. The City and State have jointly operated the island since 2003, when the federal government transferred control of the island to the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation. The newly created Governors Island Operating Entity will now oversee the development and operation of the island. The entity’s thirteenmember board will include nine mayoral appointees, and appointees of the Governor, the 64th District State Assembly Member, the 25th District State Senator, and Manhattan Community Board 1.

The 172-acre island’s northern 92 acres were designated as the Governors Island Historic District by Landmarks in 1996 and includes the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument managed by the National Park Service. The island’s remaining 80-acre southern portion, which is closed to the public, is slated for redevelopment and features parking lots, abandoned warehouses, and former military barracks.

A team led by the landscape architecture firm West 8 created the comprehensive master plan after winning a 2007 design competition. The plan’s first phase would include restoring open space in the historic district and building new visitor amenities. The overall plan would create 87 acres of open space and a 2.2 mile waterfront promenade. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has already opened artist studios on the island, and the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School is scheduled to open in September.

The City’s environmental review of the plan is scheduled to run through 2011 and would be followed by a community review period beginning in 2012. The City has already committed $41.5 million from its capital budget for the island’s redevelopment.

Mayor’s Office Press Release: Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver, and Senator Squadron announce agreement on development, funding, and governance of Governors Island. (April 11, 2010).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.