RFP Issued to Develop Climate Solutions Work Hub on Governors Island

Image Credit: Google Maps

The center would be a part of advancing the City’s Recovery Agenda. On October 21, 2020, Mayor de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island issued a request for proposals to develop a hub for businesses and non-profits working on the climate and the environment in Building 301 – a historic waterfront building located on the Northern section of Governors Island. This project is an early step to establish Governors Island as a leading center for climate solutions.

A climate center on governor’s island could include:

– An academic or research anchor institution to study the impacts of climate change to advance related fields.
– A living laboratory and/or a public space for art and cultural uses that invites conversations on the environment.
– Space for commercial innovation and technological research in the climate field.
– Space for policy, advocacy, and programming to engage with the island’s nearly 1 million annual visitors.
– Opportunities to engage leading health institutions to research and develop practical solutions for addressing climate change’s impact on public health due to extreme heat, air quality, and storms.

The request for proposals seeks developers and operators to transform Building 301, as 23,000 square foot historic structure formerly used as an elementary school by the U.S. Coast Guard, into a hub for businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits working within the climate and the environment. The project will neighbor like-minded tenants and partners like the Harbor School, Climate Museum, and Billion Oyster Project and is expected to create over 70 good paying jobs once the project is completed.

In September 2020, Mayor de Blasio and the Governors Island Trust unveiled plans to bring a center for climate solutions to Governors Island as a key part of the Mayor de Blasio’s Recovery Agenda. This climate center would concentrate on research and innovation, testing and development, and education and public engagement around climate solutions in a single physical space, bringing together a multi-disciplinary community for researchers, educators, and advocates, innovators, and policymakers devoted to addressing the global climate crisis on Governor’s Island. In total, the center could encompass millions of square feet of mixed-use development, expand access to Governors Island to year-round, and create 8,000 new jobs. In 2021, the Governors Island Trust plans to issue a solicitation to attract an academic or research institution to anchor the center for climate solutions on Governors Island. This past week, these proposed climate center and rezoning of the South Island began the formal public land use process.

Speaking on the request for proposals President and CEO at the Trust for Governors Island Clare Newman said: “Governors Island is uniquely poised to become a leading center for climate action, and we’re thrilled to begin realizing this vision now … this new space will create jobs and breathe new life into a treasured historic asset, while laying the groundwork to establish Governors Island as an even greater resource for the long-term resilience of New York City.”

By: Lynsey Smith (Lynsey is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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