City kicks off Governors Island rezoning process
Photo of Governors Island via simplethrill on Flickr
The city has launched the public review process for rezoning Governors Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. A notice announcing the first public hearing for the plan was posted by the city, a critical part of the environmental review process (h/t Crain’s). The rezoning would create 4.5 million square feet of commercial, academic and cultural development, part of an endeavor to turn the 172-acre island into a 24/7 community.
The rezoning includes 33 acres across the southern half of Governors Island and would allow for low- and mid-rise commercial buildings. Mixed-use development might include dorms, hotels, offices, and cultural institutions. A federal deed restriction from 2003 prevents any residential development on the island, with the exception of student housing.
The city took control of the island in 2003, welcomed the first year-round tenants in 2010, and completed a public park in 2016. According to the city, visitorship has increased by 65 percent since 2014. Plus, its season was extended from four months to six months and late nights on Friday and Saturdays were introduced this year.
“Governors Island’s 43-acre park has made it the jewel of New York Harbor,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The Island is now set to dramatically expand its role in our city’s economy as we turn its southern half into a center of innovation and education.”
Currently, there are two year year-round tenants on the Island: New York Harbor School and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Art Center. Spaceworks and Billion Oyster Project are expected to move there as well.
Environmental review for the rezoning begins next month. The first public hearing will be held on September 26 at 6 pm at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.