Photo of Governors Island via simplethrill on Flickr
Since Governors Island first opened in 2005, transforming the 172-acre piece of land in the New York Harbor into a public space has been slow. However, after a 40-acre park with a playground opened last year the ball has officially started rolling. According to Crain’s, the Trust for Governors Island recently released two requests for proposals aimed at making the waterfront location a destination for entertainment and cultural activities. The trust is offering licenses for up to three years during the island’s season, which runs from May 1 through October 31.
Image courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island
As 6sqft covered in June, the trust announced a plan to eventually turn Governors Island into a 24/7 community. This entails opening more parks and restaurants, creating space for nonprofits and building up nearly five million square feet of commercial, office and education space. Last summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio hired city planner Michael Samuelian as the trust’s president and CEO to jumpstart the island’s revitalization. Samuelian previously helped redevelop Lower Manhattan after 9/11 and currently serves as the vice president of Related Companies.
The trust’s RFP issued in September seeks new food and beverage service at a couple of high traffic areas across the island, including inside of the historic buildings found on the north side. The group hopes to receive proposals from vendors that will sell fresh, inventive and sustainable food for up to three years. According to the trust’s proposal, vendors should reflect “the Island’s creative character and diverse audience.”
Released in October, the trust’s second proposal invites event venues to set up shop on the eight acres of the island’s western shore. The group seeks proposals from operators of entertainment, cultural experiences, outdoor recreation, camping, festivals and others. With the Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor as a backdrop, Governors Island could become one of the city’s most memorable venues.
Upgrading the island’s operations and leasing out the historic buildings will take at least two or three years. The 33 acres split between the island’s southern and northern sides will hold five million square feet of space. When the 24/7 community is completed, the trust hopes to offer apartments with more affordable rent than Manhattan’s Financial District.
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Neighborhoods : Governors Island