Posted on April 12, 2010
New York’s Governor David Paterson and New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a plan yesterday for the future of Governors Island, the former military base that sits a half mile off the edge of lower Manhattan. It served first as an army base, and later, as a base for the Coast Guard. Negotiations over the future of the island went on for more than a year. A 2.2 mile promenade will be developed along the waterfront, and 87 acres will be preserved as open space. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012. Other possible additions include a high school, some commercial areas, and a satellite campus of New York University. Other tenants are also being sought. Mayor Bloomberg will appoint nine of the Board's 13 new members, and the redevelopment is seen as a huge coup for his administration--and his legacy. Under the transfer agreement a casino is not an option. In 2003, most of the island was given to New York State; New York City will be primarily responsible for developing the island. A battle for control of the island has been waged for some time. The 22-acre Governors Island National Monument is managed by the National Park Service. The island can be accessed by a free ferry service and is open to the public during the summer and early fall. It opens in June for the season. Last year, more than 275,000 visitors took the ferry to Governors Island, to attend concerts and festivals, visit the monument, which includes two historic forts--or simply hang out and admire the views. The redevelopment is expected to cost $200 million.