Today is the first day of the rest of Governors Island's life. The long-awaited agreement has been made official, and the cash-strapped state will turn over control of the historic military base floating off the tip of Lower Manhattan to the city, which already has $41.5 million earmarked for the island's makeover and conversion to a year-round destination. This means no more annual scares that Governors Island won't open for the summer, and a whole bunch of big plans to dissect. The federal government barred the city and state from building new housing or a casino when it transferred control of the island in 2003, but there are many possibilities for future development. Here's a sampling:
1) Stuff that's happening: The first permanent tenants for some refurbished buildings on the island have already been announced: artists' studios and a maritime-themed high school. Teenagers running amok on Governors Island? Sounds like the makings of an awesome horror movie.
2) Stuff that's looking good: The 87 acres of pastoral bliss on the island's south side and a 2.2-mile waterfront promenade. (The 22-acre national monument on the north side is a protected site run by the National Park Service.)
3) Stuff that's still a big question mark: The 33 acres set aside by the city for new construction. One possible tenant is, of course, NYU. Let's hope for a viable Plan B.
The Times also reports that city's property spree might not be finished with the takeovers of Governors Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park from the state. The next target on the hit list? Battery Park City. According to the paper, "city officials said that they were eager, when possible, to exploit 'fire sale prices' to seize control over prime land within their borders." So that's who's buying all those Warehouse 11 apartments!
· New York City Takes Over Governors Island [NYT]
· Governors Island coverage [Curbed]