What would fans of Governors Island rather see on the old army base: An amusement park, or an NYU campus? This Sophie's choice was put on the back burner when the city took over the island from the state, a move celebrated because it gave that cool new park a kick in the pants, and ended the annual threats of shutting the summertime attraction down due to Albany budget cuts. But the Observer reports that the transfer of power has had another effect: scaring off developers, including the powerful Durst Organization, which wanted to build a giant Ferris wheel on the island (think London Eye-sized) as part of a $100 million investment. Why the cold feet?
Private investment is needed on the island to pay for all the fun stuff?as well as the boring stuff, like drinkable running water?but the city's lengthy rezoning process (filled with all that icky public input that developers hate) has put a big question mark on what will be allowed on the acreage set aside for development. Had the state retained control of Governors Island, Eliot Brown writes, Albany's iron-fisted rule would have been easier for developers to work with. The Durst idea isn't dead, however, just "shelved for at least the next few years." Who knows, when it's all said and done, maybe our children's children will be able to blow off some steam between classes by being lifted hundreds of feet over the New York harbor and spun like a rotisserie chicken.
· We Can Put a Man on the Moon ? [NYO]
· Governors Island coverage [Curbed]