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Pool-Equipped Day Spa Approved for Governors Island

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What does Governor's Island have in common with the Italian cities of Rome, Milan, and San Pellegrino? They were all deemed historic enough to be the site of QC Terme day spas. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to approve an application by developers Quadratec and The Colonnade Group to develop buildings 111, 112—which formerly housed the coast guard—and 114—which served as the nurses' quarters—into a 78,000 square-foot day spa. For an "affordable" admission price, patrons will have access to several different spa facilities and services for one entire day, with an on-site restaurant and specific services like massages costing extra. "It's not going to be one of the super luxurious places that the city has plenty of," said Stefano Farsura, principal of the Colonnade Group, "but it will have one of the best views in New York."

The most drastic change proposed in the application is the installation of three pools (two are adjoined). Most other changes will be small cosmetic or functional improvements, including placing signage around the buildings, adding mechanical equipment, installing an accessible entrance, and increasing fencing and hedging. Architect Alex Harrow, with Freyer Collaborative Architects, also discussed some of the plans for the buildings' interiors, explaining that the plan is to use the entirety of the three buildings, including attic and cellar spaces.

The application, which received endorsements from the Historic Districts Council and Community Board 1, was also warmly received by the commissioners, who praised the creative adaptive reuse of the former military buildings. LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the "limited interventions" were "sensitively done" and "respectful to the overall character of the buildings." She recommended to her colleagues that the application be approved, but she echoed a concern that had been previously raised in the CB1 endorsement and by other commissioners: Would the fencing and hedges obscure view corridors from within the property—or views of the building from outside? Ultimately, the LPC voted not to add any modifications to the application, as some commissioners believed the fences to be appropriate for the project.

The day spa is part of Governors Island's plan to become a year-round destination. Next year, the island will open the final piece of its new 30 acres of parkland.
—Wesley Yiin
· Governors Island [official]
· Day Spa, International Students Coming To Governors Island [Curbed]
· All Governors Island coverage [Curbed]