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Governors Island May Become a 'Year-Round Destination' Under New Proposal

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Not only will Mayor de Blasio's State of the City on Thursday night bring news of a planned $2.5 billion streetcar connecting Brooklyn and Queens, but Politico reports that the mayor is also expected to announce a mixed-use "Innovation Cluster" for Governors Island. A press release sent out by the city confirms: de Blasio will announce a "comprehensive activation of Governors Island that will transform it into a dynamic, year-round destination for New Yorkers." Currently, the 172-acre island is closed to the public in the winter and parts of the spring. The project will include activating up to "900,000 square feet of existing space in protected historic buildings, waterfront promenades with sweeping views of New York Harbor, 48 acres of new parkland that will be fully open to the public this year, and 33 acres on the south side of the island for the new 'Innovation Cluster.'"

The mayor's forthcoming proposal is expected to bring technology, cultural, educational, retail and conference spaces to the island, including the creative reuse of landmarked historic buildings into space for STEM programs. "Creative reuse of landmarked historic buildings by becoming the home for the latest in STEM innovation is the best of both worlds," the chair of Manhattan Community Board 1 issued in a statement.

The mayor is expected to give control of the project to the Trust For Governors Island, which controls 150 aces of the 172-acre island. The federal government sold the land to New York in 2003, and kept 22 acres that include two early 19th-century forts as a national monument. The trust is expected to issue a formal solicitation for ideas this summer and a request for proposals for activation of the vacant space and historic district sometime later this year. After proposals are chosen and the ULURP process is complete, construction could begin as early as 2019.
· De Blasio to unveil mixed-use project for Governors Island, sources say [Politico]
· Governors Islands New Rolling Hills Will Open This Summer [Curbed]
· All Governors Island coverage [Curbed]