Governors Island is gearing up to rezone for new development

Rezoning could lead to 4.5 million square feet of new development

Are a group of new buildings set to rise on Governors Island? That’s at least what the trust managing the island is hoping, in large part to help pay for the operating and maintenance costs of the island.

The Trust for Governors Island is gearing up for a rezoning process in about a year from now, Crain’s reports, that would allow for such development. To that effect, the trust met with a Manhattan community board earlier this week to get feedback on what this rezoning process should look like.

The rezoning would concern parts of land along the island’s northwestern and southeastern section, according to Crain’s, and could lead to 4.5 million square feet of development. And while these areas are presently zoned for residential development, the trust is forbidden from pursuing such development due to an agreement made with the federal government in 2003.

The Trust is hopeful that a rezoning would allow for development like a hotel, dorms, offices, and academic or cultural institutions. The new buildings in most cases would range from 75 feet to 125 feet in height, but could reach up to 300 feet for developments like dorms.

The Trust is also working to re-activate many historic buildings on the island, the redevelopment of which was made possible through a 2013 rezoning. The Trust has to cover its own operating and maintenance costs, so all of this development would be part of the overall plan to activate the island year round.

In the coming months, the Trust will continue to gather feedback on its plans and may formally enter the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) by December. That will be followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) sometime in 2020.

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