Manhattan BP to host panel discussing future of Governors Island on Inauguration Night

Governors Island July 26, 2019© Julienne Schaer
Governors Island will remain open year round.
Photo by Julienne Schaer

A panel discussion will focus on the proposal for the redevelopment of Governors Island.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is hosting a webinar to discuss the future of Governors Island at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20. Those in attendance from the public can voice their opinions and share their concerns about the proposal.

Governors Island had previously been transferred from the Federal Government to the City and State of New York with a restricted deed: use had to be for public benefit, there could be no permanent housing, and all revenue had to be recycled into the island. However, in 2018 the de Blasio administration announced a huge rezoning project for the green space that would allow buildings as high as 300 feet to be built on the island and paving the way to allow commercial businesses and hotels to plant themselves there. 

The proposal notes that the amount of open space would not decrease as a result of the rezoning. The plan also includes the creation of a climate solutions center that would offer meaningful opportunities for public engagement, bringing hands-on education, programming and advocacy initiatives around climate and environmental issues.

The rezoning plan was met by criticism from some New Yorkers, with many saying that it would change the culture of the island with these new developments. In September 2020, the city resumed Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and began fast tracking rezonings for Governor’s Island, Flushing, SoHo/NoHo and Gowanus with larger scale plans than before. The ULURP hearings held amid the pandemic were held virtually.

Manhattan Community Board 1 opposed of the rezoning plan in its most current form on Dec. 22, 2020 with some conditions. The city has also been told to halt the Gowanus rezoning from moving forward because the de Blasio administration failed to follow the due process and notification provisions in the City Charter. 

Click here to register for the Governors Island webinar.

Credit: WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages

Updated at 2 p.m.