New York’s historic Governors Island is to become the city’s next cultural and creative hub under plans to revive the 172-acre site.
The project – announced by mayor Bill de Blasio during his State of the City address – will involve the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and creating an ‘Innovation Cluster’ on the south side of the island, which was a military facility for more than 200 years.
‘We will revive the beautiful buildings in the Historic District that celebrate New York City’s past, and look to the future through millions of new square feet for commerce, culture and research,’ said de Blasio.
‘It will create a place where a young biomedical scientist might develop a cure for diabetes, or a tech entrepreneur might innovate a gravity-powered light bulb.’
The island – popular for its greenery and recreational grounds – is currently only open to the public during the summer.
Starting this summer, the city will be taking in expressions of interest from potential developers for the wider project and work on the first phase of the island’s development could begin in 2019 to make it a year-round destination.
One commercial tenant is already slated to move in 2017, taking over 80,000 sq ft across three buildings in its Historic District.
Governors Island was the place where the first Dutch settlers in New York arrived back in 1624.
In addition to the island’s revival, de Blasio also revealed plans for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector – a tramline linking the two boroughs.