Looks like all eyes are on Governors Island lately. Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that NYC is working on a new "comprehensive activation" that will transform the island into a vibrant year-round destination as well as an idea and technology incubator. We already know about the massive green park coming to the island, but according to the mayor's recent announcement, the project will also see the creation of an "Innovation Cluster" that will bring entrepreneurs, educators and innovators together to generate new ideas, companies and jobs, further positioning New York City as a leader in technology and innovation.
NYC has already invested some $300 million in transforming the former The Coast Guard Base into a vibrant city park. The area is currently a work-in-progress being led by well-known landscape architects West 8, who are carrying out the island’s ambitious Master Plan.
The project calls for converting roughly 150 acres of the island into a “green oasis,” which includes a 14-acre play lawn, a 10-acre Hammock Grove, a new Soissons Landing ferry dock, and a revamped 12-acre Parade Ground, along with giant slides and waterfront promenades with unparalleled views of the New York Harbor. The last 48 acres of new parkland will be opened to the public this year with 33 acres on the south side slated for the new “Innovation Cluster.”
“Governors Island is a treasure for the whole city, and it’s ready for its next great chapter. It’s going to be an incredible year-round magnet for culture and innovation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Using the emerging Roosevelt Island Cornell-Technion campus as a model, the Governors Island Innovation Cluster will serve as a collaborative space for start-ups, inventors, community leaders, and educators. The objective of the cluster is to see several million square feet of educational, commercial, cultural, research and retail used to generate new business and accordingly, billions of dollars in new economic activity and tax revenue over the next 30 years.
Although the island is currently only open to the general public from May through late September, the mayor’s announcement highlighted an objective to eventually open the island year-round thanks to ongoing infrastructure improvements and additional ferry service.