South Island Rezoning
Governors Island offers development opportunities and leasing opportunities within its 1.3 million square feet of historic buildings (“North Island”) and its 33 acres of development sites on the Island’s southern end. Envisioned to support the Island’s ongoing growth as a year-round resource for New York City and develop a sustainable revenue stream to contribute to its expanded operations, the development sites on the South Island were designated for future construction as part of the Island’s Park and Public Space Master Plan released in 2010. The Master Plan laid the groundwork for the Island’s now nearly completed, award-winning park as well as the two areas on the South Island designated for development, including the 6.5‑acre Western Development Zone and 26.5‑acre Eastern Development Zone. The North Island was rezoned in 2013 to allow for a broad mix of uses, including educational, commercial, cultural and non-profit facilities.
Building upon a decade of investment and nearly 20 years of planning and advocacy around educational, non-profit and commercial use of the Island, in 2018, The Trust announced plans to move forward with a proposed rezoning of the South Island to help realize Governors Island’s potential as a year-round part of the city’s fabric.
The new district on the South Island would allow for a mix of academic, commercial, non-profit, cultural, convening and hospitality uses, and is required to support the development as a center for climate solutions. The proposed rezoning will extend uses allowed in the North Island to the two South Island development sites to support a year-round, 24⁄7 mixed-use district, anchored by an educational or research center, while fully protecting the existing park and creating new open space as part of the new development. This will generate a sustainable revenue stream to support Island operations and expanded public access. The existing park would remain open during any construction.
New Proposed South Island Special District
Zoning Framework Summary
The rezoning would expand the Island’s open space, increase public connections between the park and waterfront esplanade, and add an additional layer of protection for all open space on the South Island. Controls for connectivity, urban design, historic sensitivity, height and bulk are written into the zoning, as well as protections to preserve view corridors from the park. All buildings across the development sites will strictly adhere to flood-resistant construction methods.
No zoning changes are being proposed for the North Island/Governors Island Historic District as part of this plan.
On Thursday, May 27, the New York City Council voted to approve the Governors Island South Island Rezoning proposal with modifications.
The public review process for this proposal has concluded. Please click here to see past public presentations.