The Real Deal New York

From Hudson Yards to Governors Island: Mayor taps Related exec to head island overhaul

Board will vote on Michael Samuelian's appointment next month

August 26, 2016 01:40PM

Govenors Island inset: Related Companies' Michael Samuelian)

Governors Island (inset: Related Companies’ Michael Samuelian)

Related Companies’ Michael Samuelian may soon tack another major mixed-use development onto his résumé.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Samuelian as CEO and president of the Trust for Governors Island, the organization that is guiding the island’s planned overhaul. In the role, Samuelian, who has spearheaded Related’s TRData LogoTINY massive Hudson Yards project, would manage all activities and operations and help guide the mixed-use development planned for the island.

The trust’s board will vote on the mayor’s nomination next month.

“Michael will bring his extensive expertise in thoughtful planning and design to Governors Island,” de Blasio said in a statement.

In February, de Blasio announced plans to turn the 172-acre island into a year-round destination. During his state of the city address, he said that some sort of mixed-use project would be developed on up to 33 acres on two sites on the southern end of the island. He also announced that roughly 900,000 square feet in the historic district to the north, largely dotted with historic military structures, would be “reactivated.” The city has not yet released a request for proposals for the development.

The trust since 2005 has been headed by Leslie Koch, who is largely credited with bringing food festivals, concerts and historical re-enactments to the island.

Samuelian serves as vice president of Related, where he was responsible for the urban planning, design and public approvals of the 17-million-square- foot mixed-use project at Hudson Yards.

“As a born and bred New Yorker, I am both excited and honored to again serve this great city and its residents,” he said in a statement. “Governors Island is a true gem that everyone in the city should be able to enjoy.” — Kathryn Brenzel