City pledges $260M for Governors Island

June 28, 2011 11:50AM

New York City will commit $260 million to upgrade Governors Island in hopes of attracting commercial development to the 172-acre island in the harbor off Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal reported. The city took control of the island last year after a city-state partnership to develop the island produced few results. The island had formerly been home to Army and Coast Guard bases, before the partnership bought the land from the federal government for $1 and vowed to develop it into a major destination. Though attendance to the island has increased every year thanks to more concerts and art shows, there are significant challenges to attracting development to an island without historical ties to the city or easy public access. In fact, in 2006 the city-state partnership requested proposals from developers, but they never delivered. Now that the city has taken over and reduced the bureaucracy, invested significant funds and started repairs, it hopes finding a developer won’t be as difficult a second time around. But the city is being patient with the island, awaiting a full economic recovery and a sensible lead tenant before pushing development plans forward. Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island, envisions a hotel and conference center, or academic institutions, as possible tenants for the island. [WSJ]