The Center for Urban Real Estate, a new research group at Columbia University, has proposed connecting Lower Manhattan and Governors Island with millions of cubic yards of landfill, the New York Times reported, to create a new neighborhood called LoLo, which stands for Lower Lower Manhattan.
The project represents the kind of big thinking that New York needs, said Vishaan Chakrabarti, the director of the center. It would create 88 million square feet of development and generate $16.7 billion in revenue for the city over 20 to 30 years, he said.
Chakrabarti unveiled some elements of the proposal at a meeting held by the Municipal Arts Society earlier this year, the Times said.
The center is also investigating how New York can nurture development by changing strict zoning regulations.
“I believe in the free market,” Chakrabarti said. “When there is a limited pool of buyers, owners jack up their prices. But if there is a fluid market, the price for air rights will become a more clearly defined thing. It has worked beautifully at the High Line, far beyond our wildest dreams.”