After more than a year of negotiations, New York City has reached a deal to take control of Governors Island from the state, moving a prime 172-acre piece of waterfront real estate into the hands of a land-starved city and closer to an ambitious redevelopment, city and state officials announced on Sunday, according to the New York Times.
The agreement would allow the city to convert much of the former military outpost into a public park. The city also plans to add a high school, some commercial development and potentially a satellite campus for New York University on Governors Island, which sits a half mile off the southern tip of Manhattan.
Over the years, government efforts at redeveloping the island, long viewed as a rough, underused gem in New York Harbor, have been frustrated by jurisdictional battles, lack of money and unique development constraints.
The acquisition of Governors Island would be a major contribution to the physical legacy of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, which has made the development of public parks a priority.
The deal also highlights how an expansionist mayor has positioned the city, whose budget problems are less severe than the state’s, to wrest control of coveted properties from the state portfolio.
Last month, the city reached a similar deal with the state to take over Brooklyn Bridge Park.
New York Times - April 11, 2010 - By A. G. Sulzberger and Michael Barbaro