Rezoning for Governors Island Approved

A mix of new development focused on future needs and new tools for preservation are included in the rezoning package for the south end of Governors Island approved by the New York City Council in May.

2 minute read

June 2, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Governors Island - South Island Rezoning

Trust for Governors Island / South Island Rezoning

"Four million square feet on the south end of Governors Island was just approved for rezoning by the City Council," reports Michelle Colman.

"The 34 acres of the newly rezoned area makes way for the construction of university space, hotels, offices, research facilities and retail," according to Colman.

As for the zoning nitty gritty, Colman provides this summary of the details of the rezoning: "The new zoned area includes a building heights cap, overall square footage maximums, limitations on intrusions on public space, increased ferry service, and caps on the amount of office and hotel space." 

According to a separate article by Kathryn Brenzel, the rezoning underwent some changes on the way to City Council approval, including height and square footage limitations. "Adjustments to the proposal — including the height caps, addition of increased ferry service and limitations on intrusions on public space — were made after Chin and community board members raised concerns about the scale of the potential development," according to Brenzel.

As noted in both articles, the developments now possible by the rezoning of the south end of the island are expected to generated revenues that help maintain the island and continue to attract a year-round flow of visitors.

When Planetizen first picked up news of the rezoning process for the south end of Governors Island, news coverage focused on aspirations for a climate change research center on the island. The approved rezoning still allows the space for that programming, but with no tenant or construction timeline set.

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