What Happens Next?
The Park and Public Space Master Plan is the first phase of the Island’s multi-phase, mixed-use development strategy.
The Park and Public Space Master Plan will transform Governors Island into a destination, take advantage of its unparalleled setting in the Harbor, and provide a varied set of experiences and areas for bicycling, the arts, habitat and recreation.
While the Park and Public Space Master Plan’s goals are ambitious, the plan is also pragmatic. The plan will proceed in a prudent and responsible manner with appropriate phasing of construction. Feasibility remains a core principle as the project advances to the next stages of design, environmental review, construction and operations.
What Happens Next with the Plan?
Following the public release of the plan, it moves into its next stages, which include schematic design, environmental review and land use review. Throughout these steps, the public will have many opportunities to provide their input throughout the next.
The Trust for Governors Island invites the public to give their feedback on the Park and Public Space Master Plan. There is a diverse array of opportunities for New Yorkers and others to provide their thoughts on the plan.
In 2010, visitors to Governors Island can view the plan in several interactive and site specific exhibits in the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, Building 110 on Governors Island, and in outdoor spaces throughout the Island. Building 110 provides an opportunity for the public to write their ideas on Post-It™ notes and display their notes on a wall for others to see.
Opportunities for comment also exist at community meetings.
Park and Public Space Master Plan
A park and public space master plan defines design concepts for Governors Island’s park and public spaces, establishes the framework for future phases of design, and describes how the site’s existing conditions will be transformed. The plan outlines uses and programs and contains a rigorous cost analysis to make sure that the concepts are feasible and responsible.
While the master plan has renderings of the park’s spaces to illustrate what these future spaces will look like, it is during the schematic design process that the West 8 team will better articulate the park areas, character, uses and programs. Schematic design refines the different elements and specifies size, scale and relationships more precisely.
Environmental Review and Land Use Review
The goal of the environmental review process is to ensure that city agencies and the public have a chance to identify and review any environmental impacts of the project. The land use review process allows agencies and the public to identify and review the project’s impact on city land uses. Like most projects of this scope, the environmental review process will take 14-18 months.
Schematic design and environmental review will begin later this year and continue through late 2011. Following these steps, land use review will occur in 2012, and then the first phase of construction will begin in late 2012.
First phase of construction
The first phase of construction focuses on the Historic District, respectfully restoring 33 acres of green space and adding much-needed visitor amenities. The enhancements build upon the public’s current enjoyment of the Island. The plan also greatly improves important gateways to the Island at Soissons Dock and Yankee Pier, creates new terraces and play areas, and transforms acres of asphalt parking lots into green spaces for recreation, car-free biking, cultural programming and relaxation.
The cost of constructing this first phase is $45 million. This funding is already in place and construction will begin immediately following the conclusion of design, environmental and land use review.
Following the first phase of construction, future phases of construction will focus on the 40-acre park on the Island’s southern end, as well as the Great Promenade. The West 8 team’s design reshapes the desolate, flat landscape into one with new hills, habitats, terraces and areas for exploring, play and enjoying views.
New areas of the future park include:
• Hammock Grove: an area of shade, lawns and hammocks for relaxing
• Play Lawn: an 11-acre green expanse where children and adults can play sports, relax on grass and gather
• The Hills: a grouping of hills frame views, provide new terrain for exploration and culminate in an overlook that provides a 360-degree view of New York Harbor
• Liberty Terrace: an open plaza with places for visitors to recharge, watch activities and enjoy stunning views of the Statue of Liberty
• South Prow and Wetland Gardens: an area on the southern most tip of the Island that offers stunning view of the Harbor, picnic lawns, elevated areas to sit and relax, and a new wetland garden habitat to explore.
The Park and Public Space Master Plan also includes the 2.2-mile Great Promenade. Currently, visitors can use the Island’s perimeter road to bike and walk around the Island. In the future, this roadway will be transformed into a signature promenade where strollers and bicyclists can experience 360 degree views of New York Harbor along the water’s edge.
The timing and magnitude of commitments for future capital funds will determine construction of these future phrases of the park and public spaces.
Public access during construction
Governors Island will remain open to the public throughout this process. During the Island’s public access season, visitors will continue to be able to access the perimeter road that encircles the Island, Picnic Point and the spaces in the Historic District.
Multi-phase, mixed use development
As work on the planning and construction of the park and public spaces proceeds, Governors Island will continue to upgrade its infrastructure, stabilize historic buildings and pursue a multi-phase, mixed use development policy.
Governors Island has welcomed first tenancies, including a public high school and artist studios. In parallel to the park and public space master plan process, The Trust for Governors Island is seeking tenants for historic buildings as well as areas that are reserved for new development.
Further details on phasing and implementation are provided in the Implementation section.
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