Day Spa, Student Campus and Arts Center on the Way to Governors Island

By Irene Plagianos on October 11, 2013 7:08am 

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 The Trust For Governors Island has selected three finalists to take up six buildings on the Island.
Spa, Student Housing on Tap for Governors Island
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GOVERNORS ISLAND — Waves of change are on the way to Governors Island.

The Trust for Governors Island has selected a day spa, an international student campus and an expanded arts center as the first three tenants in its private redevelopment.

The president of the Trust, Leslie Koch, announced the picks — chosen from a batch of 10 companies and nonprofits that submitted proposals for the reuse of more than 40 historic buildings on the northern portion of the Island — during a presentation to the Trust’s board of directors on Thursday.

Koch had hinted at the possibilities for redevelopment of the Island at a recent presentation before Community Board 1 but had not yet made the choices official.

Governors Island is in the midst of a highly anticipated overhaul into a year-round destination with expansive new public spaces as well as cultural and commercial buildings.

The day spa chosen, Quadratec Spa, is run an Italian company that will be launching its first U.S. location, Koch said.

The spa, slated to take up three buildings, plans to have outdoor pools and a light café, and will run year-round with daily hours into the evening.

The Trust also chose the Center for International Education Exchange, a nonprofit that specializes in study and work abroad programs. The CIEE would open up a campus for more than 250 students who would live and study on the Island, as well as offer internships in the city.

Once the CIEE opens, it would activate the Island as "24/7" location, Koch said.

The Trust also selected the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's proposal for an expanded presence on the Island. The LMCC has had a longtime relationship with the Island, and is already using space there to house some of its artists-in-residence program.

Using a whole building would allow the arts nonprofit to have increased exhibition space, a digital media lab and a screening room, Koch said. They would continue to help shape the Island's art programming and events.

The Island is still working out the lease details with the tenants, but the spa and CIEE will likely have long-term leases of about 49 years, Koch said.

The Trust's board still needs to approve the leases and will vote on the chosen tenants in December.

The Island is still working on choosing more private tenants.

Koch said they hope these first selected tenants will open in 2015.

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