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Demolition of High Rises Makes Way for Park on Governors Island

GOVERNORS ISLAND—The metal orange jaws of several bulldozers at Governors Island on Thursday began to bring down a seven-story building, the first of four non-historic high rises that will be leveled over the next few months.

The Trust for Governors Island published on its website Thursday that the demolition is part of a plan to improve the infrastructure of the island. It will use the freed-up space of about 30 acres to make way for a park as well as other public spaces.

Both projects cost $250 million combined. 

"The $250 million comprises of bringing the island's infrastructure into the 21st century, demolishing the buildings and building the park and public spaces," said Elizabeth Rapuano, a spokesperson for The Trust of Governors Island, noting that such updates include repairs to historic buildings and bolstering the island's seawalls.

Building 844 along the western promenade was the first to be demolished Thursday, Rapuano said. The final high rise, the 11-story Building 877, is expected to be leveled by next spring.