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Governors Island Welcomes Spas Under Redevelopment Plan

 The Trust For Governors Island won community support to allow for a spa on the redeveloped island.
Governors Island Welcomes Spas Under Redevelopment Plan
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LOWER MANHATTAN — Along with bike rides and leisurely strolls through acres of revamped green space, a relaxing day on Governors Island can now include massages and facials.

The Trust For Governors Island won unanimous support from Community Board 1’s planning committee Thursday to add spas to the potential roster of commercial tenants allowed on the redeveloped Island.

The island — which 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 — is currently sorting through proposals for private development. The development includes plans for both for the reuse of 40 existing historic buildings on the northern half of the island, and to build on 33 acres of mostly unused land in the south.

A representative for The Trust declined to comment on what new businesses are slated for the Island, but noted that "just in case we want to include a spa, we wanted to make sure its allowed for in the rezoning."

The organization said it is seeking to “generate the broadest possible spectrum of ideas” for the redesign of the 172-acre island, according to a request for expressions of interest, and has encouraged nonprofit, cultural, educational and commercial developers to apply.

Meanwhile, construction is rapidly moving forward on 30 acres of new park space that includes ball fields, a grove of trees strung with hammocks, and playful greenery with maze-like hedges, all of which is set for an Oct. 30 ribbon cutting.

The new public spaces won't be ready for use during the upcoming Governors Island season — which runs every weekend from May 25 to Sept. 29 — but the public will be able to preview the new park on guided tours, according to the Trust.

The Trust has not yet announced plans for public access to the new park after Oct. 30.

The public space is just one piece of a massive plan for transforming the former Coast Guard base. The city plans to invest more than $260 million by 2014 to revamp the island’s infrastructure.