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Waterfront Hills on Governors Island to Offer Sweeping Skyline Views

 The HIlls on Governors Island
The HIlls on Governors Island
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GOVERNORS ISLAND — Massive hills offering sweeping views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor are rising on Governors Island.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and Google Inc.’s billionaire CEO Eric Schmidt, who donated $15 million to the island’s latest public park overhaul, called The Hills — officially broke ground on the project Thursday.

Four grassy hills, made from recycled construction and fill materials, will rise between 25 and 80 feet above sea level along the waterfront, according to the Trust for Governors Island.

With their “stunning 360-degree views...The Hills will be a destination like no other in the city," Bloomberg said at a press conference on the island.

The project 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, but is also using private donations to fund the greening of the island.

The Hills, which will cost $70 million, have received $36 million in private funds, including Schmidt’s donation, according to The Trust for Governors Island.

The Hills are scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2015.

Construction on another 30 acres of new park space that includes ball fields, a grove of trees strung with hammocks and playful greenery with maze-like hedges is also underway on the island. That section is scheduled to open this fall.