GOVERNORS ISLAND — The overhaul of Governors Island into a year-round destination is pushing ahead with new developments focused on innovation, the city announced Thursday.
In his State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio discussed the city's plans to transform portions of Governors Island into an "Innovation Cluster." The cluster will "bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and educators to generate new ideas, economic activity and jobs," according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The city will develop 33 acres on the south side of the island into this "Innovation Cluster" — an overhaul that will cater to educational institutions and startups to "help position New York City as the worldwide leader in technology and innovation," the mayor's office said.
The cluster will also take up 900,000 square feet of space in buildings within the Historic District on the northern end of the island.
The Governors Island project builds on Cornell Tech’s planned campus on Roosevelt Island, a mixed-use development designed to foster connection with academics and entrepreneurial companies, the city said.
Since 2010, the city has invested more than $300 million towards the transformation of Governors Island, a former military base, into an eventual year-round destination. Currently, the island is only open to the public from May to September.
In recent years, the island has overhauled and opened 30 new acres of parkland, and created new pipelines for potable water. More parkland will open this summer, with the addition of the Hills, a series of man-made land masses offering sweeping views of the city.
The mayor's office said Governors Island will issue requests for proposals this summer for the innovation overhaul. Construction for the project could start in 2019, according to the city.