N.Y.U.’s concept for Governors Island includes dorms and academic buildings overlooking the harbor.
N.Y.U. eyes Gov. Isle
New York University wants to someday build a satellite campus on Governors Island with dorms, classrooms and offices totaling 1 million square feet.
N.Y.U. has long considered expanding across New York Harbor to the 172-acre island but released new details and renderings this week. The move would be part of N.Y.U.’s larger plan to grow by 40 percent over the next 20 years.
“Here in Greenwich Village, we’re essentially landlocked,” said Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U.’s vice president for government relations and community engagement. “We don’t have a lot of options for expanding into the neighborhood. You just look at Governors Island, and when you step off the ferry it feels like a college-friendly environment.”
Over the years, CUNY and Columbia University have also looked to expand to the island.
N.Y.U.’s Governors Island project has no budget or timeline and would need the city’s help with infrastructure like ferry service and potable water. N.Y.U. would wait until other groups such as other universities or think tanks also invested in the island.
“We can’t be the only ones out there,” Hurley said. “We need a critical mass.”
N.Y.U. would create an institute focused on issues related to cities.
N.Y.U. has identified up to 1 million square feet of development space on the island, split about evenly between new and existing buildings. The new structures would be grouped near Yankee Pier on the east side of the island, just outside the historic district. N.Y.U. also hopes to use the enormous Liggett Hall, which spans the island’s width, along with some smaller historical buildings to the northeast. Hurley envisions an open campus that would allow the public to flow through the open space, if not into all of the university’s buildings.
The city and state now share control of the island but negotiations are underway for the city to take it over soon, which could advance long-stalled plans for parkland and other development.
— Julie Shapiro