Thursday, April 15, 2010

City buys Governors Island from state

From the NY Times:

After more than a year of negotiations, New York City has reached a deal to take control of Governors Island from the state, moving a prime 172-acre piece of waterfront real estate into the hands of a land-starved city and closer to an ambitious redevelopment, city and state officials announced on Sunday.

The agreement would allow the city to convert much of the former military outpost into a public park. The city also plans to add a high school, some commercial development and potentially a satellite campus for New York University on Governors Island, which sits a half mile off the southern tip of Manhattan.

Over the years, government efforts at redeveloping the island, long viewed as a rough, underused gem in New York Harbor, have been frustrated by jurisdictional battles, lack of money and unique development constraints.

The acquisition of Governors Island would be a major contribution to the physical legacy of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, which has made the development of public parks a priority.

The city’s acquisitions could put a strain on its budget, which faces a $5 billion deficit next year. Operating Governors Island is expected to cost about $20 million over the next five years, officials said, on top of the $40 million the city has already set aside.

So we're too broke to build parks in neighborhoods that need them, but are willing to assume more debt for a park where no one lives. Makes sense. Here's more from Neighborhood Retail Alliance:

Rah! Rah! The hell with the police force, the libraries and the firehouses-not to mention the beleaguered city tax payers. How can they compare with the mayor's legacy? In the NY Post, Michael Goodwin's view is a bit more jaundiced: "If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then New York City is certifiably crazy. Already facing a $5 billion budget gap, unemployment above 10 percent, an ominous spike in crime and other signs of disorder, City Hall is nonetheless expanding its prohibitively expensive services. The added burdens reflect pet projects of politicians, and will do little to improve the quality of life for most New Yorkers, even as they drive up taxes. Mayor Bloomberg is ready to spend tens of millions on Governors Island, including building a high school accessible only by expensive ferryboat. He took control of the 172-acre property and assumed most of the costs from the state. He also has his eyes on buying Battery Park City from Albany."

And Goodwin is right on the money-our money! And he's got the mayor's number-not believing thew hype of the Bloomberg acumen for a second: "All these ambitious projects come as the city can't afford the level of services it already provides. Its $63 billion budget, despite increasing by more than 50 percent under Bloomberg, was recently called "bare bones" by a writer. As laughable as the concept is, the city is squeezed. It spent the soaring tax revenues from the boom, its debt service is about to double, and it's now shedding or reducing essential services even as it layers on new responsibilities."


Anonymous said...

Isn't Governors Island meant for veterans? Another great bloomberg plan to waste money when hardly anyone will go here except for three months out of the year if that and he apparently forgot about cities financial hole again?

Why isnt there any organized doomberg protests that should be consistently happening? We might find hes hated by all except the A political condo dwellers in Manhattan and other spots like Queens West and parts of Brooklyn.

faster340 said...


Usually when the funds are low or the debt is high you tighten up your budget and cut your spending and eliminate all non essential expenses till you are in the black. Adding more debt just makes things worse for the public by increased taxes and loss of services to make up the difference.

kingb said...

and what i fear is that because of the city's financial problems, they will be "forced" to sell out to private interests...can anyone say NYU campus???

this blows

Anonymous said...

The state did nothing with it for 10 years, except shut down the golf course, which generated revenue and brought folks to the island. Perhaps city government will grow some brains and bring back this nice course, and therefore a reason to travel to the island, which is not easy.

Anonymous said...

I thought the city had no money. My bad!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the city build casinos and hotels on the island? This would be a great revenue raiser and people wouldn't have to travel to New Jersey. Casinos would also create more jobs, which are needed in this city. We need something there which will create revenue for the city. Casinos are the way to go. Put a racetrack there too.

Anonymous said...

Can you say Trump Island?

Missing Foundation said...

When developers are involved, there is always money.

Schools, hospitals, firehouses close, and they give developers tax breaks.

In plain sight to you all.

And all you can do is whine on this website.

Anonymous said...

Auction it off on EBAY: No zoning, no restrictions, do whatever you want with it.

That should be good for a few billion.

Anonymous said...

Put Marty's potato chip there

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

I thought the city was broke??
Now I realize that the City is broke "Bloomberg style". We dont have money for what is needed education NYPD FDNY. NYC o has money for what Bloomberg wants.
He will probably put on a dog and pony show to tell us that this will boost the tourism and generate money for us, meanwhile he will backdoor sell it to a private developer.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says..

Why would you want casinos there? Have you traveled just outside of Atlantic City and seen whats there?
People living in Poverty-slums-drugs. That is what will become of the Brooklyn & Queens if they put casinos there -

Anonymous said...

"People living in Poverty-slums-drugs. That is what will become of the Brooklyn & Queens if they put casinos there -"

that's right - and then where will the tower people live?