Governors Island Seeking Developers to Renovate Historic Buildings

New York City might soon have even more offerings for the travel and meetings industry. The Trust for Governors Island has just released two request for proposals (RFPs) seeking operators and developers for five of its historic buildings. The RFPs released build upon the Trust’s recent milestone of opening Governors Island to the public year-round and support the long-term vision to expand visitor amenities while breathing new life into 50 landmarked former military buildings. 

“Governors Island has become a cultural and recreational ‘must see’ in New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Today’s RFP release is a critical step to also make the Island a full-service hospitality destination, spurring our economic recovery through tourism and job creation. I thank the Governors Island team for their visionary stewardship of this unique New York City resource.”

Through the two RFPs released, The Trust is making available up to 45,000 square feet of space across five buildings located within the Governors Island Historic District for adaptive reuse by successful respondents. Properties made available through the RFPs include:

Building 140: Request for Proposals Seeking Food and Beverage Concepts and/or Event Venues

Developers and operators of food and beverage concepts and event venues are invited to submit proposals to ground lease, redevelop and operate Building 140, an approximately 10,000-square-foot waterfront building on Governors Island with high ceilings, a column-free interior and an approximately 13,000-square-foot outdoor waterfront terrace. Constructed in the mid-1800s as a munitions warehouse and used over the years as a bank and a post office, Building 140 is located at Soissons Landing, Governors Island’s primary ferry dock with seven-minute service to Lower Manhattan, and offers views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor.

Buildings 1, 2, 3 and 25: Hospitality and Visitor Amenities

Developers and operators of food and beverage concepts, event and convening spaces, overnight accommodations and other amenity spaces are invited to submit proposals to ground lease, redevelop and operate Buildings 1, 2, 3 and 25 on Governors Island. Together, the Buildings offer approximately 35,000 square feet of combined indoor space located within Nolan Park, formerly home to Commanding Officer’s quarters during Governors Island’s history as a U.S. Army and Coast Guard Base, and today home to a growing hub of arts and cultural tenants. Successful respondents will be located adjacent to the Nolan Park Cultural Campus, a growing hub of cultural organizations providing dynamic public programs during the Island’s spring, summer and fall seasons.

Over time, the Trust plans to grow Nolan Park as a permanent, multi-disciplinary arts and culture campus, providing affordable space to cultural organizations and attracting a growing audience of visitors experiencing the Island’s arts program. Successful respondents will help complement this unique and growing cultural destination with supporting amenities. 

Proposals will be evaluated based on the respondent’s proposed program and vision, including serving a broad and diverse audience and aligning with the Trust’s climate and sustainability goals, team and feasibility, proposed terms, and quality of design. Responses to both RFPs are due October 31, 2022, by 5 p.m. For more information or to view the full RFP documents visit

Governors Island has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last decade, including the creation of a resilient 43-acre park, a growing arts and cultural program, and remarkable growth in audience. The Island is home to a diverse number of year-round tenants, including the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Billion Oyster Project, Shandaken Projects, Beam Center, the Institute for Public Architecture, and QC NY Spa, as well as Buttermilk Labs—a new multi-tenant hub for coastal climate solutions announced in Fall 2021. 

The Trust is currently in the process of attracting an anchor educational and research institution as part of the Center for Climate Solutions, a groundbreaking initiative designed to further New York City as a global leader in efforts to respond to the climate crisis. A key part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for NYC’s Economic Recovery,” the project will support the research, development and demonstration of equitable climate solutions for New York City—that can be scaled and applied globally. 

Now open to the public year-round, Governors Island is home to a robust calendar of free public programs and events, outdoor recreation activities, diverse arts and cultural experiences, and more to explore. Visit for more information and to view all upcoming events and programs.

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