Leasing Property from the Trust

Governors Island has over 1 million square feet in 52 historic buildings that are ready now for adaptive reuse, as well as 33 acres set aside across two zones on the southern end for future development and new construction. 850,000 square feet in the historic district remain available for leasing. These buildings and spaces are granted to developers through a public Request for Proposals (RFP) process. RFPs are issued in response to market demand. They may be released for single buildings, multiple buildings, use types, or, more broadly, to cover large sections of the island. The Trust for Governors Island (TGI) structures and initiates RFPs at its discretion.


The City of New York established the Trust to manage and develop Governors Island. It is a nonprofit organization and instrumentality of the City of New York. The Trust owns 150 acres of the island and has a contract with the City to operate and redevelop it. All tenants must execute leases with the Trust as landlord. As landlord, the Trust manages the island’s properties and facilitates or directly provides certain island-wide services. The Trust owns the property and is authorized to issue leases of 69 years. The balance of the island is the Governors Island National Monument, owned and managed by the National Park Service.


The Governors Island Historic District exists as a Special Zoning District.

The Special Governors Island district allows for reuse of buildings within the Historic District for any of the allowable uses for the island. Any such, use is “as-of-right” under existing zoning and would likely not require ULURP or further environmental review. All development of the island is conducted in consultation with the local community, elected officials, and others.

The leasing of the two “development zones” on the south end of the island will be subject to future re-zoning, design guidelines, and environmental review.

Responsibilities of the Trust and Tenants

The Trust is responsible for:

  • Security
  • Maintenance of island infrastructure, unleased buildings, public space, policies, and programming
  • Utility mains and distribution, not including individual plot/building connections
  • Core transportation to and from the island
  • Capital maintenance and construction
  • Administration of the island

Tenants are responsible for:

  • Rent and common area maintenance charges
  • Payments for utilities, maintenance, and janitorial services
  • Tenant programming and operations

Deed Restrictions

Commercial uses of Governors Island properties must comply with the island’s deed restrictions. When the federal government transferred the island to local control, it established a set of required, permitted, and prohibited use covenants for island properties, as well as historic preservation covenants for the historic district. These covenants guide and control development on the island and can only be altered with the agreement of the United States Department of the Interior.

Required Uses

Education, open spaces accessible to the public

Permitted Uses
  • Arts and culture
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Hospitality and retail
  • Health
  • Commercial offices and mixed use
Prohibited Uses
  • Casinos
  • Industrial
  • Parking and power generation for use off the island
  • Residences not associated with permitted use
  • For more information about leasing from the Trust for Governors Island, please contact The Trust.

For more information about leasing from the Trust for Governors Island, please contact us.