CB1 July 2023 monthly meeting info – Climate Center – Committee Report, Public Comment

Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 6:00 PM
Community Board 1-Manhattan Monthly Meeting
Manhattan Borough President’s Office
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor – Southside

To sign up to speak, submit written testimony, attend remotely:
Agenda: https://www.nyc.gov/site/manhattancb1/meetings/board-agendas.page

Comments on all items: Public Session 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM (1-2 minutes per speaker)

This is an opportunity to comment regarding Governors Island’s future and agenda item L which will come later in the meeting:
L) Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee
Report on the 7/18/23 Climate Center presentation by the New York Climate Exchange and The Trust for Governors Island

That presentation can be seen here (overview below):
Governors Island presentation  starts @ 31:28
M.A.G.I.C. speaks @ 128:58 – 132:05 (bad sound quality)
Overview of the 7/18/23 CB1 committee presentation:
Due to public input, Stonybrook’s current plan seems less intrusive than earlier versions. But at 145ft (and 80ft) their signature building dwarfs any other structure on the island and is twice the height of nearby Outlook Hill.

With Stonybrook’s structures dominating the island and the  stated goal of  making GI “a global leader in climate research” they are effectively defining the island’s primary purpose as a research campus over all other public usage.

It’s important to note that the current plan uses only 25% of the designated ‘development zones’ on GI. 75% will involve future RFPs, all of which are allowed to be large, non-academic, and commercial. (225ft+ height and 200 parking spaces permitted).

Regarding the current climate center plan:
– Planned adaptive re-use of half of Liggett Hall for university housing and adapting the old theater for convening.
– 400,000 sq ft  – 230k new, the rest in Liggett Hall
– $700M budget. $250M raised so far: $100M from the City, $150 from the Simons and Bloomberg Foundations.
– Current GI climate projects Earth Matter, Billion Oyster, Harbor School are among listed partners – why not GrowNYC?- Planned to break ground in 2025.
Overview of comments by Roger Manning of M.A.G.I.C.
– M.A.G.I.C. has met with Stonybrook twice. It seems that concerns have been heard to some degree.
– The 145ft and 80ft signature buildings could easily be lower and retain the same distinctive shape without dominating the island. Building height is a key concern of the public
– M.A.G.I.C. with others are in court against the city and Trust to overturn the 2021 rezoning. That wouldn’t stop having a climate center – most of the 2021 zoning’s excessive features aren’t needed.
– Reminder that the Climate center plan uses only 25% of dev zones. The public is concerned about the other 75%.
– How is Stonybrook defining GI?  It seems as a (potential) research campus. But that’s not how GI best benefits the public. The Deed definition is best. [ See https://govislandcoalition.org/news/oct-26-2022-climate-center-briefing-report ]