Governors Island will soon be home to the New York Climate Exchange: a center for global climate innovation and research developed in partnership with Stony Brook University, a Long Island-based institution in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

Mayor Eric Adams announced the plan on Monday morning, following years of speculation about the future of the 172-acre island.

“Today, here, in the heart of New York Harbor, we are taking a giant leap forward into the future,” Adams said, touting the initiative as a new international epicenter for the battle against climate change.

At the heart of the project will be a state-of-the-art, 400,000-square-foot cam­pus encompassing classrooms, research space, laboratories, a global conference center and room for public engagement and programming. In partnership with the Harbor School, a high school that currently operates on the island, the new campus promises to serve over 5,000 students from kindergarten through college, along with 250 faculty members and researchers.

The campus will also function as a training ground for approximately 6,000 workers in green professions, and will provide support for sustainable businesses and entrepreneurs through an incubator program.

Formal groundbreaking will take place sometime in 2025, with the $700 million campus scheduled to open in 2028, according to Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development.

When completed, the physical structure will be the city’s first certified “living building,” powered by electricity but totally off the grid.

Adams called the project a “key initiative” in his economic blueprint, saying it will create 7,000 permanent green jobs, and inject $1 billion into the city’s economy.

“All New Yorkers will and must benefit from this major investment that we are making,” he said.

Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty pres­i­dent Mau­rie McIn­nis said the institution had been working on its proposal for this “once in a lifetime project” since 2021, and called it a “perfect fit,” given Stony Brook’s reputation for world-class environmental research.

“It will be the go-to place to make progress on climate change and the solutions needed to respond to a changing planet,” she said.

The project was made possible in part through a $100 million donation from the Simons Foundation, and $50 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

In his remarks, Adams heralded former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dedication to Governors Island, which he transferred from federal ownership to city control in 2003.

The island is now a popular recreation spot for city residents and tourists alike, welcoming a million visitors a year to its green spaces, tree-lined pathways and playgrounds. Torres-Springer said the Climate Exchange will begin “phase zero” on the island this summer, creating a space for public engagement and input as it develops.

Once development is further underway, ferry service will run every 15 minutes during the day to accommodate an increase in visitors. Officials did not specify exactly when that would begin.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the size of Governors Island and clarify that the development of the new climate research center will not impact the island's park, according to officials.