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Plan: Extend Manhattan To Governors Island, With Help From Army Corps Of Engineers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- We have SoHo and NoHo. Now there's talk of "LoLo."

It's the new neighborhood that would be developed along the southern tip of Manhattan.

Lower Manhattan is famous for finance. Just off-shore, approximately a half-mile away, Governors Island is a 172-acre military post turned recreation destination. A new proposal would connect the two in order to create a new neighborhood called "Lower, Lower Manhattan" or "LoLo" for short, reports CBS 2's Elise Finch.

"It would be housing, office spaces, schools. It would be an extension of our city and it would have all the different uses that we've come to love in Manhattan, but we also think we can build a lot of green infrastructure that we don't have right now," said Vishaan Chakrabarti of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University.

Chakrabarti said over the next few decades the Army Corps of Engineers will dredge New York Harbor to improve shipping channels. The dirt and mud they unearth can be used as the foundation for this new neighborhood.

"About 10 percent of Manhattan is landfill. It's very much a part of the history of our city and Battery Park City was built from the construction dirt from the World Trade Center site, the original World Trade Center. Governors Island, itself, about half of it is landfill from the Lexington Avenue subway construction," Chakrabarti said.

New Yorkers seem to love the idea.

"If they decide it's good for Manhattan, people, then yeah," one person said.

"It seems like a good idea to recycle and use whatever resources we have," another said.

"If it was done at Battery Park and it worked, we could definitely use the space," another said.

The Columbia University team admits this would be an enormous undertaking, requiring billions of dollars and at least five years just to get permits in order. But, they said it would generate $16.7 billion in revenue for the city and that would be good for all New Yorkers.

The proposal has not been presented to city officials yet, but this and other ideas developed at the Center for Urban Real Estate will be detailed in a report released next year called "NYC-2040."

Do you like this idea? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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