Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Berlin Wall is Falling for Roosevelt Island Retail!!!

The December issue of Real Deal highlights the expanding retail services becoming available on Roosevelt Island following the arrival of the Hudson/Related Riverwalk condo and rental developments located in the Southtown area of the Island adjacent to the Tram and Subway. For many years Roosevelt Island suffered from a pitiful lack of retail services that one might have experienced behind the Iron Curtain and in the former Soviet Union , not in a 21st century New York City neighborhood. According to the Real Deal article:
"It looks like East Berlin before the wall fell," said Andrew Oliver, executive vice president of Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman. For years, there was only one chain store, a Gristedes grocery, and much of the remaining retail was service-oriented: a diner, a Chinese takeout joint and a thrift shop, among others.
But now private sector development of the Southtown area has finally brought some small measure of retail services to Roosevelt Island's population of 12,000 residents that will increase to approximately 16,000 when the entire 9 building Riverwalk project is completed. As reported by Real Deal:
As a result of the limited retail options, the arrival of seven store spaces in the new Riverwalk buildings -- Buildings 3 and 4, also known as Riverwalk Place and Riverwalk Landing, respectively -- is a big deal to area residents. David Kramer, a principal with Hudson, noted that the island's location and limited transportation options will never make it a destination for shoppers, but he said that six of the seven retail spaces in the new development have been leased out.

Along with Starbucks and Duane Reade are a salon and a dry cleaner, and two restaurants: Fuji East and Nonno's Focacceria. The seventh space has yet to be filled, but Kramer said the developers are looking to bring a food store into the space.

The retail rents for the new Roosevelt Island buildings have been hovering in the $40 to $45 a square foot range, he said.
With the fall of Roosevelt Island's Berlin Wall, is Riverwalk developer David Kramer Roosevelt Island's Mikhail Gorbachev?

The Real Deal article contains several factual inaccuracies concerning Roosevelt Island including the following:
... below the 59th Street Bridge, is a no-man's-land of old warehouses, currently being debated as the site of future parkland or residential development.
...Riverwalk's fifth building, a 123-unit condominium building known as Riverwalk Court, opened for sales on Oct. 24. The units are priced around $850 a square foot, Kramer said.
There is no "no-man's land of warehouses" on Roosevelt Island below the 59th Street Bridge or anywhere else on Roosevelt Island. Only the south campus of Coler-Goldwater hospital, the Tennis Bubble, Sportspark and Southpoint Park that certainly can't be mistaken for "warehouses". Also, the Riverwalk Court condominium units did not go on sale in October. Sales are just about to begin now in December.

Slideshow is from Roosevelt Island 360. It shows the available retail space at Hudson/Related's Riverwalk development.


Anonymous said...

That means that Manhattan Park is going to jack up my rent again by another 15% or so once lease renewal time come around. I'd love RI to stay as unattractive for people as possible.