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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No Riviera Or Other Residential Development For Roosevelt Island After the Completion of Southtown Riverwalk Buildings Says RIOC President

Image of Proposed Roosevelt Island Riviera project from SSJ Development

Following up on earlier post regarding developer Stephen Jemal's proposed Roosevelt Island Riviera development project for the area extending from the Tramway Plaza to Southpoint Point, including the Coler -Goldwater Hospital Campus, I asked RIOC President Steve Shane for comment. On July 24 Mr. Shane responded:
Absolutely no contact. A News story that is long out of date as far as anyone here knows. To my understanding, the 5500+/- units to exist on completion of Southtown will be the end of development.
If Mr. Shane's understanding is correct that completion of the Southtown Riverwalk residential complex will end any further residential development on Roosevelt Island, then not only is the Riviera at Roosevelt Island project not going to be built but the Coler-Goldwater Hospital South Campus will not be demolished for condos either.

Also, the threat of condo development at Southpoint Park has been used by many to justify supporting the Louis Kahn/FDR memorial. Advocates of the memorial, some opponents refer to it as the Louis Kahn death box, such as Councilmember Jessica Lappin have used the threat of Southpoint Park condo development to scare some Roosevelt Island residents into supporting this boondoggle. According to the AP story in the 11/25/07 Daily News, Lappin claimed:
If the FDR memorial doesn't happen, there's no other plan for those three acres. People could put up luxury condos. It's up for grabs, and that makes me nervous.
If no such condo threat exists, then the Kahn memorial can be judged on its own lack of merits without fear that it is the only alternative to huge condo towers at Southpoint Park. Any chance of that happening?

The big unanswered question is if RIOC President Shane's understanding regarding future real estate development on Roosevelt Island is correct for now and going forward in the future?

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