Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are Frosted Main Street Windows Sign of Progress In Finding Retail Tenants For Long Empty Roosevelt Island Main Street Stores?

I noticed that the windows on the vacant Main Street retail stores formerly occupied by the pizza and donut shop had been frosted over and inquired why of RIOC President Steve Shane as well as asked for an update on any progress concerning renting of these long empty stores. Mr. Shane responded:

To give a better appearance to the vacant stores. No progress other than we have obtained a fair market value appraisal from an appraiser and are prepared, in conjunction with the real estate advisory committee of the Board, to proceed to issuing an RFP for the vacant stores to which either individual prospective tenants may apply or a master leaseholder may respond. Until the committee meets and we deliberate, too soon to know. Scheduled for 6 this evening.
Yes, the Public Authorities Act is still a problem.
Here's more on the problems regarding leasing the Main Street retail space and an excerpt of an interview with DHCR Commissioner VanAmerongen from the Main Street WIRE:
Main Street retail: "There are parts of the Public Authorities Accountability law that make it more cumbersome for RIOC, but they are the same laws that apply to the Queens West Development Corporation and to the Battery Park City Authority and some other, not dissimilar developments. We have been trying to work with the Attorney General’s office to gain greater flexibility but, clearly, the law was not written with the idea of doing rental leases on Main Street. We have to comply with the law but we are trying to gain some greater flexibility." [The Public Authorities Accountability Act, passed in response to a Pataki administration attempt to give Erie Canal land to a developer at bargain prices, and in response to the MTA’s proposed sale of development rights over the West Side railyards, provides that State authorities like RIOC must get top dollar for the State’s properties, or have a good reason not to do so. This generally entails competitive bidding, requests for proposals, and detailed financial representations – something "mom and pop" merchants are unwilling or unable to do