Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Will Restaurant Starved Roosevelt Island Residents Get Mobile Food Trucks Or Will RIOC Board Of Directors Stymie Competition To Protect Existing Restaurants - RIOC Board Meeting on Mobile Food Trucks Thursday February 16

It all started last December with Luke's Lobster Roll Mobile Food Truck being kicked off Roosevelt Island.

Will Roosevelt Island residents, one of the most restaurant lacking neighborhoods in NYC, ever be able to enjoy the variety and edible delights of Mobile Food Truck offerings that exist in many other NYC neighborhoods? We may soon know the answer to that question but first here's the current status of Mobile Food Truck access to Roosevelt Island as reported in this previous post on Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors January 11 Real Estate Committee meeting.
... the subject of Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Truck service is still being studied and evaluated by RIOC. During the well attended RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting we learned:
  • Mobile Food Trucks do not need any additional licenses or permits other than those granted by New York City to operate in Battery Park City and that Battery Park City defers to NYC rules and regulations regarding Mobile Food Trucks on its streets,
  • RIOC believes it has the authority to require Mobile Food Trucks with NYC licenses to obtain additional permits from RIOC even thought the mobile food trucks can operate in other NYC neighborhoods,
  • Riverwak Bar & Grill/Nonno's Focacceria Pizza owner Alphonse DiCioccio objects to mobile food trucks on Roosevelt Island though co-owner Jonathan Hoo acknowledges that additional food choices on the Island would be a good thing, just not too close to his restaurant,
  • Some RIOC Directors expressed the view that existing restaurants need to be protected from the mobile food trucks while other Directors think that competition will sort things out,
  • a resident made the excellent comparison of banning/restricting mobile food trucks on Roosevelt Island for the benefit of protecting existing restaurants from competition to banning Fresh Direct Grocery Deliveries in order to protect Gristedes,
  • Main Street Master Lease Agreement allows Hudson/Related to decide whether to allow Mobile Food Trucks/Street Vendors in the area from Blackwell House to Motorgate but not in Southtown or other locations on Roosevelt Island and
  • the Real Estate Committee will meet in a few weeks to make a decision...
Video and audio of that meeting is here.

A decision on Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Trucks may be forthcoming soon as it is again among the items on the Agenda for the RIOC) Board of Directors Real Estate Committee meeting on Thursday February 16. Here's the Agenda:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion of Street Vending Licenses on Roosevelt Island;
2. Review of RIOC-Controlled Community Spaces;
3. Chair's Motion for Executive Session to Review and Discuss the Status of Privatization/Affordability Plan and Ground Lease Extension for Island House.
During the January 11 RIOC Real Estate Committee, guidance was sought from the practice of Battery Park City in regard to Mobile Food Trucks. At that time RIOC was told there was no specific Battery Park City policy on the subject. Well now there are Mobile Food Trucks serving Battery Park City. According to the Downtown Express:
World Financial Center food trucks: It was exactly 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, when Albert Teran, owner of the Bongo Brothers Cuban Food Truck, firmly closed his window, disappointing several customers still waiting outside. “We have to stop selling at 3 p.m.,” he later explained. “Besides, I’d run out of food.”

Bongo Brothers was one of four food trucks parked in the cul-de-sac at North End Avenue and Vesey Street on the second day of Battery Park City’s newest dining amenity — four food trucks that will appear from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on a rotating schedule, bringing a variety of ethnic foods and desserts to B.P.C.’s hungry hordes.

The idea originated with Brookfield Office  Properties, owner of the World Financial Center, in an effort to make up for the dining options that are no longer available inside 2 World Financial Center during construction. To ensure good quality and variety, the food trucks were chosen with the help of the New York City Food Truck Association, which has 25 vendors....
and DNA Info:
... Other trucks that will make appearances during the lot's first week include Frites 'N' MeatsMilk TruckCoolhausSchnitzel & ThingsMexicue and Rickshaw Dumplings.

"There's clearly a lack of food that's served in Battery Park City today," David Cheikin, Brookfield's director of leasing, said when announcing the plan for food trucks late last year.
"The more dining options we can bring down, the better off it is for anyone."...
The subject of Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Trucks came up during January 19 RIOC Board meeting. RIOC Director and Real Estate Committee Chair Howard Polivy indicated that street safety and logistics were the main criteria to determine how and where Mobile Food Trucks could be located on Roosevelt Island. RIOC Director David Kraut appeared to take the position that protecting existing Roosevelt Island merchants from competition of Mobile Food trucks was an additional valid concern of RIOC notwithstanding the desire of residents for the Mobile Food Trucks.

Here's the discussion.

You Tube Video of RIOC Board Mobile Food Truck Discussion

Both Mr. Polivy and and Mr. Kraut's term on the RIOC Board has expired. Mr. Polivy chose to run in the recent RIOC Board Nominee election to be reappointed to the RIOC Board and was one of the 3 election winners. Mr. Kraut chose not to participate in the residents RIOC Board Nominee election.

More info from New York City Food Truck Association and from previous posts.


Budulay Leopoldovich said...

what time and where is this meeting today? is it open to public?

Westviewer said...

The best protection for our local restaurants is in their own hands:  to provide food that customers actually want to buy and eat.  

RooseveltIslander said...

 it's open to the public. time and place of meeting in the post. RIOC HQ at 591 main street 5:30 pm