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Friday, March 15, 2013

Roosevelt Island Southtown Riverwalk Building 7 Construction Starting In June, New Tot Lot To Be Built On Nearby Blackwell Park Lawn - Ground Lease Payment For Building 7 Reduced From $32 To 28 Million

Hudson Related will start construction of Southtown Riverwalk Building 7 in June

Site Of New Southtown Building 7 Covers Northern Section Of Area By Shed/Tot Lot

which will require the removal of the existing children's Tot Lot.

The Southtown Tot Lot is used extensively by area parents who have been concerned about its future. During March 12 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast here) Hudson Related representative Sara Willard sought permission from the RIOC Directors to move the existing Tot Lot a few yards east and north to a shady area on the Blackwell Park Lawn.

New Site Of Tot Lot In Blackwell Park

Ms Willard explained Hudson Related's plan for a new, slightly larger, Tot Lot open and available for use before construction of Building 7 begins and the closing of the existing Tot Lot.

The plan was approved by the RIOC Directors.

Ms. Willard noted that the Southtown Dog Run will not be re-located during construction of building 7.

Here's the discussion about moving the Tot Lot.

Also, the Southtown Building 7-9 Ground Lease amendment with Hudson Related was approved during the February 28 RIOC Board of Directors meeting. According to RIOC CFO Steve Chironis the ground lease payment from Hudson Related to RIOC  for building 7 was reduced from $32 million to $28 million. The terms for buildings 8-9 remained the same.

Here's video of Mr. Chironis explaining the Ground Lease amendment to the RIOC Board.


westviewgirl said...

is building 7 going up in ST and the other new buildings going to be market rate apts, or affordable housing, or staff housing for Cornell? .I have hear that Weill Cornell has bought the new buildings in ST and is having Related manage them? Really? I hope you can find out and report all the info, thank you.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Or, we will know sooner or later anyway as if it really matters what the buildings are for. All that matters is a) we will have hundred more people on this island commuting and b) less open space yet again.

CheshireKitty said...

Hahahaha... as if the City or State cares about open land. Did you see the recent story about Bloomberg putting up parkland and parking lots adjacent to or even within public housing complexes for sale to developers of luxury high-rises?

The reason: Oh, the City needs the revenue to make needed repairs to the projects.. Yeah, right.

The City, when it comes to affordable housing, is broke, but the City, or State, when it comes to cutting prices or giving tax breaks to developers, can afford it.

Is that because these developers make a habit of giving large sums of money to politicians' campaigns or political action committees, who in turn reward the developers with lucrative breaks or price cuts?

In this way Bloomberg favors his friends in the real estate industry at the expense of the "pesky" underclass huddled in substandard public housing - most of whom obviously can't match the developers' "bribes" on an individual basis, and aren't conscious enough to organize and pool their meager resources to match or surpass the developers' payoffs to pols.

Big surprise for Bloomberg or his many "clones" running for Mayor: The pesky underclass, or even the middle class, has power in the form of their much greater numbers than the elite, and can exercise it at the polls.

A challenger to the existing order, an order that invariably sticks it to the working/middle class, would have to show how his side of the story is suppressed by the media conglomerates (moguls such as Zuckerberg, Murdoch, and Times owner) and convince the electorate that he is the man to reverse the 12 years of Bloomberg policies such as rezoning, the trend to demolish public housing through neglect, the paralysis in the construction of affordable housing - not as a small fraction of a luxury development but wholly rent stabilized buildings.

The poorer classes are continually being driven out of their gentrifying ethnic neighborhoods under Bloomberg's rezoning as one neighborhood after another is targeted for "improvement" or "gentrification". Here is an example of a new gentrification "front" now opening in Crown Heights area that is still zoned for industrial/manufacturing

No wonder thousands of public housing residents in areas devastated by Sandy cling to their miserable units even without electricity or running water, even with mold. For them, there is no alternative.

Joe Carbo said...

my wife wants to go to work. i keep telling her not to. .because if we have any more income we will lose our sec8 and we wil lose our apartment.thank you ron vass for selling out eastwood

Mark Lyon said...

Joe, Reach out to HPD/NYCHA about the Federal Family Self-Sufficiency program. It was designed to help alleviate that issue.

CheshireKitty said...

Mark & Joe,
Joe - Mark is right that the FSS program might help your wife get a job or get training to prepare for a job.
Mark - Joe is referring to what will happen if his family income rises above the Sec 8 threshold if his wife goes to work and thereby they are disqualified from receiving the Sec 8 assistance.
The problem is that even earning $1 over the threshold means they are thrown out of the program - yet that extra amount will hardly pay for any sort of apt - even a rent stabilized apt - if you are low-income. To rent an apt comparable to the units in Eastwood, you would have to significantly earn more. 2 BRs today are going for about 3.4K per mo on average in Manhattan for example. It's easy to figure out that the household income would have to be well into middle-class to afford a unit at that rent.

Joe - You are stuck in a classic dilemma, which is why I have always said the Sec 8 tenants in Eastwood were not given exactly the same deal as the LAP tenants received. I have respect for Ron Vass, but there weren't many people on the building committee in those days that represented tenants that would later go into the Sec 8 program. Or maybe it was Serge's fault for not pushing Belson more in the negotiations. The only alternative for your wife is to say she'll agree to work for straight pay with benefits. Although this is not quite "kosher" it obviously happens all the time. I'm not condoning it - I just say it happens because in this way, sometimes it is better for the employer. The employer simply pays the worker the salary. If the worker is willing to forego the deductions, then the worker gets to keep all the money and the position never appears "on the books". In this way, all of the money from the job from the employer goes into the employee's pocket so that in a way the employer can actually afford to pay less since there are no deductions to reduce the money the employee would receive after the deductions. I'm not saying I would ever do this, or recommend that others do it. But, it does happen, it's widespread and may even give your wife an edge since she can then say she's willing to accept less (since there would be no deductions) than another employee who may want the pay credited toward their social security earnings - in order to have that other employee receive the same pay, the employer would have to pay more to allow for all the deductions. So your wife would have an edge and that might make a difference in landing a job. These arrangements are common in the food service industry. Like I said, the good thing is, your wife works, she makes money, you get to keep your apartment because there is no W2 at the end. Like I said, I'm not recommending this, I'm just stating that this does go on and may be a way for your wife to work and earn money yet for the family to still stay in their unit.

Mark Lyon said...

Thanks CK. FSS, at least as it is administered in other states (it can be different in each program; I have no experience with it in NY, but have helped people in MS use it) can also allow for a "rent freeze" for a non-trivial period after a family's income exceeds limits. During this period, the goal is to allow savings to be generated and to give an opportunity for incomes to grow.

While the system has some perverse incentives built in, I don't recommend working "off the books". That opens up more problems than it solves.

CheshireKitty said...

Same here, I'd never recommend working "off the books". Maybe Joe's wife could get a part-time job that wouldn't push the family's income over the income limit. If the FSS program freezes the rent to allow a family's income to catch up with the going rent prices in the area, then that might help Joe. It doesn't seem to say anything about that on the website (or at least on the intro page) maybe if you called them and asked them about a rent freeze you could find out if it's offered in NYC.

Joe Carbo said...

are you aware that ron vass and the ebc colleted money from the 870 famiies who were going to get sec 8 to pay for the lawyer.this lawyer was not for sec 8 famies.the lawyer was for the 130 famies getting lap.see the lawyet did noting for the sec 8 people as if yoir income puts you into sec8 thats where you are placed
so the 130 who were not getting sec

Joe Carbo said...

see the sec8 tenants paid for a lawyer that was not working for them. but see it is better to have another 830 famies puting money In than just the 130. dont you agree thats why i call ron a crook he knew sec 8 people did not need a lawyer but he took money from them tpay fo

CheshireKitty said...

I don't know if I'd say that. It was more the Sec 8 tenants, or those that would be placed in Sec 8, didn't have enough people on the ebc to push for similar protections. Why fault Ron - the ebc had to raise money to pay for a lawyer. The exit agreement wasn't perfect but it wasn't that bad either.

bakgwailo said...

Dunno, I swear he was making the exact same arguments/complaints a year a go (almost cut and paste)....

CheshireKitty said...

It's a paradox. Of course people should work, but the "reward" of work shouldn't be losing your apt because you exceed even by $1 the income limit. The system stymies finding work if that's the risk. And since it's unlikely they'll find work that will pay enough to afford a market-rate rental, they're perpetually stuck in their situation.

bakgwailo said...

Errr, what? That has nothing to do with my reply - I was more implying that I think he is trolling for the sake of trolling and my not actually be in the position he claims.

CheshireKitty said...

No way of knowing one way or another. He is fixated on Ron Vass selling out the portion of the tenancy that was placed in Sec 8 after the bldg exited M-L though,which is pointless now considering the building exited almost 10 years ago.

Joe Carbo said...

well i see that you will never understand how bad this deal was for working people who are not on fixed incomes.who were placed in sec 8.many of these people have moved out
because they went to work and their income went up and so did their rent how foolest of them to have a job you people are not in this situation so you dont want to understand have a nice life.

CheshireKitty said...

Of course I understand and have felt it was unfair for the past 8 years.

Many in 2004-2005 didn't think that far ahead. I know I didn't back then. It was later that it dawned on me to ask what would happen to those in Sec 8 who went to work - they would no longer be protected from a huge rent increase.

There was only one person in ebc that later went into Sec 8 - Amelia, right? And she died not long after the building exited maybe a year or two later. I don't want to be disrespectful to the dead, but wasn't she a leader in ebc? She must have realized she was going into Sec 8 - why didn't she say something to Serge? All the other leaders in ebc ended up in the LAP, right? And that's not too surprising either - they became involved, knew something about dealing with a landlord, got a hold of an attorney.

They had to pay for the attorney so what else could they do but collect money from the tenants.

More tenants should have gotten involved - more tenants that would later be assigned to Sec 8 - more tenants like you. Were you involved with the ebc back then? If not, why not? If not, why complain about the deal that was worked out? It is flawed but I don't see how it can be changed now.

It is unfair that the vast majority of the tenants of Eastwood - 870 families - were screwed by the deal. But nobody thought of that back then - nobody thought that far ahead. Maybe it was an oversight. Everyone thought the moderate-income people would just stay moderate-income _ alot of them do, those on disability or on social security old age pensions. The families put into Sec 8 are screwed though. If any family member works and pushes their household income over the limit, then they either have to pay through the nose to keep the apt if they can afford it at all, or move. That is unfair.