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Friday, April 12, 2013

Demise Of Roosevelt Island's Homogenous Red Storefront Signage Begins Today With Trashing Of Public Safety Department Sign - Retailers Can Now Use Whatever Colors They Want

The demise of Roosevelt Island's homogeneous red Main Street retail storefront signage began today starting with removal


 and upside down trashing


of the Public Safety Department sign at 550 Main Street.

Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related's David Kramer explained the new signage policy during April 2 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting. According to Mr. Kramer:
... Every retailer can do whatever they want, that we are providing a certain platform which is to have a flat sign across that is lit and whatever they want to do within the rectangle they can do...

... we have some suggested colors...


Here's a final remembrance to Roosevelt Island's Main Street signage from 2009 post:

Main Street Image Of Roosevelt Island Is The Village From Glark
Roosevelt Island's drab, dreary and depressing Main Street has often been compared to East Berlin prior to the fall of the Wall or even The Village from the great British Television program The Prisoner. Glark, a blogger recently visiting Roosevelt Island wrote:
This morning I got up early and explored the half of Roosevelt Island I missed on my first trip to this weirdo bit on earth in the East River. Main Street in so late 60s and early 70s it made my teeth ache. It’s all concrete and metal siding, rundown and aesthetically homogeneous. It’s like a English village via Soviet Russia. It’s the New York version of The Village from the cult TV series The Prisoner. It’s fascinating that it is so close to Manhattan and yet worlds apart....
So long Main Street Red Storefront Signage.

10 comments :

Jesse Webster said...

Hooray!

Stephanie said...

I'll miss it. I thought it was great.

CheshireKitty said...

The seating alcoves were nice. I wonder if the update, as nice as it is, will really do anything for Main St. The illuminated signage Kramer will implement should help. Much will depend on the new stores. Some seating along the walkway to replace the alcoves would also be nice.

Ratso123 said...

Hudson Related and their representatives seem overly concerned with parameters for colors, lights and signage on the new soon to be stores. Their business model seems to include a transformation of the population to a higher economic group than the one that exists here now. The high rents will force store owners to seek prices that the current residents can't afford. This will ultimately result in some business failures. The opposite approach of making the stores extremely affordable so businesses can take root would be a better approach for the current residents and businesses.

CheshireKitty said...

We've been talking about this for several years. The new stores could charge prices comparable to those charged by the sweet shop for muffins, i.e. are geared to the affluent. There are probably enough affluent on RI to support the stores. The moderate income people are priced out of these stores. I don't see the sweet shop going out of business even though many Main St residents can't afford it.


The approach you suggest is the better approach but would not make it economically attractive for Kramer. He's only in the Master Lease venture for the money. If RIOC were still leasing the stores, then always making a big profit would not have been the sole object of leasing the stores. This is what happens when there is privatization - the profit motive is all-important. Because profits are all-important, the less-affluent residents are disregarded in Kramer's planning - since they cannot contribute to the system of the stores making money and in turn paying a large rent to Kramer.

Ratso123 said...

I see your point. However, I believe that the less affluent members who live on Roosevelt Island actually spend more money in the stores than those who are more affluent. I think that the residents who live closest to the stores such as Trellis, will actually spend more of their income in Trellis than those that live in Octagon.. I feel that there is a geographic factor also involved. that Hudson Related is pretending doesn't exist. Instead they want to change the economic status of all the residents, as if this should be looked at as some kind of socially acceptable goal, rather than a scheme to gain control of what they perceive is "good business".. It is sort of like Bloomberg lecturing about gun control, but when certain city pension funds wanted to divest the funds from the gun stocks, his representative voted no. When asked Bloomberg said in effect that it was good business to own the gun stocks, Money is all that counts.

rilander said...

How symbolic of our current angst is that the Public Safety Department sign was the first to go!

CheshireKitty said...

Hudson can't change the economic status of the residents in Northtown. Privatization will result in the changeover - i.e. gentrification. I guess you can say Hudson wishes to reap the profits, in its own way, of that process. Gentrification is socially acceptable as long as those that facilitate the process - City officials that up-zone areas and developers, can get away with it - and usually they can. The displaced population usually lacks the wherewithal to fight back, and quietly disappears into the more remote, cheaper areas of the city.


BB is a hypocrite anyway so I'm not surprised he would vote against divesting the City pension funds of of gun manufacturer stocks. He seems to take the high ground on gun control - the progressive position. Yet he won't divest since he'd make less money on the non-gun stocks. He can't put his money where his mouth is... typical. What is he really saying? That he wants the gun companies to succeed (sell lots of guns) so as to pay dividends to their investors but he doesn't want the general population to buy guns. Hah. I bet he has the City pension funds in tobacco stocks as well -- since they pay so well..

Frank Farance said...

Ratso123, I agree with your sense of geographic affinity: if you're on the bus from Octagon, you can easily go one more stop to the subway and avoid Northtown altogether. Not too many non-local people visiting Subway and Main Street Sweets. Which was the point many people complained about: even those who live in higher-income housing didn't like the look of Northtown, even with the improvements, they still aren't willing to shop in it. Meanwhile, local Northtown people who are more price sensitive (and know the differences in the price of a cup coffee at M&D Deli, Trellis, and Main Street Sweets) will suffer because the new leases mean higher prices for merchants ... again, not because RIOC wants higher prices (it's prices are locked in via the Retail Master Lease), but H-R wants higher prices.


Thanks Jonathan Kalkin for raising the prices in a neighborhood that you didn't shop in when you lived in Manhattan Park and you still don't shop now that live in Southtown. (I'm sure this comment will get a cameo appearance of Mr. Kalkin in Northtown, with a twitter post of him buying an ice cream cone.)

CheshireKitty said...

Hudson correctly got rid of the least loved sign first.

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