Monday, October 13, 2014

At Long Last, Roosevelt Island's New Liquor Store Opens Today - Welcome Island Wine & Spirits To The Neighborhood

Roosevelt Island's long absence without a local liquor store is now officially over. Earlier today Island Wine and Spirits

opened it doors

for what they are describing as a soft opening.

Did anybody check out Roosevelt Island's new liquor store today?


Jean M. Shea said...

not yet, I just noticed it was opened downstairs from my Building, Westview and posted it on FB.

CheshireKitty said...

"Well, did the GDP call for luxury housing, or even market-rate housing? It didn't." You can try to refute this true statement all you want but the fact is, the initial development as set forth in the GDP did not call for luxury or market-rate housing, because the initial development was limited to poor and middle-class applicants, under the M-L program. All four buildings that were initially built, excluded the rich, just as all M-L developments exclude the rich. M-L developments are affordable, instead of market-rate or luxury, housing. Why don't you understand that, Frank? Affordable housing is not the equivalent of market rate housing. You have a fine education and should understand that simple concept. Why don't you accept that the WIRE buildings, exactly as set forth in the GDP, were built as M-L complexes The rich could not apply to get in. There was no market rate or luxury housing called for in the GDP, because when RI was developed, no market rate or luxury housing was constructed initially.

Thus, RI was not initially developed as a mixed-income community - just as all M-L developments are not mixed-income buildings; M-L developments or buildings are exclusively set aside as affordable housing for poor or middle-class ONLY.

The GDP did not call for market-rate or luxury housing initially, otherwise market rate and luxury housing would have been constructed initially, which it wasn't: It was only after a number of years passed - from approximately 1975 to 1990, or 15 year, and only after the 63rd St subway line linking RI to the rest of the City that the rich were allowed in when the market rate portion of MP was constructed. Prior to MP, the entire island was IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GDP developed as a mecca for the poor or middle-class. You can't argue with that, because you know it's true: RI was developed first for the poor and middle-class - later the rich were allowed to move in, and even that was somewhat of a "gamble" considering the drawbacks of living in a rather isolated spot.

The island was thus developed in accordance to the GDP - the GDP called for the poor and middle-class to be housed initially, not for market rate or luxury housing.

Nowhere in the GDP does it say that market rate or luxury housing be included in Phase I Northtown - only in subsequent development phases of development. Thus the island was not developed as a mecca for the rich; if anything, it was initially developed as a mecca for the poor and middle-class - and thus, cannot be said to have been a mixed-income community from the outset since it excluded the rich, initially.

Also, ask anyone who is familiar with the matter if the WIRE buildings were luxury or market rate housing when they were first built, and they will say they were not. You do not need any special educational attainments to look up this fact and see that the island, in accordance with the GDP, was not initially developed with market-rate or luxury housing. The GDP did not call for market-rate or luxury housing initially - it called for affordable housing ONLY. This is a fact that only you dispute.

KTG said...

Does that matter as island is clearly moving to market rate and state, city, and RIOC seem to be on board with that.

Without market rate development inflows can island services be sustained?

OldRossie said...

You're right, it doesn't matter anymore because the rest of the world doesn't live in the past. BUT, it's the fact that what she said was wrong, and her inability to accept that, that's so amazing and entertaining.

CheshireKitty said...

A number-crunching researcher like Frank could answer that question. But, offhand, I would say, if the services were sustained for the first 15 years RI community was in existence without market-rate housing, then it's likely the services could continue without market-rate housing on an indefinite basis.

The issue is the developers making money. They defer making money on the buildings for 20 or 30 years but get the tax breaks. However, the projects are investments for them, and they have to make money from the effort. That's how our system works (for better or worse). There could be an element of social responsibility such as when a developer provides common amenities, or donates to local charities. But the bottom line is the bottom line to the developers - as others have said, they aren't philanthropic enterprises. Thus, society didn't really solve the problem of providing permanent affordable housing for a large swath of the population with the M-L program. I'm not sure what the proponents of the M-L law thought would happen after the 20 or 30 years expired - the tenants were suddenly supposed to be in a position to afford market-rate units? They figured residents' incomes would have risen over the 20 or 30 years so the residents could then simply afford doubled or tripled rents?

Unfortunately, over 20 or 30 years, many times a resident will eventually retire, or for some reason, the household income will decline - as kids move out, or there is job loss etc. There is no guarantee that household income will climb.

Thus, the need to house the (unfortunately dwindling) middle-class and poor, persists, and the housing crisis continues as critical as ever.

CheshireKitty said...

Look, most of what we get out of the blog comments is analogous to a verbal ping-pong game - it is an entertainment. Yes, the island has now been fully developed, and the mix of affordable vs. market-rate has changed. You would really need to ask Frank if the ratio has been adhered to, in light of the conversion of EW to market-rate. Many doubt it - which means the ratio/plan as set forth in the GDP, was a "lie" to begin with (given the fixed term of affordability of M-L developments).

Yes, the era of the WIRE buildings only is over, yet the problem of housing the poor and even middle-class in NYC, persists.

KTG said...

First point is not really true, even if RIOC/city/state was not wasteful or as we are learning somewhat subject to graft large capital expenditures will always impact cash flow. For example tram over haul would tax the cash on hand or requiring financing stretching long term budgets. I have seen multiple post regarding long term operating short falls in RIOC budget that can be only closed by development money. Maybe that false but I doubt it,

On the question of ML the age out is because building up keep get more expensive as years advance and that burden can not be carried by developer without market rate rents. I think policy holders behind ML envisioned that people would use below market rate housing to build a nest egg to gain economic stability perhaps by buying a home (I know that crazy to talk to you Helen). I mean what's the benefit of any policy plan that keeps people dependent on these subsidies or programs. They are always target to as measure to step people up an economic ladder to independence, only you see them as a permanent solution.

The GDP was relevant in context of ML which has an age out for building developers so by that rule always had a transition to market rate built in. You just did want to see it that way.

CheshireKitty said...

Maybe that is true but wasn't the tram built within the first 15 years of RI? Maybe there is a budget shortfall as a result of capital projects - but RIOC certainly didn't go under. As I recall, RIOC did receive State aid up until Pataki was elected Governor (1995) it was then that RIOC was told to become more self-sufficient.

Yes, that would stand to reason - structures are subject to deterioration, and there is no corresponding 'subsidy" for the cost of repairs. Thus, the owner is subject to the market on the one hand (repairs) but unable to derive market-rate income on the other (ML). For a large-scale developer who can spread out the losses among many buildings, the profit from the "expensive" properties can somewhat offset the losses from the ML properties similar to the way chain stores can "subsidize" or keep afloat less-performing locations since the losses, or lack of spectacular profit, are offset by the better-performing stores.

It would indeed be nice if we could all build a nest egg and move on to our own coops or private houses. However, consider the population that is housed in NYC ML buildings and the City in which these buildings exist. Do you really think these residents, often not getting paid that much in jobs - and in fact, could not qualify for these apartments if they were paid above a certain level - would really be in a position to save, with the cost of living being what it is in NYC, as well as subject to the never-ending bombardment of messages to consume (and after all, the economy is a consumer-driven economy, thus in consuming rather than saving they are only doing what they are expected to do). The only way this scenario - of giving the poor and middle-class a "break" with housing to enable them to save so as to buy a property - works is (1) they are getting paid enough to actually save (2) property values are low, low, low - so that down-payments and mortgages are also affordable.

I don't see ML as a program that fosters dependence. Many if not most in the ML buildings work. Does working at a for example City job = dependence, because the person may not be making mid six figures? I see ML as a project for the middle-class and the poor. There are urban renewal projects for the poor, and ML was the same thing for the middle-class and poor. I suppose the dwellers of Coop City, and Starrett (before it privatized) would have preferred not to see their "villages" as gigantic projects, but IMO that is exactly what these developments are.

Remember, it is possible to have a difference of opinion with regard the benefits of home-ownership (of private homes) as opposed to (collective) living in apartments. Maybe home ownership is not for everyone, considering the expense/taxes/insurance/so forth. Maybe that explains the unending interest/strong market for rentals.

Whether developers build market rate units or affordable units, is the question. We'll see how the new administration performs in the end, with upping the supply of affordable housing. Each administration that comes along, starts with high hopes on the topic, but the reality in the end, often turns out different. Remember: Capitalism can only exist in conditions of scarcity. The supply of units must not be upped too abruptly, otherwise there will be an "oversupply" of product and price will drop. On top of that, affordable units aren't as lucrative as market rate units - of course, so why build them? Thus, every administration that comes along must confront this basic problem, of inducing business to do a very un-business-like thing and build affordable units.

OldRossie said...

That is the most circular comment... Let's breakdown what you're saying. Your words: "I don't see ML as a program that fosters
dependence... Maybe home ownership is not for everyone, considering
the expense/taxes/insurance/so forth... Do you really think these residents, often not getting
paid that much in jobs... subject to the never-ending bombardment of
messages to consume... Whether developers build market rate units or
affordable units, is the question." So... said in reverse, a good local government would up the supply of affordable housing so that these spend-thrift tenants with low paying jobs who are not cut out for home ownership due to the associated costs can afford a place to live which would NOT be considered a program fostering dependence... how does that make any sense?

KTG said...

I was referring to tram upgrade and overhaul pretty large capital expenditure that was deferred until it was absolutely necessary due to budget constraint.

Why should a developer spread loss across market rate buildings when he only gets tax incentives on ML buildings. The model your recommending doesn't work chain stores do this more for brand awareness and availability. You have to look at their costs and profits.

If you can't afford your apartment with out ML, than you are dependent on program you can't argue this. Its is dangerous for anyone to assume a government subsidy can remain for ever they are by their nature time to limits and restrictions

Its fine not to believe in home ownership but

franceonisland said...

I went in and bought some wine. Looks good! And the price was decent.

CheshireKitty said...

LOL. It is much less efficient to own a private house than to live in an apartment unit; it's also less costly.

The US economy thrives or falls based on consumer spending. People at all income levels are told to spend not save. You expect poorly paid workers to save to buy a house? That's a dream. All I said was the economy would probably have to collapse to some extent for real estate prices to become low enough to be considered affordable to those making minimum. Or, for the cost of living to drop to a level that those making minimum could actually save, in order to afford a down-payment on a dirt-cheap property.

I certainly don't see State support for seniors, the disabled, the poor, children's lunch programs, free UPK, and the range of social programs, as fostering dependency. If these programs foster dependency, then what government program, such as universal free public school education, or free public libraries, and so forth, doesn't?

There should be decent affordable housing available to all, such that the moderate-income residents can afford to both spend and enjoy life, and save for some future big-ticket purchase/expense, such as a college education for the kids, or a new car.

People in general are fed up with having to pay through the nose for "market-rate" housing - which forces them into shares, and in fact prevents the very thing the economy is supposed to provide: Affordable housing for families.

The current housing bubble makes it economically impossible or unfeasible for people to afford to start a family if all their money is being poured into a apartment share. How long do you think people will put up with this appalling and untenable situation?

Affordable housing - any which can it can be arranged, either through government programs, projects, subsidies, tax breaks/incentives for developers, any possible housing scheme you can think of - is not dependence. It's a right - just as affordable health care is a right. It's a right because the State is already required to house the homeless either in shelters or on a long-term basis, in projects, including many times, right here on RI when Eastwood was still a ML project and received many tenants from shelters. That fact that the State is by law required to house everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, means the State must extend the same right to everyone, even the middle-class who may find it difficult to afford market-rate housing.

You dislike the notion of the State housing the homeless on RI? Too bad. It's been going on for years - you live cheek by jowl with former shelter-dwellers. And guess what: You didn't melt down or explode with the social "horror" of being in close social proximity with the "lowest of the low" with the "spend-thrifts" as you call them, with those you despise.

The huge numbers housed in shelters in NYC of late means the housing crisis, exacerbated by income inequality, continues unabated.

And you are going to sit there and tell me affordable housing = dependency? What should we do with the thousands in the projects (actually hundreds of thousands) and the thousands in the shelter system, and the thousands in ML housing, or receiving Sec 8 vouchers? Oh, I suppose if it was up to you, you would want to see them all -- disappear, right?

CheshireKitty said...

The overhaul yes - it was deferred until the new developments were built, but the tram itself was implemented when only ML complexes were on RI.

Even so, someone has to provide affordable housing, or pay workers more to enable them to afford market rate housing. It's one or another - otherwise, society will explode one day.

The housing market is overheated today because it caters to overseas buyers, who may not even live in NY but purchase units as investments. NYC - like many large cities worldwide - capitalizes on its cachet as an exciting place to live; even RI r/e can leverage this image although RI itself mostly lacks excitement, is instead rather quiet/tranquil. And so you get people streaming into NYC from all over the country and all over the world, looking for excitement, or at least to have experienced living in NYC. The seller's market is great for the developers; they can't build new market rate housing fast enough to satisfy the demand. The price of units goes up all over - but, pay does not keep pace with the price increases. Income inequality keeps pay rates down. As we know, most glaringly, BB vetoed a City Council bill regarding sick pay, if not also vetoing a bill to increase minimum.

Rents do rise, but then, so should pay. That is not the case, which is why BdB rode in on a voter tsunami of dissatisfaction with income inequality, the need for much more affordable housing, revulsion at the city splitting into two cities, and so forth.

More or less, the city has to be reclaimed from the rich - there was too much of an emphasis on up-zoning, on making the city "rich-friendly" - under BB. Now, the tide has turned - it is hoped. Let's hope BdB can deliver on his promises about affordable housing, increasing services for the poor/middle-class people of NYC, more or less level the playing field so that not all the advantages ("money"/benefits") flow to the rich, which was the case under BB.

"Us and Them" said...

Huge problem, I agree and thanks for posting

"Us and Them" said...

The issue is more complex than 9th grade logic

"Us and Them" said...

You are 100% correct

"Us and Them" said...

It's ok, they probably make up the part of voters that keep voting against their own little interests.

"Us and Them" said...

I agree. It's really difficult finding posts here. I see someone's comment on the initial page on the right side column and when I click on it it takes me here instead of that one post.

OldRossie said...

I'm going to respond in your style: So if it were up to you you'd close the borders to any non-NYC natives, tax anyone making over 300k 90% on their income, force them to pay double market rent to cover affordable housing for anyone that earns less than 300k or has an excuse not to earn at all. The penthouses go to the homeless and the outhouses go to the rich.

RooseveltIslander said...

If you click on the sidebar link with the time of the comment (3 hours ago for instance) it will take you directly to that specific comment.

I know i have been late setting up a new thread and will do it very soon.


CheshireKitty said...

Thank you. The above message with regard a living wage, is becoming increasingly popular. People of all political stripes can see the unfairness of paying workers so little that they actually qualify for Food Stamps - thus partially shifting the cost of labor from the 1% - such as the Walton family - to the 99%, the taxpayers.

CheshireKitty said...

That's a novel way of looking at things, but it's not what I said.

Rossie: Everyone agrees that extreme income inequality is a bad thing. Everyone agrees that the housing crisis is a bad thing.

Why don't *you* come up with a plan to address both income inequality and the housing crisis. Do something constructive for a change: The goal must be: A wage sufficient to pay for affordable housing, and enough of a supply of both good-paying jobs and housing that is affordable to those working at those jobs.

The problem is inter-connected, as you can see. Income inequality derives from greed - the 1% do not want to pay their employees a living wage. Greed likewise prices market rate apartments out of the reach of those poorly paid workers. Right?

You see how the 1% skews and manipulates the market, both by not paying workers enough, and by creating an artificial housing shortage (the housing crisis) so housing prices can be jacked up. (Warehousing apartments, not building enough affordable housing, etc.)

Because the 1% are the ones who donate the most to politicians of each party, they are the most likely to influence legislation, despite politicians' pronouncements to the contrary. These inter-connected problems - the rich elites influencing politics so that legislation is favorable to them - also lead to the same problems of income inequality, the housing crisis, lack of affordable housing, etc.

So what would you do? Just let things fester as always? Hope everyone suffering is magically transformed into yuppie professionals who can afford over-priced housing because now they will be well-compensated?

The truth is, 45 million Americans are still stuck below the poverty line Without the social safety net programs you dismiss, I do not think there would be a "pretty picture" socially in the US.

If you can come up with a way to eliminate extreme income inequality and improve the supply of affordable housing, be my guest.

OldRossie said...

Have everyone become a professional who can afford housing? Yes. That's a solution. Unfortunately, you can't make that statement without saying the words "yuppie" and "over-priced" because you can't imagine working for what you have.

CheshireKitty said...

LOL. I can't imagine working? What do you think I've been doing - personally - my entire life? I didn't put in long hours of homework as a pupil? I may have a gift, but I didn't skip a grade, or test into an elite HS, or later, into an Ivy, based on IQ. I worked hard in school - and even so, I wasn't at the top of my class. I consider study work.

Afterwards, I worked at many working class jobs. This was also work, and all those who work at working class jobs, such as office work or factory work, are working as well, they work for what they have. Is it "lesser" work because it's not highly-compensated managerial/entrepreneurial/
professional work? You tell me.

The problem, Rossie, is that working class jobs, which today, may be McJobs or an associate position at a Walmart's, since industrial and many office jobs have disappeared, do not pay enough for what we need, or should have. If these jobs paid enough then the employees would not qualify for Food Stamp benefits under Federal poverty guidelines, which is the case today.

You may be a professional, and you may feel you "have it made" and your "future is assured." Yuppies like you are a sliver of the population however - and your success cannot be duplicated for the benefit of the vast majority of the population.

The reasons are myriad: Not everyone is cut out to be a professional, others may not wish to follow that path for other reasons.

Even so, with all the training and opportunities, the US has a highly skewed income distribution because of our extreme income inequality.

I am suggesting that although not everyone is going to be in a position to become a professional/manager/entrepreneur, although some income inequality will always exist, extreme income inequality should not exist, as it represents a subversion of our community responsibilities.

As far as what I "earn" now -as a retiree - actually, it's highly satisfying watching the SS and job retirement payments (pensions) kick in like clockwork every month. These funds represent a "dividend" of sorts, considering the amount of labor I put in, over the course of my lifetime. Both pensions have worked out - pay off -exactly as promised. I have no complaints. I worked as a younger person so I can rest - if I so chose - as an older person. This is the template that the overwhelming majority of Americans have long bought into, in paying into FICA and so forth every week of their working lives. Otherwise, you would have even higher levels of destitution and poverty - a situation that would be totally unacceptable in the #1 economy on Earth.

"Us and Them" said...

"Us and Them" said...

40 years of income inequality in America. Here is to show you how minimum wage has not really compared to the income of those at the top bracket.

OldRossie said...

out of curiosity: who is "us", and who is "them"?

CheshireKitty said...

10/18/14: "This week, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon addressed a common complaint toward the megaretailer when he stated the company plans to end minimum-wage pay for its workers soon."

So much for "capitalist paradise" - with no adverse consequences for screwing the workers, eh Rossie!

Costco does better than Walmart although it pays its workers double Walmart's pay rate... I wonder why...

Sometimes, income inequality just doesn't pay!

OldRossie said...

You're right, that's great news! I wonder how quickly we'll see it translate into lower taxes for those same employees given the fewer housing and income subsidies required for low earners? The market will prevail! MOST importantly, maybe my portfolio dividend yield will improve from better earnings in coming quarters...
Thanks for passing along the good news!

"Us and Them" said...

a pink floyd ref

CheshireKitty said...

Lower taxes for those same employees? I'm sure their current tax rate can't be that high - if they're getting paid minimum.

I think the take-away from the article is that Wal-Mart was losing the competition with Costco because they weren't paying their employees a competitive wage; note that Costco pays their employees approximately double what Wal-Mart pays. The price Wal-Mart pays for under-compensating their work force is less productivity, that translates eventually into customers possibly taking their business elsewhere.

Yes - in a way, you are right: The market does prevail, in that Wal-Mart employees, in not being as motivated/productive as Costco employees, "strike" in a million different little ways, every day. That is their answer to the Walton family's greed, and the message finally got through to the Walton family as their stock went down, as their business began to sink.

The Walton family will need to pay out maybe billions more in wages, but that appears to be the only way their business will survive.

Yes - you can take that position if you wish. Actually, you can bet on Wal-Mart actually doing better in the long run even though it may pay out lower dividends in the near term.

Sometimes - capitalism works out well for everyone, on "both sides of the bargaining table."

CheshireKitty said...

That's great. An anti-war song.