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Thursday, October 30, 2014

NY City Lens On Changing Scene Of Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail - Possible New Thai Restaurant, Day Care Center And Bank, Also 8 New Burgers From Trellis


NY City Lens is an online news site produced by Columbia University Graduate School Of Journalism students. NYC Lens recently profiled Roosevelt Island's Main Street retail scene with a story titled:
Roosevelt Island Gambles on a Brighter Future

Here comes Cornell and Riverwalk, and a renovated downtown is feeling optimistic.
According to NY City Lens:
... Hal Shapiro, managing director of Winick Realty Group, which does retail leasing, said the problem is that many people don’t really know the island. He needs to explain things about it, such as its beautiful scenery with open space and parks, its population and economic increase and in the past years with finished new residential buildings, and its potential growth since Cornell is coming. And most importantly, he pointed out, that the island is underserved. He said, now he is talking with three potential tenants—a Thai restaurant, a daycare center, and a bank, asking for 50 dollars per square feet.

“Things are happening,” said Shapiro. Saks-Rosenberg agrees. Five years ago the Main Street Retail Study said that Roosevelt Island residents do just 12% of their shopping on the Island, she said, “and now people start to really shop on the island and go to the stores, which was not the case two years ago. ”

However, many residents are still used to their off-the-Main-Street shopping habits. Rachelle Sumersford orders from Fresh Direct online, Fidel Lakew walks across the bridge to the Costco in Queens and gets a cab back, and Dorothy Jefferies goes to Fairway and Agata on Manhattan Island by public transportation....
and:
... Kaie Razaghi and his son Alex come to the island every day from Astoria to work on the renovation of Trellis Diner. He was excited and proud of what he is doing. “We are gonna provide a restaurant dining experience,” said Razaghi. “Now I only have three different burgers. I will have eight when I open up. When I say eight, I don’t mean eight beef burgers with different toppings; I mean eight different meats!”

Razaghi hopes people will come to the Main Street for what he is doing—the modern design of the storefront, the new menu, and the dining experience. “I haven’t been making money for the past two years. It’s either take the money and go buy somewhere else, or put the money in, and take a chance. I put the money in here, and take a chance.”...
Hezi Jiang is the reporter on the Roosevelt Island retail story. She did an excellent job. Click here for the full article.

3 comments :

YetAnotherRIer said...

"However, many residents are still used to their off-the-Main-Street shopping habits. Rachelle Sumersford orders from Fresh Direct online, Fidel Lakew walks across the bridge to the Costco in Queens and gets a cab back, and Dorothy Jefferies goes to Fairway and Agata on Manhattan Island by public transportation...."


And YetAnotherRIer orders from Fresh Direct, walks across the bridge to Costco, goes to Fairway and shops for most other things on Manhattan Island by public transportation. I am very sure they didn't have to ask four individual people for that. They should have asked just me :-)


Joking aside, this island is still lacking most of the things I am looking for when it comes to groceries (mostly the better prices you get at Fresh Direct, TJs, Fairway, and Costco) and going out (the drink offerings/scene at Trellis and Bar&Grill are really not on pat at all with the rest of Manhattan). For Chinese and Japanese food I do order from here. Pizza still comes from Queens.

Anonymous said...

If I had money, I'd be opening a few restaurants. Once Cornell gets here there will be no affordable sites. AND getting locals on board early on is key to success. My one hope is that people stop complaining about the RedBus, or Gristedes, or Trellis, or Riverwalk. People should be grateful, this is a great place to live. SOOOOO people with money, open some stores & restaurants here...the locals won't disappoint!

MadAtMP said...

Let's face it, the Main Street strip will always be marginal. Most of the apartments are far from the Main Street shops: Octagon, most of Southtown. Most people do shopping near where they work and tote it over perhaps once weekly. (It doesn't mention that many of us have cars, which means if we visit or work outside of NYC, we shop there.)

I've often thought that Manhattan Park missed out in constructing a small takeaway food kiosk (with food largely prepared elsewhere) in the unused area between 20 and 30 RR with coffee in the morning and snacks till about 6. Whatever happened to our food trucks, BTW?

Had hopes for Riverwalk but the B&G doesn't measure up--and what happened to Nonno's pizza, it's definitely sub-par now.

RI really does not need a Thai restaurant smelling up the apartments above it like the Chinese restaurant does.

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