Friday, April 29, 2016

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility To Close For Renovations In August, Reopen By Thanksgiving Says RIOC - Will Future Roosevelt Island Sportspark Be Operated By Equinox Or Other Private Entity?

Sportspark Image From Google Maps

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee April 26 meeting discussed the upcoming renovations and temporary closing of the Sportspark Facility (full audio web cast of meeting here). According to RIOC Acting President Susan Rosenthal, the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility will close temporarily starting about August 15, 2016 for renovations to include the installation of a new roof, a new boiler and repairs to the pool. The Sportspark facility will probably re-open by Thanksgiving.

No work will be done during these renovations for improvements to the locker rooms and showers.

Ms Rosenthal added that although it need not be discussed during this meeting, future potential plans for the long term use and management of Sportspark should be addressed at a later date including possibly issuing a Request For Proposals seeking a private operator with the financial ability to undertake large capital improvements. Ms. Rosenthal noted that Sportspark:
... needs alot of work... a real renovation would cost a huge amount of money .... $50 million of capital...
... Once Cornell is open up and we have splashy new buildings over there,  Sportspark is going to look really lousy....
... the truth is the Island is going to change whether we like it or not...
RIOC Director Margie Smith expressed concerns about a private operator for Sportspark, including fees that would be charged to residents, as well as questioned the need for extensive renovations beyond what is necessary to fix Sportspark. Ms Smith advocated that:
... the people on the Island get to use it like the original intent was...
RIOC Director Howard Polivy added:
... when and if we seek out an operator we can require that the residents enjoy a very special rate...
to which Ms Rosenthal replied:
Here's the full April 26 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee discussion on Sportspark renovations.

RIOC also wishes to conduct a users survey of Sportspark. Members of the Sportspark Users Group met with RIOC in 2014 to discuss issues about the facility. 

As reported last November 15:
At yesterday's November 3 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Audit Committee meeting discussion (audio web cast of meeting here) of the proposed RIOC 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget, RIOC Director Howard Polivy noted that the budget included funds for:

.... an ambitious plan for Sportspark ....
I asked Mr. Polivy what were those ambitious plans for Sportspark. Mr. Polivy replied the ambitious plans listed in the proposed budget include::

  • HVAC
  • Electric
  • Roof
  • Pool
  • Concrete Restoration and Reconstruction
  • Replace Windows and Doors
  • New Flooring Squash/Ping Pong/Gym
  • Upgrade Locker Rooms/Bathrooms/Ceilings Sportspark -
  • Façade Repointing/Repair
  • Outdoor Basketball Courts
Mr. Polivy added:
... Basically,  It's a project that will go through the space and rebuild it...
It looks like the current Sportspark renovation plan is less ambitious than what was described last November.