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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Update From Hudson Related And Leasing Broker Cushman & Wakefield - Latest On Trellis Opening, Urgent Care, Possible New Food/Coffee Shop Operator & More

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Main Street Retail Advisory Committee (MSTRAC) met May 12 with Hudson Related representative Alexandra Kaplan and Cushman & Wakefield retail broker Michael Azarian for an update on Main Street leasing progress.

 Image Of Roosevelt Island's Vacant 503 Main Street

RIRA's MSTRAC Chair Anne Kanninen provides the following summary of the meeting. According to Ms. Kanninen

Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) is negotiating a lease regarding the space at 501 Main St. with a light food/coffee shop operator. C&W feels very positive and under the best scenario if the deal is successful the operations would start in the beginning of next year.

Nisi (new name of Trellis Diner) is expected to open in June. There was a discussion about possible price increases and Mr. Azarian told us that Nisi is supposed to stay as a diner meaning huge price increases are not expected. He also informed us that the company (Nisi) appears to have deep pockets and can easily carry the one and a half year losses from the renovation/construction.

Mr. Azarian also told us that there are several companies interested in coming to the island but many of them are not financially sound or do not have successful track records, thus cannot be considered as tenants....

... 544 and 548 Main St. spaces are marketed as good sites for food business. Now when Trellis became clearly Mediterranean Nisi (Island in Greek) maybe some other than Mediterranean food restaurants would be attractive thus expanding the variety of food offerings on Roosevelt Island.

The CDM Kids pre-school continues to operate on a reduced schedule because the required window screens are still missing.

It was explained by both Ms. Kaplan and Mr. Azarian that the delays which for example the Urgent Care has experienced are very typical right now in the city due to high number of buildings constructed affecting Con Edison’s and the Department of Building inspections and certifications.

It was mentioned by Anne Kanninen who visited the Urgent Care site today that there appeared to be a dentist’s chair in the premises. It seemed that Ms. Kaplan did not know anything about a plan that included a dentist in the urgent care operations since the island already has a dentist.

The Urgent Care space consists of several treatment rooms which were already partially furnished with treatment tables. The clinic is a major investment for the owner(s).

According to Ms. Kaplan and Mr. Azarian the clinic will open any day now.

Ms. Kaplan told us that the directional signs are under discussions with RIOC.

There was a request once again to place the benches to the walls of the buildings on the Main St. so that people could face Main St. Ms. Kaplan promised to look at the issue and maybe something could be done.

There was a complaint about the lights which are out in the arcade. Ms. Kaplan promised to take care of the issue.

The wall next to the subway entrance has become a messy bulletin board which could perhaps be better organized and cleaned. There was some opinion differences regarding this issue.

The rotting cement walls under the windows on the the Roosevelt Landing side will be taken care according to Ms. Kaplan.

There was a question of a temporary art gallery filling the empty spaces on the Main St. Both Ms. Kaplan and Mr. Azarian thought it as a good idea but did not elaborate further except that they are discussing with the person who wants to do it.

Wholesome Food is doing very well which we all can easily verify just visiting the always packed store. According to Ms. Kaplan the Subway store, Deli, Liquor store and Ice cream parlor are performing well as well. However, Ms. Kaplan’s analysis is based only on paid rents which tells only the partial story of a company’s performance. H-R does not have access to the lessors’ financials.

H-R and RIOC have started discussions about the two new buildings which will be built on the east side of Southtown. Both of the buildings are going to be rentals and building no. 8 is planned to have large number of affordable apartments. These discussions typically take a year or two. The next building’s start up will be in two to four years according to Ms. Kaplan.

Cynthia Ahn had been talking with Ms. Kaplan earlier about some kind of leaflet to be distributed to the Southtown residents to promote the businesses in the Northtown. This issue was not really discussed in the meeting despite the fact that Cynthia tried to take it up with Ms. Kaplan.

It was decided that the quarterly meetings with MSTRAC, Hudson-Related and Cushman - Wakefield will continue but timing will be switched to 9 am.
Following up on the Roosevelt Island retail meeting discussion, Cushman & Wakefield's Michael Azarian reports about the renaming of Trellis to Nisi:
Hudson Related spoke to Trellis. It has yet to be confirmed that they are changing their name to Nisi, but it is presently being discussed. Also, Trellis' lease states that they must remain a "first class diner." Trellis is finalizing their new menu now, but they are maintain the position that they will be an "upscale diner" with quality options.
Hudson Related spoke with the Urgent Care tenant. That chair you saw is not a dentist chair. It is for sutures and people with broken arms!
Here's Cushman & Wakefield Roosevelt Island Shops On Main Street Brochure.