Friday, December 6, 2019

RIOC Announces Blackwell Park Dog Run Cancelled Due To Community Objections, Will Seek Alternative Space In Southtown Area - Temporary Riverwalk Dog Run Will Remain For Few More Months Due To Hudson Related Delay In Signing Ground Lease For Building 9

The location of a new Roosevelt Island Dog run took another turn during the December 4 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) December 4 meeting. RIOC President Susan Rosental reported that RIOC had listened to some community opposition

Image From Say No Blackwell Park Dog Run Petition

about placing the new Dog Run in Blackwell Park and decided to cancel that plan and seek a location in Southtown.

Ms Rosenthal added that the new location being sought in Southtown requires approval by the building's condo board but did not reveal the specific site. I learned later from a reliable source that the site is located behind either 415-425


or 455-465 Main Street,


between Main Street and the building's hedges.

In the event that approval is not given, RIOC will try to locate the Dog Run in the public commons area between the under construction Building 8 and Building 9,, which has not started construction yet.

Also,  Ms Rosenthal told the REDAC that RIOC will start from scratch regarding renovation of Blackwell Park including a new Request For Proposals.

According to this RIOC announcement:
After listening to public feedback, RIOC staff members and our partners at Hudson-Related are reviewing alternate locations for the proposed dog run at Blackwell Park.

One space under consideration will require co-operative board approval. We are also considering relocating the dog run back to the land between Riverwalk 8 and 9 where it was originally planned. While we continue to explore locations, we also intend to continue with previously announced improvements to the plaza at Blackwell House by replacing the pavers and by making incidental improvements.

RIOC will continue to keep the community informed on our progress.
Here's the REDAC Discussion of Dog Run issue.



Ms Rosenthal noted that the current Southtown Dog Run


will remain for a few more months because Riverwalk Building 9 construction has been delayed due to developer Hudson Related not yet ready to sign the Ground Lease. RIOC believes Hudson Related will be ready to sign ground lease by April. RIOC will collect a $1 million penalty from Hudson Related for not signing ground lease by end of this year.

Hudson Related declined to comment on the matter.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

According to the MTA there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Come See The Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting And Santa Claus Tomorrow Night At Rivercross Lawn - Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers At F Subway Station Too

Tomorrow is one of the best night's on Roosevelt Island - the annual Lighting of the Holiday Tree and arrival of Santa Claus at the Rivercross Lawn.

Here's the Tree Lighting countdown from last year.



According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RICO)

Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony

Come join RIOC and the entire Roosevelt Island community at the island’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 6th, 7 PM at the lawn south of Rivercross.

Island residents will be able to enjoy a night of holiday music and celebration, featuring The Funktion band, island community performers, hot beverages, warm cookies, raffle prizes, goodie bags and maybe even a visit from a special guest from the North Pole!

Also, don't miss the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers at the subway station tomorrow evening and later at the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Last Night Lacks Quorum Again - Farance Says We Need To Do Better, RIRA President Shinozaki Blames Him For Creating Toxic Atmosphere

Last evening's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting was revealing of the long standing problems associated with the community organization.

For the third month in a row, the RIRA meeting lacked a quorum of members - only about 7 members showed up.

RIRA Common Council Alternate Frank Farance addressed those members present during the Public Session noting that there are problems with the organization that need to be addressed. He said December's meeting is the sixth this year without a quorum of Common Council Members present and added:

... we have to operate better....


RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki took strong exception to Mr. Farance's remarks blaming his behavior for the organization's loss of members and creating, what she describes as, a toxic atmosphere. Mr. Farance objected to Ms. Shinozaki's characterization and recited long standing complaints by him and others over lack of transparency, mismanagement of Cherry Blossom Festival and failure to properly inform RIRA members about recent financial mismanagement allegations



Following the contentious back and forth, Mr Farance left and Ms Shinozaki continued speaking with the remaining RIRA members, though this was not a formal meeting due to the lack of a quorum. Ms Shinozaki presented her President's report and various other issues including affordable housing and meeting with Roosevelt Landings new ownership/management. 



RIRA is in real trouble and its a shame because despite much dysfunction, at times they do some worthwhile and important activities and representation for the Roosevelt Island community.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort Presents Overview Of Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Hotel - Opening Planned For Summer 2020, Rooftop Bar And Ground Floor Restaurant Operator To Be Named Shortly, Local Job Fair In Early 2020

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked when will the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on the Cornell Tech campus open?


During the November 12 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Community & Construction Task Force meeting, we learned that the 18 story, 224 room Graduate Hotel,


with a ground floor restaurant and rooftop bar, currently under construction


will open in the summer of 2020 (The adjoining Verizon Executive Education Center is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2020).


Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort presented an overview of the Hotel Project to the Task Force.

Mr Rochefort reported:
  • The single restaurant and rooftop bar operator will be named shortly, Mr Rochfort said he hopes "people turn the spaces into their living room."
  • The Graduate Hotel expects that 90% of guests will arrive by Public Transportation, either F Train, Ferry,Tram or ride sharing services.
  • Graduate Hotel will have over 75 positions and will conduct Roosevelt Island job fairs for local residents in first and second quarter of 2020.
  • Highgate Hotels with over 20 thousand NYC hotel rooms will be the Hotel Operator
  • Eco-Friendly Hotel Practices.

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel


Here's full Task Force discussion with the Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort.



Prior to Mr. Rochefort, speaking Cornell Tech Director of Design and Construction Diana Allegretti described construction of the Graduate Hotel.



Stay tuned. More info on the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel to come.

You're Invited To Engaged Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate Community Conversation on Local Sustainability Practices And Zero Waste At The Sanctuary Event Space December 11 - Also, Grow NYC New Host Of RI Food Scrap Drop Off Next To Saturday Farmers Market

Engaged Roosevelt Island is hosting a free Hot Chocolate conversation

for residents to discuss local sustainability practices at The Sanctuary event space


on December 11. You're invited.

According to Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico:
Engaged Roosevelt Island - FREE 12/11 Hot Chocolate & Conversations 4:30p-7p

Cornell Tech received a grant that spearheads a year of community planning to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island - which basically means designing a healthy and beautiful neighborhood that is kind to us and the earth. Whether you attended or missed the Engaged RI kick-off event on Zero Waste at the Tata Innovation Center last month please Save the Date and stop by The Sanctuary next week to continue the conversation - Wed., 12/11 from 4:30p - 7p for free Hot Chocolate and to share your ideas and to learn more. Short presentations will happen throughout the event.

This is a Zero Waste event so please bring your own mug (extras will be on hand as well).

We are excited that RIOC, RIRA and the Cornell Cooperative Extension NYC are on board, and local groups like Open Doors, Roosevelt Island Library, the Senior Center, the Garden Club, GRIN, Girl Scouts and many other groups, local buildings and businesses and islanders are already working to keep the neighborhood clean and green, so please join the conversation.
Ms Delfico adds:
Schedule Change Notification

Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, the new hours of operation for the Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off will be on:

Saturdays, from 9:00 AM-1:30 PM.

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, this site will be operated by our partner organization, GrowNYC. For more information about GrowNYC Compost Programs, please visit grownyc.org/compost.

We are truly grateful for the outstanding efforts that members of the Roosevelt Island community have made to live more sustainably and help rebuild NYC’s soil. To find more drop-off locations near you and other ways to compost your food scraps, please visit nyc.gov/dropfoodscraps.