Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Building Seeking RIOC Approval For New Mortgage Refinancing At August 5 Real Estate Committee Meeting And Immediately After Full RIOC Board Meeting - Currently Have 10 Year $50 Million Interest Only Mortgage From 2011

According to notices sent out yesterday by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the Roosevelt Island Rivercross Tenants Corp 


is refinancing  the mortgage on their 365 unit Co-op building and seeking approval of the RIOC Board of Directors for the transaction.  The subject of Rivercross mortgage refinancing will first be discussed as the sole item on Agenda of August 5 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee meeting and immediately thereafter the sole public item on Agenda for approval by a Special Meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors.

As of 5 PM this afternoon, there is no other information or material available on the RIOC web site about the Rivercross mortgage refinancing. Yesterday, I asked RIOC for more info but have not received a reply yet. Typically, RIOC posts the Agenda and Item Board materials a few days before a Board of Directors meeting.

As previously reported, in 2011 the Rivercross Tenants Corp refinanced their then existing 30 year mortgage with a new $50 million 10 year 4.64% interest only loan. According to a statement at the time from the Rivercross Tenants Corp Board of Directors:
... The proceeds of the new mortgage will be used as follows: First, to pay off the existing mortgage (approximately $25,000,000, including prepayment fees); Second, to create a $15,000,000 capital improvement fund to pay for energy-savings investments (new windows, a more energy-efficient heating system and submetering); and Third, to create a $10,000,000 fund to pay the real property transfer taxes that may have to be paid if and when Rivercross leaves the Mitchell-Lama program and becomes a private coop....
Below are the RIOC notices regarding Rivercross mortgage refinancing meetings tomorrow.

According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. via videoconference.

AGENDA:

1. Discussion of Mortgage Refinancing by Rivercross Tenants’ Corp

2. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee

***

Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via videoconference.

The link to a webcast will be posted on RIOC’s website by 12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.
Also:
NOTICE OF THE AUGUST 5, 2020 SPECIAL MEETING OF THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND OPERATING CORPORATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Board of Directors meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 5:00 P.M.

AGENDA:

AMENDED AGENDA:

1- Authorization to Approve Mortgage Refinancing by Rivercross Tenants’ Corp. (Board Action Required)

2- Executive Session to Discuss Pending Litigation

Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, the August 5, 2020 Board of Directors meeting will be conducted via videoconference.

The link to a webcast will be posted on RIOC’s website by 12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2020
UPDATE 7:25 PM - August 5 Board of Directors materials are now posted on RIOC web site.  Below is August 4 Memo from Acting President Shelton Haynes to RIOC Board of Directors supporting approval of the Rivercross Mortgage refinance.
Rivercross Tenants’ Corp. leases the property known as Rivercross pursuant to a Restated Ground Lease dated as of November 30, 1977, which was amended by Amendment #1 dated as of March 28, 2011 and the Second Amendment to Restated Ground Lease dated as of May 30, 2018. In July 2011, Rivercross obtained a $50,000,000 loan from NCB, FSB, which was secured by a first leasehold mortgage (the “Existing Mortgage”). The Existing Mortgage was for a 10 year term, maturing in 2021. The interest rate on the Existing Mortgage is approximately 4.64 %. Rivercross seeks approval to refinance the Existing Mortgage with the same lender (now known as National Consumer Cooperative Bank) with a first leasehold mortgage in the amount of $67,000,000, and a second leasehold mortgage securing a $2,900,000 revolving line of credit (collectively, the “New Mortgages”). While the interest rate of the New Mortgages will not be locked in until after RIOC’s consent has been obtained, it is anticipated that the interest rate of the New Mortgages will be approximately 3%.

In conjunction with the Existing Mortgage, the lender and RIOC entered into a Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement, whereby the lender agreed not to disturb RIOC’s occupancy of the commercial space it sublets in Rivercross if the lender succeeds to Rivercross’s interest under the Ground Lease. RIOC delivered a written consent to the Existing Mortgage, which included various provisions relating to the rights of the parties in the event of the termination of the Ground Lease. The parties contemplate exchanging substantially similar documents in connection with the New Mortgages.

We have been advised by Rivercross’s counsel that it is Rivercross’s intention to use the loan proceeds remaining after satisfaction of the Existing Mortgage to fund reserves.

Recommendation

I hereby recommend that the RIOC Board of Directors consent to the proposed refinancing by Rivercross Tenants’ Corp.
There is no stated reason why approval of Rivercross mortgage refinancing requires an unscheduled "Special" Board meeting and could not be considered at the next regularly scheduled September 10 Board meeting.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Roosevelt Island MST&DA Presents Virtual Pop In Series For Kids And Adults August 3-8 - Get Your Daily Blast Of Creative Dance, Exercise, Musical Theater, Acting & Improv With Your Favorite Instructors On Zoom

Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) is hosting a Virtual Pop-In Series of classes for kids and adults on Zoom. You're invited to join the fun. According to MST&DA:

The first week of MTSDA VIRTUAL POP IN SESSIONS was a blast and we are so excited to announce WEEK 2!!!

Email info@mstda.org to get the zoom link for daily blasts of creative energy for your whole family with your favorite instructors sharing what they love to do most!

*If you joined us last week, the link is the same for all sessions.

SESSION DESCRIPTIONS

MONDAY 10-10:45am: "FULL OUT" Dance for theatre with Miss Christie (age 5-13) - An all levels dance class and a perfect combo with Wednesday's "BELT IT OUT" session. Learn a routine to a song from the musical "Wicked"!!!

TUESDAY 9-9:45am: "KICK IT WITH CHRISTIE" (adults, kids are ok too!) - Suggested Equipment - yoga mat, pillow, chair, small towel or glider, light set of weights (cans of peas are great!) Kick off your morning with a cardio and conditioning class focused on core and upper body strength and standing leg stability. Great for dancers and non-dancers alike! We'll complete the workout with an intro to the basics of kickline technique and a kick combo for the finale!

WEDNESDAY 10-10:45am: "BELT IT OUT" Sing with Miss Kimbirdlee (age 7-13) - "Defying Gravity" and "Popular" from the musical "Wicked" - Bring a musical theatre song to life from start to finish with instruction that is accessible to all levels! Learn a fun and easy vocal warm-up. Then dive into lyrics and rhythm. Next, add your character and off you go!

THURSDAY 10-10:30am: "PLAYMAKERS" with Miss Mae (age 2-4) - An innovative introductory theatre class for the youngest actors! Even at this age, your child’s imagination is blooming, ready to explore story-telling, acting, singing and dancing. We play theatre games, act out stories, learn songs and encourage creative self-discovery.

SATURDAY 10-11am: THEATRE IMPROV with Josh Shapiro (adults & teens) - A theatre improv class that teaches thinking on your feet, comedic timing and creating new and interesting situations on the fly. We play short form improv games that eventually lead to long form games. Lots of laughs included.

SUGGESTED DONATION $10-15 TO SUPPORT MSTDA INSTRUCTORS - LINK TO DONATE
Check out MST&DA Facebook page for more info.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

What Was All That NYPD/FDNY Helicopter And Boat Action Last Night In East River By Northern Part Of Roosevelt Island About?

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked last night?



And the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse finds the answer.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Long Time RIOC Staffer Fernando Vargas Retires After 38 Years Of Service To Roosevelt Island Community - Residents Gather At Nisi To Show Their Appreciation And Wish Him Well

Long time Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) staffer Fernando Vargas retired this week after 38 years of service to the Roosevelt Island Community. Yesterday, residents gathered outside Nisi Kitchen to show Mr Vargas their appreciation for his service to the community.

According to the iDig2Learn Instagram post:

Fernando served our neighborhood with joy for 36 years! Retiring yesterday, community members left their apts (many for the 1st time) to safely say thank you! Those who couldn’t, sent words of appreciation.

Interestingly enough he helped every community group as if they were the only ones. So when the tennis group showed up us gardeners smiled realizing we weren’t the only ones. The Historical Society, Girls Scouts, GRIN, Garden Club & Jewish Congregation leaders all came by along with others. Fernando beautified the grounds, always lent a hand, was the 1st to set up events and the last to leave, supporting all ages equally & treating everyone from the public to his crew with deep respect & great love.



Fernando served our neighborhood with joy for 36 years! Retiring yesterday, community members left their apts (many for the 1st time) to safely say thank you! Those who couldn’t, sent words of appreciation. Interestingly enough he helped every community group as if they were the only ones. So when the tennis group showed up us gardeners smiled realizing we weren’t the only ones. The Historical Society, Girls Scouts, GRIN, Garden Club & Jewish Congregation leaders all came by along with others. Fernando beautified the grounds, always lent a hand, was the 1st to set up events and the last to leave, supporting all ages equally & treating everyone from the public to his crew with deep respect & great love. #missyou #happyretirement #communityservice TY @nisikitchen for the delicious chocolate heart-shaped cakes!
A post shared by @ idig2learn on

Thank you for your service to Roosevelt Island Mr Vargas. Best Wishes in your retirement.

Friday, July 31, 2020

RIOC Installs New Roosevelt Island Bike Safety Signage After Speeding Rider Hits Baby Stroller With 6 Month Old Inside - Baby Bruised But OK, Could Have Been A Tragedy Say Mom Who Suggests Safe Rules For Bikers And Residents To Coexist

As reported June 18:


During June 2 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee video conference meeting, I asked:
Residents have been concerned over the increased number of bike riders, mostly appears to be visitors, riding on sidewalks and waterfront promenade creating unsafe conditions for pedestrians, including elderly and kids.

What can RIOC do about creating safe sidewalks and pathways. Signage is not enough. Will PSD officers be stationed outside to monitor safe bike riding.
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal answered that RIOC is putting together a team with the Public Safety Department and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Interim President David Lawson to find a solution for bicycle riding safety issues including signage and striping the Promenades for separate bike and pedestrian sections.


The problem of unsafe bicycle speeding, riding on sidewalks and against traffic on Roosevelt Island continued during the summer without much visible action taken by RIOC to prevent such practices. Until, a Roosevelt Island Mom reported on Twitter earlier this week:

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket July 31 - August 6 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too



The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket


invites you to check out their July 31 - August 6 Weekly Flyer for  Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items



Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.


Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook



Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, Tram Passenger Limits At Discretion Of Operator, New Summer Ferry Schedule And Citibike Too - Wear Your Masks To Travel Safely For You And Others

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend.



The Roosevelt IslandOperating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Tram Passenger Limits

As the region begins to reopen and more people return to work, the tram will have more riders. The tram operator has the discretion to allow an increase in the stated thirteen passenger limit based on conditions at a given time. If you feel a tram car is too crowded, we encourage you to wait for the next one. If you see an unsafe condition, please notify a the tram operator or a Public Safety Officer or call PSD directly at 212-832-4545.

The Roosevelt Island Tramway will be closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed. Regular tram service will resume at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning. These early morning closures will continue each day until further notice...
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.

Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations.

Also, beginning in August, the E train will replace the F Roosevelt Island subway service on select overnights and weekends due to the MTA's work on the Rutgers Tube tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn. According to the MTA:
... On select overnights and weekends between August 2020 and March 2021,... E trains will be rerouted during select overnights and weekends over the F line between 36 St in Queens and a temporary terminal at Delancey St in Manhattan. New York City Transit will provide further service details and dates as they are finalized....

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Congressman John Lewis Laid To Rest Today, Leaves Remarkable Legacy Of Causing Good Trouble And Creating More Just America - President Barack Obama Delivers Powerful And Meaningful Call To Action Eulogy At Funeral Today

Civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis was buried today. He leaves a remarkable legacy. Watch this.


He left a final message published in the NY Times on the day of his funeral - read it.

or listen to an audio recording of the message.

President Barack Obama gave a powerful and meaningful call to action eulogy at today's funeral for Congressman John Lewis.

And here's the entire eulogy.



More on John Lewis from this trailer to John Lewis - Good Trouble documentary.



Rest in peace Congressman John Lewis - thank you for your service to America.

Roosevelt Island Free Food Pantry Friday July 31 From RIDA At Senior Center 4 To 6:30 PM - Fresh Produce, Lots Of Milk And Non Perishable Items, Everyone Who Needs Is Welcome, Over 140 Families Served By RI Food Pantry Last Friday

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports;

The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association will be having a food pantry tomorrow Friday July 31 from 4 - 6:30 pm at Roosevelt Island Senior Center (546 Main Street).

Lots of Fresh Produce,


Milk


and non-perishables.


If you are in need of food, please feel free to come on Friday. Everyone who needs is welcome. You MUST wear a mask and bring your own bag or cart.
Ms Hersh adds:
Last Friday's food pantry gave food to over 140 people/families. We were so pleased. So we will continue the pantry every Friday to help our community. Although the line was long,


PSD assisted us with social distancing inside and out to help keep everyone safe. Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers who help make this happen.
Learn more about RIDA's food delivery to residents during the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdown.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sponsored Post - Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Here, NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

The Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and lasts thru Novmeber 1.


The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) wants you to be prepared for Hurricane Season



and Know Your Zone.



According to NYCEM:
There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.
Roosevelt Island is located in two zones - Zones 2 and 3.

All but one of the Roosevelt Island residential building and the Cornell Tech campus are located in Zone 3. The NYCEM Know Your Hurricane Zone Map below shows Zone 2 in cream color and Zone 3 in yellow.


The Octagon Building, Coler Hospital, Lighthouse Park and FDR Park are located in Zone 2.


In the event Roosevelt Island needs to be evacuated, NYCEM reports:
If you are required to evacuate, it is recommended that you shelter at the home of friends or family outside of the evacuation area. If you wish to go to a public facility, select any evacuation center from the following list....
There are no evacuation sites on Roosevelt Island. The closest sites are listed below.

Here's some scenes of what Roosevelt Island looked like during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012



and report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sponsored Post - Do It For Your Family, Get A Free NYC Covid-19 Test Today, Free Quick & Easy - Closest Roosevelt Island Locations Are In Long Island City And Upper East Side





Here's a screenshot of Covid 19 Testing Locations


in Long Island City and the Upper East Side that are closest to Roosevelt Island.

Click on this link for the exact addresses.

Black Artists Through History Lesson 2, Folk Musicians By Painter Romare Howard Bearden - Inspired By The Roosevelt Island March For Justice, Take The Drawing Challenge Says RIRA Youth Committee Chair

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair Adib Mansour developed a series of Black Artists Through History Lessons inspired by the June 3 Roosevelt Island March For Justice The first lesson last month was on sculptor Edmonia Lewis.

The second Black Artists Through History Lessons from Mr Mansour is on the painter Romare Howard Bearden.



According to Mr. Mansour:
Romare Howard Bearden, was an American painter, whose unique collages of photographs and painted paper on canvas depict his take on Black culture in America in a style derived from Cubism. Bearden was active in social and civil rights issues. His art embodies the importance of our cultures; He said: "You should always respect what you are and your culture because if your art is going to mean anything, that is where it comes from.” In her My Hero Blog, Janie from San Diego described Romare’s work "His passion and determination gave people hope that everyone could achieve their goals.”

I too encourage every Roosevelt Island youth to pursue their dreams and make them a reality. Celebrate your culture and make it the foundation of your future. Bearden is an excellent example of how exploration and celebration of one’s culture can influence and drive their artistic work and their future- how can you do this in your own life?

I hope you enjoy this lesson. I would be honored if you take the artistic challenge and send me your painted version of Romare Howard Bearden's work


to my RIRA email: RIRAdib@eartrhlink.net

I would also encourage the youth to email me your thoughts on these wonderful black artists and your opinions on a vision for equality on the island, in this city of ours, and in our country. I would love to engage in a thoughtful discussion of race and equity in art history and theory.
Here's more on the painter Romare Howard Bearden,





sculptor Edmonia Lewis from Black Artists History Lesson 1 and the Coronavirus School Shutdown Art History Lesson Challenges from Mr. Mansour too.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sign Petition To Bring Back Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Food Scrap Drop Off Compost Collection Bin Program - Over 134 Thousand Pounds Of Food Scraps Diverted From Landfill By Roosevelt Island Waste Reduction Programs Since 2015

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Food Scrap Drop Off Compost Collection Bin program 


has been suspended since last March 28 due to NYC Coronavirus Pandemic budget cuts. According to Grow NYC:
The coronavirus outbreak has suspended many of the zero waste programs New Yorkers have come to rely on, including GrowNYC’s zero waste programs, DSNY’s curbside compost program, and the citywide network of food scrap drop-off sites...
But, NY 1 reported July 7 that some funds were restored for the program:
... Curbside pickups of compostable materials have been suspended for the entire budget year - idling those brown garbage cans meant for food scraps and yard waste. At the last minute, the City Council restored $2.9 million to the NYC Compost project — enabling New Yorkers to drop off compostables at sites across the city. However, all of those locations are currently closed because of the pandemic....
The Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop Off Compost Program began in November 2015. At that time, Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop Leader Aiesha Eleusizov explained to us how it works.



Supporters of the Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop Off Bin ask you to help bring the program back to Roosevelt Island by signing this petition.

Here's the full petition - Please sign by Tuesday, July 28:
Letter to GrowNYC to petition for the return of the Roosevelt Island food scrap drop-off site.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Take A Listen To Beautiful Song Titled Roosevelt Island By Amsterdam Netherlands Singer Pieternal - Her Trip On Roosevelt Island Tram Helped Let Go A Broken Heart

The Twitterverse asked:


I offered my favorite song about Roosevelt Island titled Roosevelt Island from the album Roosevelt Island by the artist Pieternal based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

It's a beautiful song. Take a listen.



According to Pieteranl:
When I lived in NYCI I was trying to let go of my broken heart. One day I visited Roosevelt Island, the aerial tram was such a nice ride: flying in the air, underneath me busy NYC traffic, the swirling East River and then this tiny island. That only would be a reason to go there! Something about water makes me relaxed and grounded. When I walked towards the end of the island I thought it would be really nice if you could just let go of your worries, send them left and right of you, like the river splits left and right when it meets an island. And then the island itself would be the carefree zone. All you have to do is just walk all the way to the end, take a seat and see how the river comes back together.
More from Pieternal's Instagram:


I N S I G H T - long post- thank you for giving your choice in my insta story poll. I wrote two songs with @alexwongsounds ; Fragile Space and Roosevelt Island. The last one was your favorite so here is my insight inside this song. When I lived in NYCI I was trying to let go of my broken heart. One day I visited Roosevelt Island, the aerial tram was such a nice ride: flying in the air, underneath me busy NYC traffic, the swirling East River and then this tiny island. That only would be a reason to go there! Something about water makes me relaxed and grounded. When I walked towards the end of the island I thought it would be really nice if you could just let go of your worries, send them left and right of you, like the river splits left and right when it meets an island. And then the island itself would be the carefree zone. All you have to do is just walk all the way to the end, take a seat and see how the river comes back together. Sometimes things don’t come back together. But I learned, letting go of the thought of it getting back together, is better. It opens up possibilities, gives you unexpected joy and the choice of change. “Let the river decide” This is an important lesson for me and there fore I named my album Roosevelt Island. Thank you for reading and your interest to know the story behind the song. You can listen to the track on spotify, apple and deezer. Link ik bio ❤️ #story #behind #emotions #to #words #to #song #writing #NYC #alexwong #titletrack #rooseveltisland
A post shared by Pieternel (@pieternelmusic) on

Check out more music from Pieternal at her web site.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Resident Reports Speeding Revel Scooter Crash Early Morning Hours Last Weekend, Says Area Reeked Of Alcohol - Also, Late Night Revel Scooters Racing On Roosevelt Island Pedestrian Paths

The NY Times reported July 20:

A local television journalist died over the weekend, the police said, after she fell from a scooter that had been rented from Revel, a moped-sharing company whose Vespa-style vehicles have become a familiar sight on the streets of Brooklyn and Queens....


Have you noticed Revel Scooter riders on Roosevelt Island recently?

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported speeding Revel scooter riders crashing near the ferry dock in the late night early morning hours this past weekend.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Chief Kevin Brown about the incident. Chief Brown replied: