Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Roosevelt Island Westview Building Residents Frustrated At Getting No Status Update On Affordable Coop Conversion Offering Plan - Ownership And Tenants Task Force Reply Process Will Be Completed Soon

On a regular basis over the last several months Roosevelt Island Westview Building

 residents have asked about their building's 
                                                                                 Image From 2018 Westview Town Hall

privatization and affordable co-op conversion plan status, expressing frustration at not getting any information from the building ownership or the Westview Taskforce representing the residents:

 I am a tenant at the Westview. Although the deal on the building's privatization has been reached 2 years ago, nothing happened since then. And we get no info on the process from anyone....

Last week, I followed up on earlier inquiries asking Westview ownership representative David Hirshorn about:

... the status of Westview privatization and concerns of residents that they have not been informed about the current status of privatization efforts. Can you provide any details as to the current privatization status of Westview, when it may be completed and what are any obstacles holding it up... 

Mr Hirshorn replied:

While I am limited in what I can say about a pending offering, I can say that the offering plan process in every conversion or new development throughout the State involves the sponsor submitting draft materials to the Attorney General’s office and the AG’s office reviewing these submissions, asking questions and issuing comments – what the AG’s office refers to as “deficiencies.” The Westview process is no different than the process in every offering, except that in complicated offerings such as Island House and Westview, the process can be longer than in a more typical cookie cutter offering. Once the AG is satisfied with the submission, they issue what’s called an “acceptance letter” which means that the sponsor is then authorized to issue the Black Book. At that point the selling process begins. We successfully completed this same process in Island House and I am confident that we will soon complete the Westview review process too.

I certainly understand residents’ frustration with how the long the process has taken as I too look forward to moving forward. For those residents who do not intend to purchase their apartments, the Black Book does not change how their rent will be determined or the other terms and conditions of their rental. All of that is set forth in the Affordability Plan that they received at the time of withdrawal from the Mitchell Lama program – several years ago – and is the same as what is currently in effect and has been in place since withdrawal.  

We are now in the final stages of the offering plan process. Because the laws governing communications to residents during an offering process are severely limited, it is understandable that some residents are frustrated and concerned that things have stalled. However, this is not at all the case and the affordability terms for both home ownership and residents who continue to rent, remain unchanged from what was negotiated. Just as we did in Island House, we have and continue to work in close partnership with the Westview Taskforce and their attorneys, in moving forward with the offering. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Task Force leadership who were strong advocates for the Westview residents (improving upon the original affordability plan) and now pulling on the same oar with us as Westview moves into the next phase --homeownership. 

While any offering involves a lengthy process, Westview is an unusually complicated structure with an enormous amount of documents needing to be reviewed and processed. The Attorney General’s Office has been a great partner in this process and has been diligent and timely in their review. While the COVID shutdown certainly has not helped, I am confident that together with tenant association counsel, we and the Attorney General’s Office will soon be able to conclude the offering plan process culminating in a Black Book.

And received this Westview Task Force update last week too:

Dear Westview Tenants, 

The Westview conversion is moving forward and in progress. 

The Affordability Plan has been submitted to the NYS AG for approval and Sponsor and AG are currently working to resolve remaining outstanding details. 

Our lawyers are involved to ensure that agreed upon terms outlined in the Affordability Plan and approved by Westview tenants remain unchanged. 

 This is the normal process for a conversion plan to go through similar to the process IH went through before us. 

The past 6 months have been challenging for everyone and our conversion approval delayed as a result. 

We are disappointed with the slow pace of discussions between the Owners and NYS AG but remain hopeful that the remaining outstanding details will be resolved soon. 

Additionally, the Taskforce has been instructed by the AG's office not to comment on timing of the Black Book as these discussions are still ongoing. 

We can only confirm that the approval process is in progress and moving forward. 

The remaining work to be done is between the Sponsor and AG and out of our hands. At this point in the process we are all tenants, in it together, and waiting for good news. 

We hope this update is helpful and hope to have more news to share soon. 

Thank you for your patience and continued support. 

Please take good care, stay healthy, stay safe. 

Westview Taskforce

Read more about the Westivew Ground Lease extension, exit from Mitchell Lama Program and Affordability Plan at this 2018 post.

Monday, September 28, 2020

You're Invited To Weill Cornell Medicine & NY Presbyterian Virtual Zoom Fall Health & Wellness Seminars - September 29 Covid 19 And Stroke, October 6 Pediatric Emergencies During Covid 19 And October 13 Maternal Health, What You Need To Know Before, During And After Pregnancy

The Fall 2020 Weill Cornell Medicine & NY Presbyterian free Health & Wellness Seminars are being held virtually this year on Zoom due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. According to Weill Cornell Medicine:

You're invited to these upcoming virtual Weill Cornell Medicine/NY Presbyterian 2020 Health & Wellness Seminars:

 Register here for the Zoom Link.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

More Roosevelt Island Wildlife, Up Close Look At Raccoons Spotted Walking On East River Seawall Rocks - And They're Staring Back

Roosevelt Island resident Yitza Martinez shares this photo of two raccoons walking on the Roosevelt Island East River shoreline rocks and reports:

I saw them last night walking on the shoreline rocks next to the Manhattan Park playground.

Last Tuesday, a Hawk was spotted perched on the seawall and here's more about the natural world of Roosevelt Island at this prior post.

CBS New York has story on racoons in NYC.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Today - Fantastic Work By Artists Painting Murals With Social Justice Theme, See For Yourself

The theme of the annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival mural painting was Social Justice; Reclaiming Our Time. Will have much more later, but here are a few of the murals painted today and brief interviews with several of the artists.

Stay tuned. More murals and interviews to come. You can see these murals and others at the Meditation Lawn. Also, more murals are at Southpoint Park too. Wonderful job by all the artists and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for organizing the event despite the Covid-19 Pandemic UPDATE 8:55 PM:

Friday, September 25, 2020

Ahoy Mateys, Was That A Pirate Ship In East River Passing Roosevelt Island Today And Is The Pirate Life For You?

Roosevelt Island resident Lauren Blankstein spotted the East River Pirate Ship passing Roosevelt Island today and shares this video.

Pirate ship was spotted passing Roosevelt Island in 2018 too.

Are you a Pirate

  

and is the Pirate life for you? 


UPDATE 9/26:

Annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Tradition Continues This Year With Social Distance Activities Saturday, September 26 - Check Out The Outdoor Mural Paintings At Meditation Lawn and Southpoint Park

The annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival takes place tomorrow, Saturday, September 26, with artists painting outdoor murals at Rivercross (Meditation) Lawn 

and Southpoint Park 

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will present its annual Fall for Arts Festival on Roosevelt Island. This community festival, entering its 15th year, has a tradition of celebrating creativity and the changing seasons. The event combines performance and traditional arts through the creation of free-standing murals during the Festival. The theme of this year’s event is: “Social Justice: Reclaiming Our Time”. RIOC is looking for artists who are seeking to create works that reflect their vision to raise social justice awareness, create change, and encourage community activism. This year’s event will be adjusted for the COVID-19 pandemic, with only socially distanced mural making and other distanced art activities. We look forward to bringing back the music and amusements next year!...

Some artists started already.


 Kudos to RIOC for keeping the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts tradition alive this very difficult year.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend, E Replaces F Train For Service To And From Manhattan - 20 Tram Passenger Social Distancing Limit Enforced, Ferry Route Extended To UES And Citibike Too - Wear Your Masks To Travel Safely For You And Others, $50 Fine If No Mask Says MTA, What About Tram, RIOC?

According to the MTA

... ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS Sep 25 - 28 • Oct 2 - 5, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM F Trains are replaced by the E between 21 St-Queensbridge and Delancey St/Essex St... ... 

Travel Alternatives: E replaces F at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63, 57 St, 47-50 Sts, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 34 St-Herald Sq, 23, 14, B'way-Lafayette Sts, 2 Av, Delancey St...

There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit. No answer from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) if they will follow the MTA and issue $50 fines for riders refusing to wear a mask.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side. 


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

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket September 25 - October 1 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket 

invites you to check out their September 25 - October 1 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  

 

and Instagram too.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Roosevelt Island Has A New Restaurant And It Looks Great - Granny Annie's Irish Bar & Kitchen Opens With Outdoor Seating Friday September 25, Take A Look At Menu And Peak Inside

Roosevelt Island's new Granny Annie's Irish Bar began serving customers at outdoor tables  this evening 

with a soft opening to a very happy group of residents, building staff, family and friends who sampled food and drinks from their menu.

Granny Annie's opens for everyone starting 2 PM tomorrow, Friday, September 25. Stop by, meet the friendly new owners and say hello to some of the former Riverrwalk Bar staff who have returned to work at Granny Annie's. Try some of the menu items and have a drink or two. The reviews from tonight were very good.

For now, there's outdoor dining only but soon indoor dining will begin with 25% social distancing capacity.

Here's a peak inside. It looks great.

 

Welcome Granny Annie's to Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 9/27:

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Roosevelt Island Granny Annie's Irish Bar Getting Ready To Open With Outdoor Seating In Next Few Days - Cornell Tech Indoor Dining Starts September 30 And Try Chef Danny's Delicious End Of Summer Barbecue This Week On Outdoor Patio Too

The outdoor tables were being set up tonight at the soon to open Roosevelt Island Granny Annie's Irish Bar.

Stay tuned for Granny Annie's opening date info which is in the next few days.

Also, stop by the Cafe @Cornell Tech Cafe for some delicious end of summer barbecue through Friday:

Chef Danny’s BBQ @ The Cafe’ through Friday this week! Come by between 11am - 7pm for your choice of Beef Brisket, Herb Roasted Chicken or Vegan Bratwurst. Sides, sauces & cornbread included!
and take it outside on the gorgeous outdoor patio.

On September 30, indoor dining returns to


the Cafe @Cornell Tech
with face coverings, social distancing and 25% capacity seating.

Strong Turpentine Like Odor Overwhelming Areas Of Roosevelt Island For Over A Year Says Resident - RIOC Public Safety Investigation Does Not Discover Source Or Smell

Earlier this month, Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported:


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes asked:
I was just made away of your social media inquiry. PSD has not had any complaints come in about an odor but we would like to know where specifically there has been a smell so we can investigate.
I followed up yesteday asking Mr Haynes and RIOC Public Safety Department Chief Kevin Brown:

Did RIOC ever discover what was the turpentine like smell that residents reported earlier this month. Report of smell is continuing.


RIOC PSD Chief Kevin Brown replied:
PSD investigated the complaint of the smell the evening when the first complaint came in to our office. 

PSD did not discover where this smell may have come from. PSD has not gotten any further complaints about the smell. Officers canvassed areas by the Motorgate and seawalls. No unusual, overwhelming smell was noticed by officers, just the regular smell that comes from the river, fishy, unpleasant. No chemical smells.

UPDATE 8:10 PM - Roosevelt Island residents add:
  • I was In motorgate last night, the fumes were overwhelming!!
  • It’s very obviously coming from the Motorgate construction!
  • I think it was Monday morning when I went to foodtown, the smell was overwhelming. I assumed it was from motorgate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Roosevelt Island Wildlife Sighting, Hawk Spotted Perched On East River Seawall - Enjoying The View And Looking For Next Meal?

Roosevelt Island resident Julia Ivashina shares up close view of Roosevelt Island Hawk on the East River promenade and adds:

One brave fluffy bird that others on the island may enjoy seeing.

Click full screen icon at bottom right of video for full screen view.

Watch video from 2019 of a hawk swooping over the Roosevelt Island Garden Club looking for food.

 Learn more about the natural world of Roosevelt Island at this prior post.

Monday, September 21, 2020

You're Invited To Virtual Roosevelt Island Community Conversation With Cornell Faculty Professor Tanzeem Choudhury Tuesday September 22 - Can Precision Technology Shape The Future Of Mental Health?

The Roosevelt Island Community Conversation with Cornell Tech Faculty series continues tomorrow, September 22, but because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the conversation will be virtual, taking place on Zoom, instead of on the Cornell Tech campus. According to Cornell Tech:

Tanzeem Choudhury: Can Precision Technology Shape the Future of Mental Health? 

DATE: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 

TIME: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm EDT 

RSVP: Register at bit.ly/3c4Rsm5 Zoom link to be provided upon registration. 

You may also email Jane.Swanson@cornell.edu or call 646-220-1505.

ABOUT TANZEEM 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective Saturday Food Scrap Site Diverts 1070 Pounds Away From Landfill For Composting By Big Reuse Today - Bring Your Food Scraps Next Saturday

Today's Roosevelt Island Saturday Food Scrap Drop Off Site  collected over 1070 pounds that was diverted from landfill and taken away by Big Reuse at end of day for composting.

This was week number 2 for the return of Roosevelt Island composting after being suspended last March due to budget cuts caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic. A group of local Roosevelt Island residents calling themselves the Haki Compost Collective is organizing the new Food Scrap Drop Off Site. As previously reported, according to Danika Lam of the Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective:

... This composting initiative is made possible by our friends at Big Reuse, RIOC, and community volunteers like you. To help ensure the continued success of this program, we encourage you to join us in the newly-created Haki Compost Collective to assist with future collection and outreach. Express your interest in volunteering by filling out our interest form at:

Follow us on Instagram @hakicompost for updates...

The Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop Off Site is located every Saturday 9 AM - 2 PM at the yellow vents 

adjacent to the Saturday Farmers Market at Good Shepherd Plaza to collect your food scraps

for composting.

More info on Roosevelt Island Food Scrap composting available at this previous post and Haki Compost Collective Instagram Page.

View this post on Instagram

It’s official! As of yesterday, Roosevelt Island’s food scrap drop-off is back, brought to you by the power of our community. As we reembark on our collective journey of responsible waste management and rejuvenation of our soils, we’re thrilled by the community’s positive response to strategizing, working, and community building with intention. We’re centering (environmental) justice for all at the heart of what we do, because we live on this beautiful planet with billions of other beautiful people, and we believe in protecting and nurturing our shared home for and alongside each other. In more ways than one, composting is for everyone. Still, it’s our duty to ensure that this service is truly accessible to everyone. We begin by acknowledging that the ground we walk upon and hope to nourish is stolen land. We choose to grapple with this past head on so we may enact a more loving and just future. In our composting, knowledge sharing, art-making, and more, we welcome all Indigenous people to build community with us. We also recognize that our own sphere of involvement and influence does not fully represent the diverse community that is Roosevelt Island. Specifically, our participation among people of color and youth populations is regrettably low. We are committed to bringing more valuable voices into our ranks, across our volunteers, collaborators, and food scrap contributors. There is work to be done, but one thing’s for sure: it’s good to be back, Roosevelt Island. ❤️

A post shared by Haki Compost Collective (@hakicompost) on