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Friday, July 23, 2010

Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Condo & Rental Development In The News - Did You Know We Are Suburban?

An article in today's Wall Street Journal's New York edition on Roosevelt Island's new Riverwalk development describes the type of life people considering a move to Roosevelt Island are looking for, at least according to Southtown's Riverwalk Developer:
... "Our motto used to be: Manhattan's Newest Village," says David Kramer, a principal at Hudson. "But we realized people considering living here didn't want urban. They wanted open space, water views, something more peaceful."...
How are sales and rentals going at the new Riverwalk building? According to the article:
...Related says more than 70% of the 123 condo units have been sold, although some are still on the market for less than what they were originally offered. A new 242-unit rental building is nearly full, and developers are phasing out earlier concessions like a month of free rent....

... Nevertheless the developers, which have the right to construct three more buildings on the island to bring their total projects there to nine, haven't yet determined when they will proceed...

... A two-bedroom, for instance, initially offered in 2008 for $955,000 was delisted in April 2009, according to Three months later it was listed at $800,000, and is still available for about that price today. Rents for a one-bedroom unit in the other new building average $2,690 a month...
There could be big financial and budgetary problem for Roosevelt Island if Hudson/Related developers don't follow through on their development of Riverwalk buildings 7, 8 and 9, as hoped by some residents:
... she hopes Related and Hudson never construct the final three buildings across Main Street. "Then I might move," she says ruefully. "It would start to feel too crowded, too much like across the river in Manhattan."
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) a state Public Benefit Corporation which manages, runs and funds all that goes on at Roosevelt Island, without money from the State or City for it's operating budget, is counting on projected revenue from these projects to finance future necessary capital projects.

As reported in this February 4, 2010 post on RIOC Budget meeting:
Where the recession could hurt RIOC is in the capital budget because so much of that budget is based upon revenue coming from Hudson/Related completing Southtown with the construction of Riverwalk Buildings 7-9. If that does not happen then there could be big trouble for RIOC capital projects.
Regarding Southtown Buildings 7 - 9, RIOC's proposed FY 2010-11 budget states (Page 9) reports:
Southtown 7, 8, and 9:
In 2006, the Southtown developers exersized an option at a cost of $2,000,000 to extend the Construction Commencement Date for all buildings of Southtown 5–9 from no later than December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012. Management believes that given current market conditions there is a possibility that the development of Southtown 7, 8, and 9 may not happen, negatively affecting projected cash reserves. Below is the effect on projected cash reserves, if the development of Southtown 7, 8, and 9 were not to go forward. It is management's belief that if Southtown 7, 8, and 9 were to not proceed in the time period, there would be other subsequent development opportunities after the economic downturn cycle reverses its course.
So if Riverwalk Buildings 7 -9 don't get built, RIOC will have to do some scrambling and find some other way to raise capital budget funds.

Curbed, commenting on the Wall Street Journal article adds:
When it comes to Roosevelt Island, New Yorkers fall into three categories: 1) Those who live on Roosevelt Island. 2) Those who have briefly fantasized about life on Roosevelt Island, visions of saved down payment dollars swimming in their brains, before immediately snapping out of it and vowing never to think such thoughts ever again. 3) Roosevelt whatnow? It is for this latter category that journalists often take up the cause of trying to explain this mysterious two-mile strip of land floating in the East River, technically part of Manhattan and best known for its bland apartment towers and creepy hospital ruins. Today it's the Wall Street Journal having a go, and the buzzword is one that sticks in the craw of many city dwellers: Roosevelt Island is downright suburban...


Anonymous said...

Lots of negative comments about the island on the Curbed piece. If they all stay away and tell all their friends, those of us who like living here can enjoy it in peace.

Anonymous said...

I personally want to see the other 3 related buildings constructed. The way it was explained to me, all of the "affordable" units were supposed to be located in the 3 buildings yet to be constructed - however, I have heard conflicting statements (one of which was that all of the affordable units are located in the Sloan Kettering/Cornell housing and therefore not available to the public). I would like to see this investigated as there are few opportunities to enter into affordable housing on the island.

Anonymous said...

That could be true, but the Housing in the Cornell and Sloan-Kettering Buildings are more expensive than Island House and Westview.

I don't believe this small little Island can handle 3 more large buildings and more people, we are too crowded already.

Today- marks my 28th year of living here- we do not need more people or buildings.

Anonymous said...

I was referencing the affordable units required by law to be included in all new construction, not affordable units available (or otherwise) on the island as a whole.

Anonymous said...

to the last poster, I realize that, but that didn't happen in the other Soutown units and it was supposed to, also at The Octagon.

In fact, The Octagon was not supposed to be built there at all and Mayor-Emperor Bloomberger changed the law-like he cares at all about any affordable housing anywhere-he hasn't set foot on this island to hold any conferences, meeting in his forever term of office.

JMS-28 year resident of Westview.

Anonymous said...

To be fair the Octagon does have 100 apartments set aside that rent out for less than market price. Right now there is a studio and a 1BR apartment listed that have a maximum income requirement.