Friday, May 11, 2012

5K Roosevelt Island Run/Walk Saturday May 12 To Benefit Icla da Silva Bone Marrow Foundation

Image of Icla da Silva Roosevelt Island 5K Race/Walk Course From NYC Runs

There will be a Roosevelt Island 5k Run/Walk tomorrow, May 12, benefiting the Icla da Silva Foundation. According to NYC Runs:

The Roosevelt Island 5K benefiting the Icla da Silva Foundation

The 1st Roosevelt Island 5K in 2011 was a huge success and the 2012 spring race, scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2012, should be even better. This fast and flat electronically timed 5K will be run on a USATF certified (pending) course and the start and finish are located near the F Train and Tram stations. The closed course is a nice loop around the perimeter of the island with breathtaking views of the East River and of course Manhattan and Queens. Stick around for the post-race party and awards immediately after the last participant finish.

All participant registration for this race will be on NYCRUNS with fundraising teams forming on the Icla da Silva Foundation’s First Giving website.  Consider forming a team and ask your family and friends to sponsor you in support or such great cause. The Icla da Silva Foundation and NYCRUNS will be working together to create a more comprehensive fundraising program and we hope to have details available in January.

The Icla da Silva Foundation is the largest recruitment center for the Be the Match Registry in the United States. It recruits over 38,000 new potential bone marrow donors every year, with a strong focus on minority communities.  The Foundation also provides support services to patients and their families in need of bone marrow transplants.

Time & Date: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 9AM.Bib, t-shirt pickup and bag check is from 8-8:45AM
Location:Firefighter’s Field, 425 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
More information on the Icla da Silva Foundation and previous runs at earlier post.

You Tube Video Of 2011 Icla da Silva Roosevelt Island 5K Run/Walk

Click here to register for the 2012 Roosevelt Island Icla da Silva Run/Walk.

Roosevelt Island Westview Building Owner Gives Notice Of Intention To Leave NY State Mitchell Lama Program - Anticipates Negotiating Affordable Purchase Plan With Building Tenants But Market Rate Rentals Remain Option

 As reported in previous post:
... It looks like Roosevelt Island's Island House is about to exit the NY State Mitchell Lama program under an affordability plan agreed to by the Owner (David Hirschhorn), Residents and NY State....
under terms described here.

Now, the owners of Roosevelt Island other Mitchell Lama rental building, Westview, have given notice of their intent to leave the Mitchell Lama program. According to the Westview Task Force (WTF), the Westview owners anticipate negotiating an affordability plan with the WTF over the next few months and will submit an affordability plan to the tenants, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and NY State agencies within the next 30 days.

Below is WTF communication to building tenants.

According to Westview Owner David Hirschorn's notice of intent letter  to withdraw from Mitchell Lama program (Page 1):

The owner's notice of intent letter is below.

Mr. Hirschhorn is also an owner of Island House.

On other Westview matters, The Westview Task Force April 2012 Tenant Newsletter reports no response from Westview Building Management to a request for:
... justification and rectification of the estimated 20 vacant apartments. Also an explanation on why "internal apartment transfers" have been frozen.... 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Latest On Roosevelt Island Cornell Technion NYC Tech School - Plans For Academic, Residential, Emerging Company Buildings and Hotel Conference Center - Video Of Presentation To Community Planning Board 8 Roosevelt Island Task Force Too

Community Planning Board 8's (CPB 8) Roosevelt Island Task Force met last Tuesday at Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Community Center to hear a presentation by Cornell University regarding the new Cornell Technion Applied Sciences and Engineering school to be built on Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital campus. Representing Cornell University were Vice President Cathy Dove (a new Roosevelt Island resident) and Project Manager Andrew Winters.

Ms. Dove reported that the first phase of the project will open in 2017 with the opening of a 150,000 square foot academic building, a 150,000 square foot partner co- location building for emerging companies, a residence hall of apartments for graduate students, faculty and staff (not a dormitory) and perhaps even an academic conference hotel.

According to Ms. Dove the campus will be developed starting from north to south in stages until 2037 as shown in illustration above. The campus will also have what is being called a Tech Walk from north to south (shown in orange line) similar to Roosevelt Island's Main Street.

Here's an excerpt from Ms. Dove's presentation on the look of the Roosevelt Island campus (video of full presentation is below)

and the power point presentation used during the meeting.

During the presentation Ms Dove also announced that the firm Morphosis was selected as the architect for the first academic building.

The NY Times reported:
After a competition that included some of the world’s most prominent architects, Thom Mayne of the firm Morphosis has been selected to design the first academic building for Cornell University’s high-tech graduate school campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City....
... There are no snazzy architectural images yet, nor can Mr. Mayne speculate about what shape the building will take or what materials he might use. “I haven’t even seen the site plan yet,” he said. The only certainty is that Mr. Mayne will not inaugurate Cornell’s new campus by designing some kind of ivory tower.

“I like being able to tell you that I don’t have any bloody idea what it’s going to look like,” he said....
NY Magazine Daily Intel adds:
... The architect has not yet scrutinized Skidmore Owings and Merrill rather stolid master plan, in which blocky buildings are sprinkled, suburban-style, across an open green. But Mayne dangles the possibility that he will meddle with that scheme rather than take it as a set of givens. He starts daydreaming about a building that doubles as a bridge. “You could sling a piece across the river on one side towards Manhattan and it would open all kinds of fantastic possibilities for linkages.”...
What's the next step in the process? The New York City Office Of Environmental Coordination reports:
... On April 18, 2012, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (ODMED), as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review for the CornellNYC Tech Project, issued a Positive Declaration for the project and directed that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for an EIS was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a public Scoping Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at the Manhattan Community Center, 8 River Road, Roosevelt Island, NY. Written comments on the Draft Scope of Work will be accepted until 5:00 PM on Friday, June 8, 2012....
According to this summary of the project from the Draft Scope of Work to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the CornellNYC Tech Project (Page 1-2):
... The first phase of the CornellNYC Tech project, which Cornell University (Cornell)  would undertake in collaboration with Technion – Israel  Institute of Technology, is expected to be constructed and begin operations on Roosevelt Island in Summer 2017; 2018 will be the first full year of operation.

Phase 1 would consist of up to a maximum of 790,000 gross square feet (gsf) of development consisting of approximately 200,000 gsf of academic research space, 300,000 gsf of residential space (442 units), 100,000 gsf of partner research and development space, and 170,000 gsf for an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities. Up to another 20,000 gsf  would be developed as a central energy plant. Phase 2, expected to be completed by 2037, would add a maximum of 1.34 million gsf consisting  of approximately 420,000 gsf of academic research space, 500,000 gsf of residential space (652 units), 400,000 gsf of partner research and development (R&D) space, and another 20,000 gsf central energy plant. In total, the maximum potential CornellNYC Tech project program is assumed to comprise 2.13 million gsf of development consisting of 620,000 gsf of academic research space, 800,000 gsf of residential space (1,094 units), 500,000 gsf of partner R&D space, 170,000 gsf of an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities, and 40,000  gsf for the central energy plants. Up to approximately 25,000 gsf of campus-oriented retail would be provided within this program....
and (Page 4):
... parking may be provided for the academic-oriented hotel and conference facilities and for the three partner research and development buildings. It is anticipated that approximately 500 spaces would be provided at the project site, with 250 spaces in Phase 1 and another 250 spaces provided in Phase 2....
and (page 5-6):
... The proposed project would be centered on a new outdoor north-south connection or “spine” that would extend at-grade through the project site. A series of publicly-accessible open spaces would extend from the edge of the site inward to this spine. The proposed buildings would be organized around both the spine and the network of open spaces with the main entries to the buildings located along the north-south spine.

Preliminarily, the project buildings are expected to have approximately the following characteristics:
The academic research buildings would be 8 to 14 stories with the tallest of the three buildings reaching 165 to 185 feet in height. 
The residential buildings would be taller, approximately 15 to 30 stories, with the tallest of the four residential buildings reaching 280 to 320 feet in height. 
The hotel and conference facilities would be 15 stories, or up to 180 feet in height. 
The partner R&D buildings would be 8 to 14 stories with the tallest of the three buildings reaching 165 to 185 feet in height. 
The proposed buildings would be oriented on the project site so that a series of publicly accessible open spaces are created (see “Open Space,” below).

The proposed project would provide approximately 7.5 acres of publicly-accessible open spaces on the project site and would include provision of both active and passive uses.

In addition, the project would provide a bicycle path in the ring road around the project site that would provide connections to the parks south of the site as well as to open space and recreation facilities north of the project site.


The existing ring road would be mapped with a 50 foot right-of-way, which would allow for one travel lane and a parking lane, with a sidewalk adjacent to the project site. As in the existing condition, the road would be one-way clockwise with southbound traffic on the east side of the project site and northbound traffic on the west side. The ring road would provide access to the campus’s loading areas, which would be located primarily on the east side of the project site. Drop off and pick up areas may be provided in front of the hotel and potentially at central locations serving the academic buildings.


The proposed project would incorporate a number of sustainable design measures that would reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. In addition to meeting all applicable local laws regarding energy, Cornell has agreed to achieve a minimum of LEED® Silver certification for all project buildings. As part of the sustainable design energy measures, to the extent feasible, the proposed project may include the following:
  • On-site energy plants that would total approximately 40,000 gsf. The energy plants would supply power, chilled water, and heat to the campus.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) panels throughout the site (e.g., on the roofs of the proposed buildings and possibly elsewhere on the site). 
  • A system of up to 400 geothermal wells.
Cornell has set a goal to achieve net-zero energy consumption for its Phase 1 academic building. This means that the campus collectively would generate the electricity, heat, and chilled water that would offset the energy use of the Phase 1 academic building on an annual basis.

In addition to energy measures, the proposed project would be planned and designed to achieve
other sustainability targets....
and (Page 3-4):

The proposed actions required to facilitate the proposed project are as follows:
  • Amendment of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) operating agreement with the City by the Corporation Board in order to surrender a portion of the project site.
  • Disposition of City-owned property from the City of New York to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for a subsequent proposed long-term lease and potential future sale to Cornell.
  • Mayoral approval of the lease and sale terms of the disposition parcels pursuant to Section 384(b)(4) of the New York City Charter.
  • RIOC approval of a modification of the City’s lease with RIOC.
  • Zoning Map amendment to change the project site and surrounding area zoning from R7-2 to C4-5 as shown on Figure 4.
  • Zoning Text amendment to create the Special Southern Roosevelt Island District and to establish special bulk, use, parking and waterfront controls for the rezoning area.
  • City Map Amendment to map the one-way ring road surrounding the project site as a City street
Other potential approvals, such as approvals from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and New  York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), may also be required. It is also possible that an approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) would be required with respect to a geothermal well system that may be part of the project....
Below is the full video of May 8 CPB 8 Roosevelt Island Task Force Meeting on Cornell Technion NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Task Force on Cornell Technion Campus

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Task Force on Cornell Technion Campus

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Task Force on Cornell Technion Campus

Unfortunately, there are audio problems with the last video from approximately 29 minute to 36 minute mark. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Traffic Disruptions On East Roadway By Octagon Tonight and Tomorrow 10 PM To 5 AM Due To Con Ed Repair Work - No Roosevelt Island Red Bus Service Past Firehouse During That Time Either

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Due to emergency Con Edison repair work, the East roadway outside of the Octagon building (888 Main Street) will be reduced to one lane vehicular traffic. The work will be performed on Wednesday, May 9th and Thursday, May 10th from 11PM to 5AM on both days. During this time, the RIOC Red Bus and the Q102 will not provide service beyond the Firehouse Station.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island Octagon Tennis Permits Are Now Available - Pick Up At Sportspark

  Image of Roosevelt Island Outdoor Tennis Club Gate Entrance

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Tennis permits are now available at

Permits will be available for pickup TODAY from 6pm to 8pm at Sportspark (250 Main Street). Please pay for your permits online before coming in to pick them up. After today's special pickup hours, tennis permits will be able to be retrieved on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4pm to 8pm at Sportspark.

Tennis turnstiles will remain open until Monday, May 14 to allow a grace period to get your permit processed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Task Force To Hear Presentation Tonight By Cornell University On New NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School - Question Raised On Why New Task Force and Not Land Use Or Roosevelt Island Committee Doing Review

Community Planning Board 8 Roosevelt Island Task Force will be meeting tonight for a presentation by Cornell University regarding the new Applied Sciences and Engineering school to be built on the Goldwater Hospital campus. According to  CPB 8:

Roosevelt Island Task Force

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 6:30pm
Meeting Location: 
Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Roosevelt Island
546 Main Street, Auditorium
New York, NY
  1. A presentation by Cornell University on the Technology Graduate School on Roosevelt Island
Nicholas D. Viest and James Clynes, Co-Chairs
The meeting will be at Good Shepherd Community Center at 543 Main Street not 546 as indicated in the CPB 8 notice.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) May 2 Common Council meeting discussed the CPB 8 Cornell Task Force. A 14 year member of CPB 8, Sharon Pope, expressed concern that:
  • the normal process for evaluating real estate projects was not being followed by CPB 8,
  • a special CPB 8 task force was being formed to review the Cornell proposal instead of the Roosevelt Island or Land Use Committee,
  • the rushed, fast track process and 
  • none of the Roosevelt Island residents on CPB 8 were chairing the Cornell Task Force, though Roosevelt Island residents are on the Cornell Task Force.
Here's the full discussion.

You Tube Video On Roosevelt Island CPB8 Cornell Task Force Meeting

Also, more on Cornell NYC Tech plans for the Roosevelt Island school.

You Tube Video of Cornell NYC Tech

More Details On Roosevelt Island's Island House Privatization Exit From Mitchell Lama Program and Affordability Plan - Tenants Can Buy Apartment at 65% Market Discount Or Continue Under Rent Stabilization Like System - Unknown About Current Wait List

Image of Roosevelt Island's Island House Entrance

Reported last week on Roosevelt Island's Island House residents ongoing privatization efforts that are about to result in the building exiting the Mitchell Lama program.
... It looks like Roosevelt Island's Island House is about to exit the NY State Mitchell Lama program under an affordability plan agreed to by the Owner (David Hirschhorn), Residents and NY State....
Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner provides some additional details on Island House Privatization with this Press Release:
“The Island House Affordability Plan signifies the next generation of affordable housing on Roosevelt Island and it should be used as a template for other Mitchell-Lama conversions throughout New York State,” said the Assembly Member. “This deal ensures affordability for all Island House residents and I am proud to have played a vital role in making it a reality. I will sleep well at night knowing that tenants will be able to keep their apartments – whether they own or rent – for years to come.”

“Our focus throughout this long process has been on maximizing affordability and protection for every tenant so that any tenant who wishes to stay in Island House, either as a buyer or renter, would be able do so,” said Graham Cannon, Chairman of the Island House Tenants Association. “We are delighted with this outcome. This is a very important breakthrough for the tenants of Island House. I especially recognize the efforts of our elected officials – especially Assembly Member Kellner and Councilmember Jessica Lappin – who played such a critical role in moving this forward.”

“The Affordability Plan is the culmination of many years of hard work among all of the stakeholders and was made possible only through the willingness of those involved to work cooperatively toward achieving a delicate balance among competing interests,” said David Hirschhorn, the General Partner of the ownership group.

The plan provides the following:
  • Island House residents will be able to purchase their apartments at a discount of approximately 65% off of the market price.
  • For those Island House residents who do not wish to purchase their apartments, they may remain as tenants for the next 30 years and will be protected under a rent stabilization- like program.
  • The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) will continue to supervise the property to insure that the terms of the Affordability Plan are adhered to.
  • Owner contributes $9.6MM to building improvements and reserves
  • Owner pays $4,500,000 in transfer fees to RIOC
  • Tax Equivalency Payments for affordable units remain low during the 30 year affordability period and thereafter phase into a market level tax payment
  • During the 30 year affordability period, Island House residents (and future owners) may resell their apartments but are limited to the amount they can charge and are required to pay a significant portion of their profit back to the building, as well as a 1% fee to RIOC
  • Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will receive substantial additional ground rents upon the expiration of the affordability period.
Under the Public Authorities Law, a 90 day notice letter was filed by RIOC on April 27, 2012. The closing of the Affordability Plan is scheduled for July 31, 2012.

The offering portion of the deal must still be submitted to the Office of the New York State Attorney General for acceptance of the cooperative offering plan.
More information on the Island House privatization as well as RIOC's 90 day notice letter available at prior post. I have asked RIOC to comment on the plan but have not received a response. Questions regarding the Island House privatization and  affordability plan remain including from this reader:
What will this mean for those not currently residents of Island House but interested in moving there?  Will the current wait list for rentals be converted to a waitlist to purchase, or will be there a new mechanism for filling future vacancies?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Municipal Arts Society Jane's Walkers Tour Roosevelt Island Guided By Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Jane's Walkers Lining Up At RIHS Visitors Kiosk From Roosevelt Island Historical Society

As previously reported, Roosevelt Island was one of the sites for the Municipal Art Society's Jane Walk  last weekend.

Received this Jane's Walk report from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
At least 50 off-Island visitors attended the Roosevelt Island Historical Society's session of Jane's Walk. Prompted by an extensive mention in The New York Times, they sought an insider's view of the community, institutions and history of the Island.

Grouping themselves by interests, visitors assembled to listen and learn about Southpoint Park, Tram Plaza, Main Street and Lighthouse Park.

Roosevelt Island Jane's Walkers In Front Of Southtown Riverwalk Building

Informal discussions about the residential buildings, the history of the 19th and 20th Century social service institutions, the architecture and the community organizations that knit residents together ensued for 90-minutes.

The walks were led by Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, Deborah Dorff, Janet Falk and Francine Lange.

Image From Roosevelt Island Historic Society

Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group Meeting Tomorrow Morning 7:30 AM, Local Entrepreneurs Meet, Share Stories and Potential Opportunities - Presentation Last Meeting From Real Estate Agent and Parenting Coach - Are You Next?

The Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group (RIBN) will be holding their next meeting tomorrow morning, May 8 7:30 AM. at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill (425 Main Street).

Networking Works! Next Meeting Tuesday 5/8 at 7:30 am at Riverwalk Bar & Grill
We're on a roll as members help each other to expand their circles of business contacts and sharpen their strategy. Hear three members describe what their essential services are and participate in a business card exchange. Invite Island friends and neighbors who are also small business owners and solo practitioners to attend as we expand the networking group. Contact Tom Wood at to present at a future meeting.
The RIBN report from their last meeting:
About 20 residents, with professions ranging from event designer and financial advisor to chef and yoga teacher, gathered on Tuesday evening, April 24th, for the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group’s bi-monthly meeting. As usual, the meeting kicked off with informal conversations and a business card exchange, as familiar faces and new members shared ideas about their respective small businesses and solo practices.

The member presentations included an informative and eye-opening presentation by Kelle Sargent who has recently transitioned into the unique world of Manhattan real estate. Her insights, specifically on the real estate environment of Roosevelt Island, were invaluable. A second presentations was by Gigi Khonyongwa, who is a parenting coach for parents of children with special needs. She explained from her own experiences that there is often a lack of support for the parents of special needs children. She launched Families Blossoming to meet this need. Gigi shared that she has already made a significant difference for others, and described the massive vision she has for the future.

Attendees were reminded to submit a listing of their contact information and services to The WIRE and to the Roosevelt Islander online. Members are encouraged to meet with others in the group and consider what they have to offer and what they might need from a colleague. The Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group on LinkedIn continues to grow.

The group plans to participate in Roosevelt Island Day, on Saturday, June 9th with a table in Good Shepherd Plaza. Details will follow.

The next event will be held on Tuesday, May 8th at 7:30 am at River Cross Bar & Grill. Members are welcome to bring Island friends and neighbors who are also small business owners and solo practitioners and expand the networking group.
Here are excerpts from two presentations made to the April 24 RIBN meeting. The first is from real estate agent Kelle Sargent

and then parenting coach for parents of special needs children Gigi Khonyongwa.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group and how you can join available at Linked In and previous posts.

Super Duper Perigee Moon Over Roosevelt Island And Queensboro Bridge Saturday Night - Did You See It?

Wow - did you see the super large moon over Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge last Saturday's night?

Image From Jay

NASA Science News explains the phenomenon: 
The full Moon has a reputation for trouble. It raises high tides, it makes dogs howl, it wakes you up in the middle of the night with beams of moonlight stealing through drapes. If a moonbeam wakes you up on the night of May 5th, 2012, you might want to get out of bed and take a look. This May’s full Moon is a "super Moon,” as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2012.

The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.

Such is the case on May 5th at 11:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time1 when the Moon reaches perigee. Only one minute later, the Moon will line up with Earth and the sun to become brilliantly full. The timing is almost perfect.
Except that the moon in the picture above is not real but was photoshopped by Jay. Also, Gothamist reports that clouds on Saturday night obscured views of the super duper moon over New York City:
... SuperMoon turned out to be a superfail—it was too cloudy in NYC to see the lunar phenomena.
but last night, the cloud cover over Roosevelt Island was gone. Roosevelt Island photographer and photo blogger Olya Turcihin (Olya's Urban Journal) captured the moon over New York City the night after perigee.

Images From Olya Turcihin

and here's more between the moon and New York City.

You Tube Video of Between The Moon and NYC

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scenes From Today's Jazz Salon At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA, Wonderful Music, Dancing & Art - Continues First Sunday Of Every Month

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA hosted a Jazz Salon earlier today. Here are some scenes

and a wonderful performance enjoyed by those in attendance.

You Tube Video of Gallery RIVAA Jazz Salon

Gallery RIVAA will be hosting its Jazz Salon the first Sunday of every month so come on out for the next one on June  3.