Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Record High $1.87 Million Sale Of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Condo - RIOC & Hudson Related Proposal For More Than 300 Affordable Housing Rental Units Next Door In New Southtown Riverwalk Building Too

The Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Court condo at 415 Main Street

Image of Rivewalk Court

listed for sale this summer at $2 million was recently sold for $1.87 million - a record high  price for Roosevelt Island.
According to Bloomberg:
A condo on New York’s Roosevelt Island listed at $2 million missed that mark, but still set a price record.

The 1,433-square-foot (133-square-meter), three-bedroom apartment -- with a view of the midtown Manhattan skyline -- sold for $1.87 million according to listing broker Ben Garama of Corcoran Group,...
Apartment rents and co-op/condo sales are skyrocketing on Roosevelt Island. According to Streeteasy, there are 10 Roosevelt Island apartments currently for sale. 7 of those apartments are listed for over $1 million ranging from $1.035 - $1.843 million. The remaining 3 are listed from $800,000 to $925,000.

Also, according to Streeteasy, there are currently 30 Roosevelt Island rental listings with monthly rents ranging from $4,995 to $2,300.

Roosevelt Island, a community built as a place for low and middle income people to live in NYC is more and more becoming a neighborhood no longer affordable to them, particularly with the recent privatizations of former Mitchell Lama Roosevelt Island buildings. The arrival of Cornell Tech campus has also put the once unknown or ignored Roosevelt Island on the map of many seeking to live in NYC and may have a role in increasing rents and condo/coop sale prices here.

But, there may be hope for a return of some affordable housing coming soon to Roosevelt Island.

Among the items on Agenda for September 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting is this proposed amended agreement with Hudson Related for development of Southtown Riverwalk Buildings 8-9.
... 2. Authorization to Enter into the Fifth Amendment of the Southtown Development Agreement (Board Action Required – Materials to Follow)...
Riverwalk Building 8

and 9

are located across the street from Riverwalk Court (Riverwalk Building 5) site of the $1.87 million condo sale.

Following the August 23 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee (REDAC) meeting, I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
Is there any statement from RIOC regarding discussion of Southtown Building 8 & 9 development agreement at yesterday's Real Estate Advisory committee meeting?

How does RIOC balance achieving maximum ground lease rental with need for affordable housing on Roosevelt Island?
Ms Rosenthal answered:
At the REDAC meeting, RIOC management presented to the Board the current state of the negotiations for Southtown 8 & 9. These negotiations are ongoing. In this transaction, RIOC recognizes its duty to enter into ground leases with fair rents while at the same time, embracing a public policy to preserve and expand affordable housing on the Island.
I replied:
Any statement regarding RIOC efforts to include an affordable housing community preference for Roosevelt Island residents or Community Board 8 residents in Hudson Related development agreement for Southtown 8 & 9?
Ms. Rosenthal answered:
We did discuss that and agreed to explore its feasibility; specifically, to determine whether Hudson Related’s financing program from NYC would allow such a preference.
Present at the August 23 REDAC meeting was newly appointed RIOC Board Chair/NY State Commissioner of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) RuthAnne Visnauskas who was attending her first RIOC Board meeting (pictured below at center with RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and REDAC Chair Howard Polivy).

Ms. Rosenthal, RIOC and Hudson Related (H/R) may have succeeded in bringing more than 300 new affordable rental housing units to Roosevelt Island.

According to this excerpt from September 5 memo by RIOC Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Quinones to the RIOC Board of Directors in support of a proposed amendment to development agreement for Buildings 8 & 9 with Hudson Related:
High Level of Affordability - H/R proposes building the two final buildings of the Southtown
Development in a package that delivers:
  • a greater level of affordability for middle income and low income residents than provided by any of the previous Southtown buildings;
  • affordability sustained over a period of 30 years, and in some cases, longer; and
  • approximately 641 units at a mix of 53% market rate and 47% affordable housing – more than the 40% affordable required in the Southtown Development Agreement.
Also, according to Para. 4, Section 5.1 (j)(a)(i) of proposed draft fifth amendment to Southtown Development Agreement between RIOC and H/R:
... If and to the extent permitted under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development of The City of New York’s and the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s M2 Mixed Middle Income Program, Developer shall give current Roosevelt Island residents preference in any affordable housing lottery with respect to Building 8....
Click here for the entire memo and draft proposed agreement. Note that this is a draft proposal. Nothing has been agreed to yet.

In July 2014, H/R's David Kramer spoke to me about the layout of Southtown Riverwalk Buildings 8-9.

Stay tuned for more following the September 7 RIOC Board meeting.

UPDATE 9/9 - The RIOC Board approved the amendment as outlined above. Rooevelt Island will be getting about 340 rental units of affordable housing at Southtown Riverwalk Building 8.

More to come.