RIOC COVID Testing Site, Under Construction

Will RIOC become homeless, this summer? Their freebie lease runs out…

Start

Will RIOC become homeless when its freebie lease expires in July? Times change, and the state agency faces a whole new set of circumstances. Their free ride may be over.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Why might RIOC become homeless…?

Final approval of Westview’s Mitchell-Lama exit changes the game for RIOC, which has squatted for free at 591 Main Street for decades.

In some ways, it’s a result of poor judgment, but poorly developed relationships also play a role.

After protracted haggling, RIOC’s hands-off board finally approved the exit plan at a last minute emergency session in July, 2019. A financing deal negotiated by Westview’s managers would expire the next day.

As a courtesy, Westview agreed to two more years of rent free space for RIOC at 591 Main, but that was conditioned by a separate deal.

RIOC planned abandoning the space, leaving a fresh hole on Main Street, in favor of a location set up in Southtown Building 9 as part of that deal with Hudson-Related.

Will RIOC become homeless or move here? COVID Testing Site, Under Construction at 524 Main Street.
Will the COVID testing site RIOC rehabilitated at 524 Main evolve into their new home?

The trouble today is, Hudson never broke ground on that final building. RIOC’s next home is an empty lot, and it likely will be until economic strains from the pandemic end.

With their freebie lease ending in July, will RIOC become homeless…?

The pandemic helping create the problem may also provide a solution. With RIOC’s executives already relocated in new offices, unintended consequences from ambushing former CEO Susan Rosenthal, the remaining staff at 591 Main is thin to non-existent.

You can watch the entrance all day and not see much disturbance as the bulk of the staff works remotely when they work at all. But it’s hard to see any difference. Remoteness is not new for the state agency where they’re more involved with internal conflict than community relations.

That can’t go on forever. Sooner or later, RIOC’s staff must bring their in-fighting home, but where will it be?

Returning to 591 is a possibility, but a free ride seems unlikely after July. RIOC’s current managers appear not to have any working relationship with Westview’s new cooperative team.

Although President/CEO Shelton Haynes works out of new offices RIOC built along the seawall under Motorgate, that was inadvertent. With Rosenthal’s removal, he simply stayed put where he’d anchored as operations chief while her office sat empty.

That area seems inadequate for returning staff, but converting a staff lounge and a conference room may help.

Another favor for Hudson?

More likely, the state agency will again relieve pressure on Hudson’s FlopsShops on Main by taking over space now filled by the wildly underperforming COVID testing center at 524 Main. That area had been filled by the New York Public Library, and Hudson had no answer once they relocated to new quarters.

524 seemed destined to years of vacancy until RIOC took it over for COVID testing. They have never publicly released details of the move but acknowledge Hudson’s involvement.

Huge gaps have previously been filled by providing space for the Public Safety Dept.’s bloated staff, and parking there, at least temporarily, would not set any precedent.

We don’t know if RIOC will become homeless in July, but we’ll have an eye out for moving vans and keep you all posted.

Latest from the Roosevelt Island Daily News desk…

Island House Floor Plans

Your permanent home on Roosevelt Island? Download the floor plans and learn more.

Can Two Wrongs Make a Right? RIOC’s Akeem Jamal Tries To Find out

Two wrongs, we’re told, can’t make a right. We all sorta believe it, but credit where credit’s due, RIOC’s Communications AVP Akeem Jamal is putting it to the test. After grossly misrepresenting the facts surrounding the forced closure of the youth center earlier this month, he pushed the same misinformation through another source last week.…

Keep reading

The New York Times Finally Gets It. Hochul’s Reforms Are All Hot Air

Governor Kathy Hochul’s reforms for New York State, let fly in the wake of Andrew Cuomo’s exit, were meaningless. The lofty rhetoric never got close to fruition and may never have had any chance at all. We saw it on a small scale on Roosevelt Island, and now, the often distracted Times is getting it…

Keep reading

RIVAA Celebrates Black History Month with “Essence Creations”

Opening on Thursday, February 2nd, Essence Creations is showcased in a free opening reception on Saturday, February 4th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. This year, the History Month art exhibit is again curated by Roosevelt Islander Lorraine Williams. The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Keep reading

RIOC Rings Up a Small Win for a Tiny Crowd at Blackwell Park Pitch

Because it was so rare, RIOC’s Blackwell Park Pitch was worth a D+ where only Fs have prevailed for several years. The best thing about the event was the crowd, tiny as it was, but it was also the worst thing. RIOC failed at drawing a representative group, although it’s unlikely that made any difference…

Keep reading

Why RIOC Should End Residential Fees Now. We’ve Already Paid.

If there’s any sense of fair play for Roosevelt Island, RIOC should end residential fees now. All of them. That means making Sportspark, tennis courts and ballfields free for all Roosevelt Islanders. It’s smart, fair and sensible, and RIOC will hate it. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News The greed saturating the state…

Keep reading

Voluntary Composting Comes to NYC. When for Roosevelt Island?

In his second State of the City speech, Mayor Eric Adams said that voluntary composting will soon expand to all five boroughs. “By the end of 2024, every New Yorker, all 8.5 million people, will have the solution they’ve been waiting two decades for, and I’m proud my administration was able to get it done,”…

Keep reading

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

One man’s loving view of Roosevelt Island’s youngest cherry trees blossoming at sunrise…

Next Story

Faith in numbers: Trump held steady among believers at the ballot – it was the nonreligious vote he lost in 2020

Latest from Roosevelt Island News

0 $0.00
%d bloggers like this: