Coming this Fall: Riverwalk Building # 9 on Roosevelt Island

Coming this Fall: Riverwalk Building # 9 on Roosevelt Island

Riverwalk Building #9 hit the horizon roughly five years ago when developers Hudson-Related cut a deal with the city, increasing affordable housing here, and put together a two-building project that won approval from RIOC. Progress stalled, though, and only the affordable piece, 460 Main Street, got built. That’s about to change, starting later this year.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Riverwalk Building #9 Joins Its Affordable Partner

Soon, skies will clear and construction will begin on the site of Riverwalk Building #9, completing the Southtown plan. It’s a plus for Roosevelt Island on all counts.

The scenario was clear. Riverwalk Building #8 would add a refreshing inventory of affordable housing to Roosevelt Island where the count had shrunk in recent years. And its next-door neighbor, Building #9 would add more market-rate apartments.

An infusion of new Roosevelt Islanders, many families and high-income professionals would invigorate an already dynamic Southtown community.

And there would be more.

“We’re proud of the whole kit and caboodle,” Hudson President David Kramer said in a Q&A with The Daily, last summer.

“8 beautiful Riverwalk buildings, the House at Cornell Tech, the Riverwalk Commons, retail on Main Street and in Riverwalk. And more good stuff is on the way: the 9th Riverwalk building, a new dog run and the Commons East.”

When completed, Riverwalk Building #9 will become home for RIOC. The state agency signed an agreement for moving its headquarters there, but that, like the rest of the project, stalled when COVID complicated already standing challenges.

Those challenges have now been met.

Groundbreaking This Fall

“Extremely true,” Kramer answered when The Daily asked about rumors that construction would start this year on Riverwalk #9.

That’s critical as it marks the last piece of residential construction for Roosevelt Island, according to the original master plan. Without impinging on greenspace, no more conventional residential buildings are possible. Cornell Tech, which has two more phases to go, will add campus housing.

When fully occupied, Riverwalk #9 will bring Roosevelt Island’s population up to 12,000 for the first time. (RIOC, which has long misstated reality, quoted the false 14,000 figure in a public bid package again, this year. It’s no more true now than it was when they pitched it to potential commercial renters 15 years ago.)

Increased population is good news for local businesses as Hudson-Related pushes a “buy local” theme. But a second Riverwalk Commons is good for Roosevelt Islanders, if only for its much-needed modern dog run.

All things considered, the tilt southward for the community shifts a few more degrees, helping change the dynamic tone and openness that are positives for any community.

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