Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Current State of Retail on Roosevelt Island - Dec 2007

Real Deal

According to an interview in the Dec 2007 online real estate publication “The Real Deal” David Kramer of Hudson Related stated that “the developers are looking to bring a food store into [425 Main Street]”.

It was unclear from the article whether “food store” referred to a restaurant to compliment the planned Italian and Japanese establishments (soon to open or still under construction) or as an alternative to Gristedes. It would appear that the space is of ample square feet to support another restaurant but a supermarket would require greater space. As it is the additional truck traffic making deliveries has already tied up traffic outside the subway entrance.

The article also includes the following regarding the empty stores on Main Street in Northtown:

"RIOC comptroller Carmine Tedesco, who is overseeing the corporation's retail development strategy, said the top priorities now are to bring a pizzeria, fish store and bakery to the island, to replace ones that were evicted after falling behind in rent last year. Tedesco said several businesses have expressed interest and are working through the state leasing rules before being approved by the RIOC board.

He has also received several calls from people looking to open a sports bar and a veterinarian clinic on the island, and that he continues to hold discussions with the interested parties. He declined to identify future plans for the RIOC-owned retail space, but said service-oriented retail has been a goal for the island.


  1. I would really love to see a Dunkin Donuts/Ben & Jerry's kind of store on RI. There are so many families with kids who would love it, too. It's just the vocal few who are against having fast food chains on RI.

  2. and you know that how? most of the people i talk to have no interest in a fast food / fat food place. they want a REAL restaurant or a bar that holds more than 10 people.

  3. At one point they were talking about a year ago or so about removing RIVAA and putting in a dunkin donuts / ice cream and then it failed. No idea where they would have put RIVAA.

  4. Here are two very viable ideas - an "nice" mexican restaurant with a good bar - with live music (provided by all the RI people!) and a doggie day care.

    A decent mexican place would serve all of the different populations and with all of the dogs in The Octagon a doggie day care could certainly have a shot at a good ROI.

    If we are going to have ice cream - donuts - it should be a local store - along the lines of "Roosevelt Island Bakery". Anyonw want to be an entrepreneur?

  5. Although I normally prefer independent stores, anything would be preferable to the depressing sight of empty, dirty storefronts draped in hideous orange fabric. At the same time, I was opposed to the installation of a Dunkin Donuts in the RIVAA space. The gallery was the only establishment on the island until the opening of Starbucks and Duane Reade that let you know you were in New York City rather than a third-world country.

    Can our pathetic housing project support both a Starbucks and a Dunkin? I don't know, but I do know that there are plenty of empty spaces for Dunkin to move into without displacing one of the very few sophisticated enterprises we have.

  6. I'd like to see a high-end grocery, along the lines of Citarella or Garden of Eden, that would require less space than a full-service supermarket, and would maintain adequate fish and baked-goods counters. I would rather have a store bring in high-quality goods than bake poor-quality goods on premises.

    I see plenty of people carrying shopping bags from Dean & DeLuca, Citarella and Garden of Eden. Roosevelt Island was Fresh Direct's pilot project for a reason.

    We need something a bit more upscale than we have now.

  7. I think a nice butcher shop or bar/restaurant is more important than having another coffee shop. Some people want a high end grocery store but at same time complain about the prices of Gristede's. Also, fixing up the soccer field should be a priority!

  8. It was nice to have an independent bakery on Main Street. Not everything has to be a national chain. NYC was once known for all its local restaurants and so was R.I. By the way, the last managers of the old bakery now run one successfully downtown.

  9. does any one know about school ratings in the area?

  10. I would be all for a good mexican restaurant....and a bar!...give us a convenient place to go out and have a drink in the evening....

    good ideas, both!