Hudson Related And RIOC Must Agree To Forgo Rent Collections

How To Save Main Street Businesses After Coronavirus Shutdowns

Updated 6 weeks ago David Stone
Let's keep the sun shining on Main Street. Save our businesses.
Let's keep the sun shining on Main Street. Save our businesses.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Roosevelt Island's Main Street businesses, already in peril from high rents and light traffic, found even more danger as the coronavirus stranglehold reached deep into the community. It's imperative and morally appropriate that RIOC and Hudson Related save them.

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It should not need suggesting, under the circumstances, but sadly, it does: RIOC and Hudson Related need to put together a deal that relieves Main Street businesses, including nonprofits, from rent obligations for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Let's be clear: Fighting COVID-19, through an executive order, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered businesses closed, some for months. Others limped along with severe restrictions. Having been the catalyst for closings, however appropriate, New York State, through RIOC, has no moral right to collect full lease payments.

Sadly, to date, RIOC's shown a callous disregard for the plight of Roosevelt Island Businesses, it's board cavalierly passing responsibility off on Hudson Related because they've got plenty of resources.

As if the State of New York doesn't.

How can they justify a $15 million outlay for Palace of Versailles Bike Ramp while simultaneously suffocating Main Street retail? 

Hudson Related, as the master retail leaseholder, essentially funneling money through to RIOC, should be relieved of any obligations concerning rent collections and resulting payments due the state. As it's unfair for Hudson Related to handle the full burden independently, we call on RIOC to release them from any obligations until the crisis lifts.

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The crisis digs deep into business operations, but it also digs deep into residents ability to pay and support our businesses.

And we again call on both parties to do this as soon as possible, giving our business owners some breathing room as they work through the hardest of times.

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