Hello and Happy 2014!
I’m bringing my love of running to my blog, and incorporating Real Estate aspects of my observations from the street level.
We can see a lot more real estate at 8-9 minutes a mile.
Not to mention that looking to the left and right is much easier without trying to drive at the same time!
Each month, I’ll include a run I’ve done somewhere around NYC.
My hope is that it will spark your interest in a certain neighborhood or area, and you’ll go and take a look!
This month I want to share Roosevelt Island with you.
Have you ever been there?
It has a fascinating history/backstory.
You may access the island in three ways:
– The F train
– Tram from 60th and 2nd avenue
– On Foot!
My route is here
– of course we’re talking about the “on foot” route.
Certainly we chose a poor day to visit.
33 degrees and on the verge of snowing.
Regardless, the views make the trip enjoyable in any weather.
Access is actually quite straightforward.
If you want to run/walk over the 59th street bridge, you can reach the pedestrian walkway from 60th and 1st avenue.
About a mile and a half later, you’ll find yourself in Queens!
The run itself is best, in my opinion, at sunrise, because you get to see Manhattan start to light up from the East.
Once you are in Queens, it’s a relatively quick left to the North along one of the North-South roads- we try different roads for variety.
After about 1/2 a mile or so, you hit 36th avenue.
This is the road which brings you to the Queens foot/car bridge access to Roosevelt Island.
Take another left onto 36th avenue, which puts you heading West.
You can’t miss the bridge.
Between the bridge and Roosevelt Island, don’t tune out- you’ll see all the Long Island City development.
There is so much going on- and it’s clear by how easy access it what a hub Queensboro Plaza will become.
Sooner or later.
The Island is about 2 miles long from North to South, so a loop ends up being 4 miles or so.
We generally go on a Saturday morning, so we hit the Island right as the Farmer’s Market opens up!
We’re a bit to the North of the 59th street bridge, looming well overhead.
The island is a flat, easy-to-navigate course where you get sea-level views of Manhattan and Queens.
You get to see the FDR traffic scooting along, and how well the concrete barriers contain the noise, while above the FDR you see a lovely view of River House and the $130mm mansion on the market, along with Sutton Place in the immediate area, then East End cooperatives, and of course Gracie Mansion.
Perhaps you’ll see Mayor DeB!
It’s like being on the River itself.
We head to the North, taking us to the little lighthouse at the Northernmost point, where you can see some of the well-preserved historic buildings.
There are a number of rental buildings in this direction.
Heading back to the South you will soon hit the Related Companies’ condos and rental buildings and the F train station, which is buried what seems like hundreds of feet below grade.
From an engineering perspective, I have no doubt that this station presented incredible challenges!
Back to the real estate.
There is very little in the way of condominium was built due to the licensing restrictions of the Island, but 415 Main Street is a sold-out project.
The units there have drop-dead views of Manhattan and the River, and feature gorgeous amenities, including roofdecks with quite the viewing perch of the NYC Marathon!
Here is a Penthouse unit with the view photo nearby.
A one-bed asking $779,000.
Of course, the real estate dimension is shifting due to recent exciting events.
As you may have read, Cornell and Technion University (Israel’s MIT) have partnered together to create a technology campus on Roosevelt Island, unfolding over the next 20 years.
My friend remarked that certain aspects of this area of Roosevelt Island currently look like the Turkish parts of Cyprus.
That is to say, untouched for 40 years and decrepit.
I would encourage you photographers to get there before the Cornell Demolition Derby begins as Silicon Island shapes up through the 2030’s.
All of the development I’m told will be South of the 59th street bridge.
At the Southernmost point, is the other really worthwhile part of the trip to the Island.
Four Points Park (featured in the photo above) is just stunning.
Incorporating some other historic buildings into a gem of a park, this opened last year to little fanfare, but as it looks out to the United Nations across the river, it seems to be a homage to a man who sought peace in the world.
The park is probably meant to be enjoyed by stroll, and not jog, but we enjoyed it nonetheless, not to mention its delicious water fountains.
As we headed back to the bridge to go back into Queens, we took a slightly different route along the water, to bypass the traffic and auto body shops.
This road required us to pick up the bike path for a short jog heading East with the bridge to our immediate right (zoom in on the map)- to bring us back to civilization, as it were.
Given that we had hit our mileage for the day, this time we actually took the subway back to Manhattan from Queensboro Plaza, enjoying a Gatorade from a nearby bodega before we boarded.
All in all, a lovely morning run and one worth trying out!
The future significance of Roosevelt Island as a hub for technology, along with its quiet, its history, and curiosities make for a fun visit.