Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Helps Preserve Affordable Housing on Roosevelt Island

Carter Ledyard, acting as counsel to Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, represented the Corporation in connection with the withdrawal of Island House, a 400-apartment complex located on Roosevelt Island, from the State-supervised Mitchell-Lama program. Under the plan, which was billed as “the first of its kind” in New York City, the complex will be converted into residential and commercial condominium units, and the residential unit will then be converted into a cooperative. Rather than reverting to market rents upon withdrawal, an Affordability Plan was adopted, which gives existing tenants the opportunity to buy their apartments at reduced prices, and caps rents for non-purchasing tenants in a manner similar to rent stabilization laws. This transaction, which was many years in the making, involved close cooperation with the governor’s office and various state agencies, particularly the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

Counsel Barbara Brown, acting with RIOC’s in-house-counsel, Donald D. Lewis, represented RIOC in the real estate aspects of this transaction, with assistance from associates Richard Kim and Zara Fernandes. Partner Steven Kass and counsel Christopher Rizzo handled the land use aspects of this transaction, and partner Howard Barnet and associate Jinsoo Ro advised on tax issues.

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