Roosevelt Island co-op enacts a 'no shirt, no shoes, no service' lobby policy

By Virginia K. Smith | February 25, 2016 - 2:15PM

Tales of demanding or otherwise, er, "idiosyncratic" co-op boards have long been the bread and butter of New York real estate stories. But so far, we haven't yet heard of one that's had to remind residents to wear shoes (or "proper attire" at all) in the lobby, or banned beverages in the same common areas.

That is, not until today: A tipster sent Roosevelt Islander a memo recently sent out by the board of Rivercross, a major co-op building on the island, and from the sounds of it, they are very fed up with perceived misuse of the building's common spaces. To wit:

"Rivercross, we must remind you that the entrance lobby and common areas are public spaces for use by all residents or visitors for brief meetings, visiting or as a waiting area. Therefore, please observe the following:

  • No feet on the furniture or tables,
  • No sitting on tables
  • No sorting of mail on tables
  • Food or drink are not to be consumed in the lobby or placed on tables and furniture
  • Furniture and tables may not be moved
  • Meetings should be of short duration
  • Proper attire is required while walking through the lobby or other common areas and by all means no bare feet

We appreciate everyone's cooperation and consideration for all shareholders and visitors in the reasonable and proper use of our common areas and lobby."

This raises a few questions about how many shareholders, exactly, have been shoving tables together for hours-long, barefoot meetings (or mail-sorting sessions) over bacchanalian, wine-soaked, multi-course meals in the lobby. We're also curious about enforcement: Will you get busted for sipping on bottled water as you stroll to the elevator, or does the whip only get cracked if you're kicking back, pants-less, with a massive (and fragrant) meal from Mickey D's.

The building's management declined to comment on this story, but in any case, if you were hoping to hold your next lunch meeting in the RiverCross lobby (or just wanted to sit there barefoot with a cold six-pack next weekend), consider yourself on notice.

And if you find yourself wanting to push back against your board—or, get similar behavioral rules of your own implemented—your best bet is to rally support from your fellow shareholders and present your ideas at an upcoming meeting (or, if necessary, stage a coup of the board's leadership).


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Ask an Expert: What can I do about the tyrants on my co-op board?

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