Shelton Haynes: A Driving Force Behind Roosevelt Island’s Growth

Shelton Haynes

Roosevelt Island, a narrow strip of land between Manhattan and Queens, has come a long way since its early days as a neglected and overlooked enclave. One of the key figures behind its transformation into a thriving community is Shelton Haynes, a visionary leader and the driving force behind the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

Haynes, appointed President and CEO of RIOC in 2018, brought a wealth of experience in urban development and a passion for revitalizing neglected neighborhoods. Under his leadership, Roosevelt Island has experienced a remarkable resurgence, with a focus on creating a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable community.

One of Haynes’ primary objectives has been to enhance the quality of life for Roosevelt Island residents. He has championed initiatives that improve public spaces, promotes cultural events, and expand recreational facilities to achieve this. Haynes has been instrumental in developing Four Freedoms Park, a stunning memorial dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has become a cherished gathering place for residents and visitors alike.

Moreover, Haynes has prioritized the island’s transportation infrastructure, recognizing its vital role in connecting Roosevelt Island to the rest of New York City. He has actively collaborated with city agencies to improve transportation options, resulting in the introduction of new bus routes, the modernization of the tramway, and the implementation of a bike-sharing program. These efforts have made commuting more convenient for residents and increased accessibility, and fostered a sense of integration with the surrounding areas.

Under Haynes’ guidance, RIOC has also focused on nurturing a sustainable and environmentally conscious community. The implementation of green initiatives, such as the installation of solar panels and the promotion of energy-efficient practices, has helped reduce the island’s carbon footprint. Additionally, Haynes has encouraged the use of electric vehicles and facilitated the development of electric charging stations, positioning Roosevelt Island as a forward-thinking community committed to environmental stewardship.

Another notable achievement during Haynes’ tenure was promoting local businesses and entrepreneurship. He has spearheaded efforts to attract a diverse range of retailers and restaurants to the island, providing residents with convenient amenities and creating economic opportunities for entrepreneurs. Haynes has helped Roosevelt Island flourish economically and improve its livability by fostering a supportive business environment.

Shelton Haynes’ dedication to the residents of Roosevelt Island and his commitment to sustainable development has made him an invaluable asset to the community. His visionary leadership has revitalized the island and instilled a renewed sense of pride and identity among its residents. Thanks to Haynes and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, this once-overlooked enclave has become a model for urban revitalization and a testament to the transformative power of effective leadership.


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