Top city officials worked frantically to undo the deal that lifted the deed restriction on 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side and paved the way for its $116 million sale.
Deputy Mayor Alicia’s chief of staff James Patchett reportedly wrote the Allure Group in late February pressing the company to accept a refund of the $16.1 it paid the city to lift the deed restriction, the New York Post reported, citing a source familiar with the correspondence.
The letter reportedly called the situation “an important issue for us,” and said that Patchett would “highly encourage” Allure Group to accept the offer. It reportedly called on Allure to develop the site for long-term nursing care or affordable housing.
That outcome was reportedly referred to as what “the Mayor’s Office wants,” apparently contradicting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s repeated claim that he only learned of the deal through press reports, which began in late March.
Allure reportedly replied that the sale — to Slate Property Group, Adam America Real Estate and China Vanke, who plan to build 100 luxury condominiums there — had already gone through.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer are all investigating the lifting of the deed restriction. The city issued a stop work order at the site earlier this month. [NYP] — Ariel Stulberg