The city council has scheduled its first hearing on the Rivington House scandal – more than seven months after it broke.
Council members Vincent Gentile and Ben Kallos will lead the hearing on Sept. 29, which will focus on how the city approved the lifting of a deed restriction on the Lower East Side nursing home earlier this year.
Following the lifting of the restriction, landlord Allure Group sold the property to Slate Property Group and its partners Adam America and China Vanke for a $72 million profit. The new owners plan to convert the building into luxury condos, though city agencies to date have prevented construction from starting. The Real Deal put together a video explaining the whole saga.
The city council proposed a hearing back in July, and according to the New York Post some Council members were frustrated that it took so long to schedule one. At least one of them, talking to the Post anonymously, speculated that Gentile’s close ties to de Blasio explain the delay.
“He’s very much the mayor’s puppet,” the colleague reportedly said. “He was one of the first to endorse de Blasio when a lot of people weren’t coming out to support him.”
De Blasio announced this week that he was cutting off ties to major lobbyists in the wake of the Rivington House scandal and other controversies. [NYP] — Konrad Putzier