The Real Deal New York

Drumbeat for transparency over Rivington House sale grows louder

Margaret Chin, Gale Brewer request documents from DCAS
March 30, 2016 05:45PM


45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side (inset: Gale Brewer and Margaret Chin)

The inquiry into the shady Rivington House sale on the Lower East Side is growing by the day.

City Council member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sent a letter to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services Tuesday asking for documents related to the sale, Crain’s reported.

DCAS agreed last year to change the deed restriction for 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, clearing the path for a $116 million sale to China Vanke, Slate Property Group and Adam America Real Estate Group. The developers plan to convert the former nonprofit AIDS-care facility into 100 luxury condominiums units.

Allure Group, a for-profit nursing home operator, paid $28 million for the 150,000-square-foot property in early 2015. Allure then paid the city $16 million to lift the deed restriction requiring the building be used for nonprofit business.

“We are deeply troubled by the lifting of the deed restriction and subsequent sale of the property to [Slate Property Group] and have been advocating for transparency and accountability from the administration regarding the circumstances around these events,” the officials wrote in the letter, Crain’s reported. “We believe the public has a right to know how and why the Rivington House facility will no longer be maintained in perpetuity for their benefit …”

Comptroller Scott Stringer subpoenaed the documents and the city turned them over last week.

On Monday, de Blasio administration officials accused Allure of misleading the city about the deal, saying Allure promised it would maintain the Rivington House as a nursing home. Crain’s reported lawyers from the mayor’s office are reviewing the deed restriction being lifted. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic