City orders developers to stop work on Rivington House condominium conversion

The DOB says Slate, China Vanke, Adam America's plan is "illegal"

Apr.April 08, 2016 09:12 AM

The city on Tuesday issued a stop-work order to halt construction of a new luxury condominium at 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, the property at the center of a growing political scandal.

The Department of Buildings issued developers Slate Property Group, China Vanke and Adam America the order, calling the project an “illegal conversion” of commercial space to residential units.

The developers bought the former nursing home for $116 million in February after the city approved lifting a deed restriction on 45 Rivington, which was to be maintained for non-profit uses.

Meanwhile, the City Council is considering holding oversight hearings to take a close look at the deal.

For-profit nursing home operator Allure Group bought the Rivington House for $28 million in early 2015, and then paid the city $16 million to lift the deed restriction on the 150,000-square-foot property. In February, Brooklyn-based Allure sold the property to the developers.

Allure owes the city over $6.1 million in property taxes, the New York Post reported.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said on Thursday that she learned about the deal from news reports and that the council is looking into the details of the lifting of the deed restriction, Politico reported.

The de Blasio administration said that Allure misled them about the transaction and that the mayor was not made aware of the deal.

Politico reported that City Council member Margaret Chin had told a City Hall staffer in December that the nursing home was closing. Chin, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and State Senator Daniel Squadron said Wednesday that the city should turn the $16 million it made from the deal over the community.

Mark-Viverito also said the council is considering greater oversight on the lifting of deed restrictions, Politico reported.

Last month, City Comptroller Scott Stringer took a look at the deal, subpoenaing the city for the documents. The city’s Department of Investigation and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are also investigating the deal. [NYP and Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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