Rivington House neighbor lashes out at de Blasio during radio show appearance

Mayor sympathized and said, “I don’t know the answer yet”
May 20, 2016 10:41AM

It’s not just law enforcement agencies bearing down on Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city’s deal to lift a deed restriction at 45 Rivington Street, it’s neighborhood residents as well.

During an appearance on WNYC, the mayor took criticism from the head of the co-op that sits next door to the Lower East Side building.

“My neighbors and I are completely dismayed by your administration’s failure to protect the public good when it removed the deed restriction on that property,” the caller, Tessa Huxley, said.

De Blasio more or less agreed. “I share your frustration,” the mayor told Huxley. “That should not have happened. Period.” Asked whether there was any way to reverse the deal, he said, “I don’t know the answer yet. We are exploring that right now.”

The Allure Group, a for-profit nursing home operator, bought the property known as Rivington House last year for $28 million after making a $16 million payment to the city to lift a deed restriction on the building that limited it to nonprofit use. Allure then sold the property to Slate Property Group, Adam America Real Estate and China Vanke, who planned to build condominiums there, for $116 million.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are now scrutinizing the agreement ot lift the restriction.

De Blasio has said he was unaware of the deal, but there have been several reports that members of his inner circle had had contact with Allure executives prior to the move. [WNYC]Ariel Stulberg