The Real Deal New York

Council speaker criticizes mayor’s office over Rivington probe

Melissa Mark-Viverito said administration shouldn't have interfered with investigation
July 20, 2016 01:15PM

Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Rivington House at

Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Rivington House at 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side

A close ally of Mayor Bill de Blasio had some harsh words for his administration Wednesday, saying that it shouldn’t have interfered with investigations into the Rivington House deal.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that the administration shouldn’t have limited the city’s Department of Investigation’s access to documents related to the real estate deal, the New York Post reported. 

“Clearly access to the documents should not have been made difficult,” she said. “It should have been freely made available, so that aspect of the report is also very troubling.”

Last week, the city’s Department of Investigation published a damning report that found that City Hall knew or should have known about the $116 million sale of 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. The Allure Group paid VillageCare $28 million for the building in February 2015. The city subsequently removed the deed restrictions on the property, and Allure sold the building for $116 million to developers including Slate Property Group TRData LogoTINY, Adam America Real Estate and China Vanke.

Earlier this week, the Post reported that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the sale’s possible connection to the mayor’s now-defunct nonprofit, Campaign for One New York.

The DOI’s report also revealed that Slate had warned employees not to discuss the sale of the property until the city lifted a deed restriction that limited use on the building to a health care facility.  [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel