Fearing that a Lower East Side nursing home could soon give way to luxury condos, activists and politicians are on the move. This week, the Buildings Department lift portions of a stop-work order on the Rivington House Nursing Home issued some 14 months ago, according to the New York Post.
The DOB ordered a full stop-order at 45 Rivington Street following its controversial sale and a political probe.
In 2015, Allure Group bought the building and got the city to lift two deed restrictions on the property, despite having promised that it would remain a health care facility. Allure then flipped the building to Slate Group at a profit of as much as $72 million, according to the Post.
The deal resulted into a probe regarding the city’s handling of the sale and its lifting of the deed restrictions. However, the probe found no illegal conduct.
“This ‘exploratory work’ allows for the ‘miscellaneous removal of areas of flooring, walls and ceiling finishes throughout the existing building in order to expose the existing structure and masonry elements … for future renovations,’” advocates Tessa Huxley and Harriet Cohen wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 6 following the partial end to the stop-work order. “We believe that this could well do permanent damage to the property as well as foreclose options that may yet result from outstanding investigations.”
However, a DOB spokesperson insists that the owners are not being allowed to convert the property into condos.
“It does not allow [the owners] to make any alterations and the stop-work order for the condo conversion project remains in effect,” Buildings Department spokesman Joe Soldevere said.
[NYP] —Christopher Cameron