De Blasio aide met with Allure prior to Rivington House deal

Nursing care firm sold the property for a huge profit after city lifted deed restriction

45 Rivington Street Avi Fink
45 Rivington Street (inset: Avi Fink)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has denied he or his team knew anything about the deal to lift the deed restriction at 45 Rivington Street, but now it turns out one of his aides met with the key player back in 2014.

Avi Fink, the mayor’s deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, with the Allure Group’s Joel Landau in December of that year, before the company purchased the property it would later resell at a $72 million profit to Slate Property Group, Adam America Real Estate and China Vanke, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Discussions prior to the deal also included a representative of the 1199-SEIU health care workers union, Community Board 3 and City Council Member Margaret Chin.

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Allure bought the five-story property – which was under a deed restricting limiting to nonprofit use – from nursing home operator VillageCare for $28 million in February 2015. The city lifted the deed restriction in March. In May, Allure went into contract for $116 million with Slate and its partners, who planned to convert the property to condominiums.

As far as I know, no one in [the] mayor’s office knew about the lifting of the deed restriction in 2015,” spokesperson Karen Hinton told Crain’s in April, “except, of course, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services general counsel who signs off in a very pro forma way.”

The lifting of the deed restriction is being investigated by city, state and federal authorities. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg

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