Ongoing negotiations to preserve the Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on East Fifth Street at Avenue B have been unsuccessful. According to an anonymous source, Cabrini has run out of options and will close its doors in four to five months. During this time, Cabrini officials will find new homes for its residents as well as placement for current day-care clients.
Cabrini officials informed their employees of the impending closure today. Cabrini will work to help place the nearly 300 employees elsewhere.
In November, we reported that developer Ben Shaoul was the mystery buyer of Cabrini. The building's previous owner was an unnamed family trust who, according to the Lo-Down, sold Cabrini for $25.5 million.
According to several sources, Shaoul discussed flipping the building, and at least one interested party was seeking to purchase the property (one estimate put the price in the $36 million neighborhood) and continue operating the site as a for-profit nursing facility. However, those negotiations have ended.
Shaoul's attorney, Kenneth Fisher, had said at the end of 2011 that if Cabrini and the potential new operator failed to reach agreement, then eviction proceedings would commence. "My client purchased the property in good faith, with the intention of upgrading it for an as-of-right use. Their financing is in place and architectural design in under way,” Fisher wrote in a letter published by the Lo-Down on Dec. 30,
The nonprofit, 240-bed nursing home — sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — provides health care for low-income elderly residents in the East Village. The location at Fifth Street and Avenue B opened in 1993. This location serves 240 patients and employs nearly 300 people.
Cabrini officials had been planning to relocate to an unspecified site owned by the Archdiocese of New York in the next five years. However, without a lease extension on East Fifth Street and ample opportunity to find a new home, the facility would lose its state-issued operating license.
The anonymous source believes that the Cabrini building will be converted into condominiums.
UPDATED 5:30 p.m.
A clarification from Kenneth Fisher:
Your statement that we would not grant an extension so that Cabrini could build a new facility on land provided by the Archdiocese isn't quite correct. We were willing to consider something, but Cabrini turned out not to be able to move forward with it. We also at their request attempted to sell the building to a for profit operator at their request who turned out not to be able to perform. It was only after those alternatives failed that we advised Cabrini that no extension would be granted. Please bear in mind that this situation was created when the previous seller decided to sell ad set a price that Cabrini couldn't meet. We attempted to work with them in good faith.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Ben Shaoul is the new owner of Cabrini nursing home, will convert to condos
Report: Local politicians reach out to Ben Shaoul as re-sale of the Cabrini Nursing Center seems likely