Another day, another ridiculous revelation in the ongoing investigation into 45 Rivington St. City officials reportedly lifted deed restrictions on the Lower East Side building based on an appraisal that valued the property at $65 million, $51 million less than its sale price.
According to The Wall Street Journal, who broke the story yesterday:
Some private appraisers in the city are shaking their heads, wondering how the city came up with such a low valuation in New York’s robust real-estate market.
Robert Von Ancken, chairman of Landauer Valuation & Advisory, who has been an appraiser in the city for about four decades, said the rule of thumb is to value development opportunities such as 45 Rivington at $800 a square foot — at minimum.
The city appraisal valued Rivington House, at 45 Rivington St., at $433 a square foot. The city appraisal process “really must have messed up,” Mr. Von Ancken said.
[Via The Wall Street Journal]
To the usual recap: In February 2015, the Allure Group paid $28 million for the property, promising that 45 Rivington — the former Rivington Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation — would remain a health facility. In November, a city agency lifted the the deed in exchange for the Allure Group's $16 million payment to the city. Earlier this year, Allure then reportedly sold the property for $116 million to the the Slate Property Group, a condo developer who plans to create 100 luxury residences in the building that overlooks Sara S. Roosevelt Park.
To date, city officials have repeatedly declined to identify the appraiser or specify the amount of the appraisal, the Journal reports.
An EVG reader who was a patient at the facility early last year previously shared this about 45 Rivington:
"The building is incredible with 12-foot ceilings and a penthouse floor that has a view from the UN to all of Midtown and Downtown. I knew it was doomed to have developers all over it from the first day I got there."
The investigation continues by a group that includes Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.