Wednesday, April 6, 2016

[Updated] New York state AG's office investigates Rivington House; city orders full Stop Work Order on the demolition

The New York state attorney general's office is in full-on subpoena mode in its investigation into the sale of the Rivington House to a residential developer, The Wall Street Journal reported last evening.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office sent out subpoenas — via the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit — last week to several players involved in the deal.

Karen Hinton, a spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio, said the city welcomes any investigation.

"I don’t know if anyone in City Hall received a subpoena, but we will cooperate with the AG’s investigation, any investigation, because we want to get to the bottom of what happened," she told the Journal.

As previously reported, a city agency removed deed restrictions on the former Rivington Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation last November that limited the building’s use to a not-for-profit residential health-care facility.

Several months after paying the city $16 million to lift the deed restriction, the building’s owner, the Allure Group, sold the property to a developer for $116 million. The developer, the Slate Property Group, plans to create 100 luxury residences on the property that overlooks Sara S. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side.

Last week, the city OK'd a partial demolition permit for the building...

However, that was short-lived...Yesterday, the Borough Commissioner placed a full Stop Work Order on the property...

[Click for to go big]

Meanwhile, this morning at 11, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council member Margaret Chin and CB3 chair Gigi Li are holding a news conference outside the building at 45 Rivington St. (at Forsyth).

Per The Lo-Down, the three "will be calling on Mayor de Blasio’s administration to compensate the Lower East Side community for the loss of Rivington House."

The Lo-Down has really been all over this story. They spoke with powerful lobbyist James Capalino, a key player in this story to date.

Updated 3 p.m.

DNAinfo has coverage of today's press conference here. ... and Curbed's coverage is here.


Michael Ivan said...

Solid move AG, what a blessing this would be if it could slow down the rampant re-zoning and air right sales.

Anonymous said...

Here are some salary numbers as of 2013. The organizational structure is a little complex so it's hard to suss out based on the tax filings, not to mention some of the filings are out of date. Emma Devito, President & CEO, $624,389. Rachel Amalfitano, CFO, $324,143. Lauren Logan, Director of Development $143,555.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor should receive a subpoena and brought up on charges of not serving the public interest so that his buddy can make a lot of money. Oh..not a law? Let's make one.

Anonymous said...

Something really messed up is going on here... Sold for 16 million and then flipped for 116 million? Corruption?

Anonymous said...

@9:41. Thanks for the information. So the President of Village Care earns significantly more than the President of the United States. That should raise a bunch of red flags right there. I think the money trail starts there.

K Webster said...

Just to be clear, most of the neighborhood and Coalition I represent (and my) firm position is that Rivington House is NOT lost to us - by any stretch - nor should we ever concede that. We can’t be bought off on this because there are real people who were broken by it. And neighbors who, because we now have no place for them to go in the community, will face a future of brokenness. We were all relieved that DOB has put a stop work order on the building. And that the Stringer investigation goes forward along with NYC’s and the State AG.
We are entirely grateful and heartened that our electeds continue to raise this issue and insist on outcomes that are for this community. But we have three investigations going on and need to hear what the full facts are before we talk of remedies that don't include a return of the building. Period. Given the AG’s office acknowledgement (in Politico) that the Allure Group was supposed to (and didn't) get a sign-off from the AG's office, and the [sale of the deed] paperwork’s caveat that the sale is subject to: 4) "violations of any local, State or Federal governments having jurisdiction at the time of closing"... in our opinion we need to know if this or any other of the apparent fraudulent actions give any basis for nullifying the sale. And then there is always the option that the 'owners' - who bought this under conditions that no one who intends to do business in the U.S. or in this city should ever accept - return the building. With, of course, a full refund of the $16million.

Bobby Gorman said...

When is all this nonsense about "restrictive deed" buildings being misused, and of improper gas hook ups in LES/EV properties going to produce the full scale investigation and exposure of the illegally run HDFC.s These City Council approved allegedly-not-for-profit coops throughout the city have been notoriously dirty dealing for decades. These supposedly "low income", "owner occupied", "not for profit" coops have been a cash cow for absentee owner/investors making a fortune while denying this housing to the qualified. Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Gale Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Mendez, HPD Commissioners, INVESTIGATE THE HDFC'S! Start with the 151 HDFC (an offender in both of these matters) property where apartments that could house its neighbors misplaced by the 2nd Ave gas explosion. Those apartments are being misused for profit strictly forbidden by its deed with the City.