A deal to sell the Rivington House nursing home and turn it into luxury condos raised eyebrows. Now the city is determining whether to investigate the agreement.
The City Council may hold hearings to probe a shady land deal that let a Lower East Side nursing home be turned into luxury condos, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Thursday.
“We’re open to that,” Mark-Viverito told reporters. “Obviously there’s a lot of concerns that have been raised with that transaction — how did it happen, come about. Deed restrictions are there for a reason. How do we monitor them? So there is room there for us to play a role there in our oversight capacity, so we will explore that.”
The property, known as Rivington House, was covered by a deed restriction that required it to operate as a non-profit healthcare facility. But the Allure group, a for-profit nursing home operator, paid the city $16 million to lift the restriction and then turned around and sold the building to a for-profit developer for $116 million.
Mark-Viverito said the Council will also look at whether it should have to approve changes to deed restrictions like it does for other land use matters. She said she did not learn of the deal until it emerged in the press. “There’s room here to do some oversight,” she said.