The development team behind Rivington House has tapped New York’s CetraRuddy to convert the former Lower East Side nursing home for people with HIV and AIDS into luxury condos.
In the wide world of New York City real estate, this wouldn’t be much of a story, but readers may remember that Rivington House was scandal central in 2016, when it was revealed that the city lifted the property’s deed restriction to allow private developers to flip the 45 Rivington Street building for a handsome profit. The deed restriction mandated the structure’s use as a nursing home, but after developer the Allure Group paid the city $16 million to get it removed, it turned around and sold the building to Slate Property Group for a cool $116 million.
While State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated the sale, a partial stop-work order was placed on the property, local news site The Lo-Down reported. A settlement reached last month requires the Allure Group to open a new healthcare facility on the Lower East Side and donate $1.25 million to neighborhood nonprofits, in addition to paying penalties. Before it was sold, Rivington House had the capacity to house 219 people living with HIV and AIDS; 60 of those beds will be relocated to Gouverneur Health, the nearby public hospital. A spokesperson for City Council member Margaret Chin, whose district includes Rivington House, told The Lo-Down that Chin is actively opposing the conversion.
The controversy over the Rivington House sale led to land use reforms at the city level that subject deed restriction modifications or removals to extensive community review. Councilmember Chin was the bill’s main sponsor.
There are no drawings on file for the $17 million project yet, and a spokesperson for CetraRuddy declined to provide more information about the development.