Rivington House Roundup: Everyone Seemed to Know but the Mayor
More and more revelations this month about how City Hall officials seemed more aware of the Rivington House fiasco than Mayor de Blasio himself. Here’s a roundup of stories, in case you missed from before the holiday…
The city’s Human Resources Administration inquired about Rivington House more than a year before the blockbuster $116 million deal. The agency sent an email in January 2015 to then-owner Village Care – “Emma [Devito of Village Care]: I hope all is well and happy New Year! I was wondering where things stood with Rivington House. I know that the nursing facility has closed, but do you have a plan for the building? If you wouldn’t mind giving me a bit of an update that would be great. Thanks! Dan.” The Allure Group purchased Rivington House a month later for $28 million. [Politico]
City Council is already buckling. The Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, had planned a special hearing to discuss the handling of this and other deed restrictions around the city. Said meeting was scheduled for last week, but was postponed until the fall. “Several Council members said they were recently told by Ms. Mark-Viverito’s office that when the hearing does occur, the Council would not be delving into the events surrounding how the nursing home came to lose the deed restriction, which had prevented any use for it other than nonprofit residential health care.” [New York Times]
Hemorrhaging Hizzoner … “In the span of less than 24 hours [last] week came news of not only [social media director Scott] Kleinberg’s resignation, but also the departures of the mayor’s counsel, Maya Wiley; Emily Lloyd, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection; and Nilda Mesa, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
All of this was on top of the recent exit of Press Secretary Karen Hinton. But responding to questions from reporters, de Blasio rejected any link to ongoing investigations into his fundraising practices or to low morale, instead noting turnover at City Hall is, in a word, normal.” [NY1]