City Partially Lifts Year-old Stop-Work Order at Rivington House

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 at 5:17 am by

Here we go…

The Department of Buildings last week lifted, in part, the stop-work order on Rivington House. It was first issued by the city fourteen months ago, in the wake of the budding scandal revolving around the controversial deed lifting and subsequent condo flip.

The partial rescind is causing concern amongst neighborhood activists and elected officials who fear this could normalize the push for luxury condos, while the city claims this will allow for “exploratory work” onsite.

According to the New York Post, Rivington House advocates Tessa Huxley and Harriet Cohen penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 6 stating: “This ‘exploratory work’ allows for the ‘miscellaneous removal of areas of flooring, walls and ceiling finishes throughout the existing building in order to expose the existing structure and masonry elements … for future renovations. We believe that this could well do permanent damage to the property as well as foreclose options that may yet result from outstanding investigations.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wasn’t pleased, either. In her own letter to Hizzoner, she wrote, “I am perplexed as to why my office did not receive direct notice from DOB regarding the change to the Stop Work Order on this property.”

However, a DOB spokesperson insists that the owners are not being allowed to convert the property into condos.

“It does not allow [the owners] to make any alterations and the stop-work order for the condo conversion project remains in effect,” Buildings Department spokesman Joe Soldevere said.

The Allure Group purchased the Rivington House from VillageCare in 2015 for $28 million, paid the city $16.1 million to lift a restrictive deed, then sold the property to developers Slate Property Group, China Vanke Co., and Adam America Real Estate for $116 million. All along, Mayor de Blasio has maintained that he had no knowledge of the land deal; city officials also charge that the Allure Group intentionally misled them about intentions.

Recent Stories

Chad Marlow Resigns from CB3 After Removal from Committee Chair Position Over Liquor Density Fight

Newly appointed Community Board 3 chair Alysha Lewis Coleman stepped into controversy last week when she reportedly sacked member Chad Marlow from his post as Transportation committee chair, a seat he’s held for little more than a year and a half. And today he is completely resigning from the advisory board. The major bone of […]

‘Electrical Issue’ Sidelines Ludlow Street’s Sweet Chick Indefinitely

Celebrity-backed Sweet Chick has been closed and on the ropes for the last three days. Apparently, there were some unspecified “electrical issues,” and Con Edison came to shut down the waffles-and-chicken restaurant just before the busy rush on Friday evening. Computer printouts taped to the vestibule say the same – that it’s closed “temporarily” and […]

Twofold Rent Increase Forces Mexican Mainstay ‘El Maguey y La Tuna’ to Close

This is how the elder statesmen of the Lower East Side are treated. Pushed to the curb. El Maguey y La Tuna on East Houston Street, the mom-and-pop restaurant serving Mexican cuisine to the neighborhood since 2002, has two months to live. It’s apparently closing at the end of March. The culprit, but of course, […]

Epstein’s Bar Returned to Hell Square this Weekend After 2-Year Hiatus

Epstein’s Bar fought for its survival; now its revival is here. The nightspot reopened to the public on Friday night. More than two years after aborting operations at the northeast corner of Stanton and Allen Streets – for neighbors, a welcome relief – the longtime watering hole is finally back on track. The interim period was apparently […]

This is the 9-Story Glass Office Tower Replacing the Sunshine Cinema

With the Sunshine Cinema now dark – the theater closed for good last night – we have the first look at the monstrosity to replace it. A nine-story glass tower that boasts 65,000 square-feet of commercial office space and ground-floor retail. The New York Times has the scoop on the first rendering of the project, […]