De Blasio Wants to Remedy Rivington House Scandal with Senior Housing Development on Pike Street

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 at 5:00 am by

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Photo: Google Maps

Mayor de Blasio hopes that the key to escaping the Rivington House scandal is an olive branch of senior housing. Indeed, Hizzoner announced yesterday – while his deputy Tony Shorris was being grilled by City Council – a proposal to replace those services lost in the $116 million sale into condos earlier this year. The plan includes converting city property at 30 Pike Street (between Madison and Henry) into senior affordable housing and a health care facility.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for this project is expected at some point next year. Parcel in question is currently the site of a single-story brick building used by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Per the press statement:

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a plan to build an affordable housing and health care facility designed to replace services lost in the wake of a Lower East Side nursing home closure last year. The City will issue a Request for Proposals in 2017, paving the way for the return of health care lost as a result of a mishandled deed modification at Rivington House.

With a development that will house more than 100 seniors in a mixed-use affordable housing and health care setting, investment in the facility is expected to exceed the $16 million the City received in exchange for lifting deed restrictions and inadvertently allowing for the conversion of the building to luxury housing.

In July, the City announced a set of sweeping reforms to a decades-old deed modification process. The new rules will provide more transparency and accountability for the public. They will, for the first time, formally require the City to consider the public value of a project seeking modifications to land-use restrictions.

The City has identified 30 Pike St. on the Lower East Side as the site for the future development. The property is owned by the Department of Environmental Protection and will be reconfigured to accommodate the new project as well as DEP’s operations. It sits less than a mile from Rivington House.

“Rivington House’s conversion to luxury housing never should have happened,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This community was the victim of a broken process, City error and unscrupulous developers looking to make a buck. Our reforms will prevent that from ever happening again. This investment is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to the health of this neighborhood.”

Is this peace offering enough, or should the sale be annulled somehow?

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