Bowery Boogie

Rivington House Sells to Mystery Buyer for $160M

The saga of Rivington House continues this week with news of its sale. Indeed, three years after Slate Property Group, China Vanke Co., and Adam America Real Estate together purchased the property, the ownership team is cashing out.

Price paid for the real estate was $116 million; sale price is $159.6 million.

For the moment, buyer of the 1899 school building, formerly a nursing home for AIDS patients, is currently a mystery. Whomever shelled out the cash, though, certainly took great lengths to shield identity through layers of shell companies.

The deep dive into public records indicates that this buyer formed eight different entities for this acquisition on August 30. All are named a variation of “Kranken GP LLC.” These are companies that act as a liability protection and can be used to secure any lending and/or loan deals.

And, get this. In German, “Kranken” is a derivative of “Kranker,” meaning a sick person or invalid. What type of sick joke is that, naming the shell company after the previous function of this community facility?

This $159.6 million transaction is the latest turn for a property mired in scandal these last few years. The Rivington House saga began in early 2016 after then-owner Allure Group paid the city $16.1 million to lift a restrictive deed, then flipped the property to developers Slate Property Group, China Vanke Co., and Adam America Real Estate for $116 million.

Initial plans were for a condo conversion, but incessant community pressure eventually yielded a deal with Mount Sinai to use 130,000 square-feet for its $140 million behavioral health program (The Mount Sinai Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center). They signed a lease earlier this year.

Originally built as a school in 1899, Rivington House was converted to a skilled nursing facility in the early 1990s, serving those living with HIV and AIDS. Upon its sale, 219 beds were lost.