Saturday, March 26, 2016

De Blasio Administration Didn’t Know About Land Deal Before Lifting Deed Restrictions

Happy Easter!

I certainly hope that the Good Lord is occupied somewhere other than America!   The intellectual honesty that is shown by some of our elected officials is indeed troubling.   It is also quite interesting that most of the perfidy always seems to have some relation to the health care industry.   Of course no one knows, no one has seen anything, and all our public officials were still in China with Richard Nixon.

This time the word from New York is not another lie from Hillary, or worse.   This time the City of New York and Mayor Moonbeam were ignorant of public records! and were misled by facts that hit them in the face, to wit:

 It is amazing - you cannot make this stuff up!    The Obama Administration had no shame in telling us just how dumb we are, and DeBlasio has set about to rub in the fact of New Yorkers.

This is New York's McDonald case.   The public is the victim of the De Blasio sham.   More than a 100 million dollars is the reward - how much was De Blasio paid!   Can we lend him Jerome larkin to maybe intimidate someone?   


De Blasio Administration Didn’t Know About Land Deal Before Lifting Deed Restrictions

Owner had signed a contract to sell Rivington House to developers who planned to build luxury condos

The exterior of 45 Rivington St. on the Lower East Side.ENLARGE
The exterior of 45 Rivington St. on the Lower East Side. PHOTO: PEARL GABEL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Officials in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration removed deed restrictions on a Manhattan building without knowing its owner had already signed a contract to sell the property to developers who planned to build luxury condos, the mayor’s office said Friday.
The city’s lifting of the deed restrictions on Rivington House, a decision that is now under scrutiny by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and the city’s Department of Investigation, led to the Allure Group, a for-profit nursing care provider, making $72 million off the sale.


Officials in Mr. de Blasio’s office said earlier this week that officials hoped the Lower East Side property would continue to provide health-care services, despite the city’s decision to remove restrictions that had limited the use to a not-for-profit residential health-care center.
The administration’s disclosure Friday that officials were unaware the Allure Group had signed a contract to sell the building for residential development before the city lifted the deed restrictions raised further questions about the level of scrutiny given to the decision to modify the deed.
“The mayor is deeply concerned about the result of what was clearly a flawed process,” said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris in a statement. “The city must always take every step it can to ensure complete transparency around development.”
Mr. Shorris said the Allure Group “misled the city” about the intended use of the property.
An official from Allure couldn’t be reached for comment.
City lawyers are reviewing the transaction to assess whether the city has any legal recourse. Mr. de Blasio’s office requested the Department of Investigation launch a review.
Since March 1, all deed restriction removal applications before the city have been placed on hold pending a review by the newly appointed commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the agency that lifted the restrictions at 45 Rivington St.
The mayor is deeply concerned about the result of what was clearly a flawed process. The city must always take every step it can to ensure complete transparency around development.
—First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris
On Friday, officials said the city is taking several steps to improve the process, including sending all deed modification proposals to the affected borough president, City Council member and community board. The formula for valuing deed restrictions also will be reviewed and amended, officials said.
Allure bought 45 Rivington St., a 150,000-square-foot building, in early 2015. Later that year, Allure paid the city $16.15 million to remove the deed restrictions. This year, after the city lifted the restrictions, Allure sold the building to a venture led by Slate Property Group for $116 million.
Martin Nussbaum, a principal at Slate, said the purchase contract was signed in May 2015. The following month, the city held a hearing about lifting the deed restriction.
“At the time there was a deed restriction on the property, but our contract was to purchase a property that was of residential use,” Mr. Nussbaum said. “To the extent that it was not residential use, we would not have purchased the property.”
Mr. Nussbaum said his firm and partners in the venture had “zero involvement” in the removal of the deed restriction. But the sale was contingent on the deed change, he said.
Mr. de Blasio’s administration was scrambling Friday to explain the deal amid Mr. Stringer’s probe and criticism from area residents, who said the neighborhood needed health-care providers or affordable housing but not more luxury housing. For years, Rivington House had served HIV/AIDS patients.
In a response to a subpoena from Mr. Stringer’s office, the city handed over documents related to the sale. Among the documents were copies of the appraisals and correspondence about the deed restriction, according to a city official.
Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Stringer’s office declined to release the documents or identify the appraisers, other than to say they were certified.
Mr. Stringer’s office was reviewing whether the city followed procedures and whether the taxpayers were shortchanged.
Joel Landau, an Allure executive who signed the city’s deed modification, wrote in an October 2014 email to a city official that he planned to keep the building a nursing home, but a for-profit facility, according to records released by the city. In the email, Mr. Landau asked the city to help him, citing the community board’s support to keep the facility a nursing home.
Allure operated the property as a nursing home until December.
Mr. Landau couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign is planning to return Mr. Landau’s $4,950 contribution, the maximum allowed.


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Mr. de Blasio’s administration didn’t have a written contract or other documentation forcing Allure to keep the property a nursing home and didn’t limit changes when it removed the deed restriction, officials said. A spokeswoman said there was no formal application; an Allure official asked in an email for the removal of the restriction.
Mr. Stringer has raised questions about whether the $16.15 million price tag for removing the deed restrictions was sufficient, given the property sold for $116 million. Mr. Stringer has also raised questions about why the deed restrictions were lifted without robust public input.
The city lifted 11 deed restrictions between 2013 and 2015, according to a city spokeswoman. Two such requests have been rejected since 2004, the spokeswoman said. Often, lifting a deed restriction occurs after several public hearings and votes. But only one public hearing was held in the Rivington House case; no one attended the hearing to testify, according to a city official.
Officials released a timeline of the deal that showed Allure applying for the deed restriction to be lifted on April 27, 2015. Two weeks later, the developer entered into contract to sell the property.
There are 3 comments.
Paul Grimes
The mere fact there are deed restrictions imposed by bureaucracies leads to only one possible outcome: corruption. Imagine how many underhanded changes that have been made and that have never been exposed?
Peter Stockman
I doubt very much this is corruption.  Just cluelessness about matters of money and  business.  Mayor de Blasio has spent his entire adult life as an activist, NGO staffer, political staffer and local politician.  For this reason, he and the team of appointees he has chosen are not qualified to run any process, "flawed" or otherwise, that relates to business.  Our Mayor does not understand the notion of "profit" and is mystified by actions motivated by profit-making.  It is just jaw-dropping that such a person could be elected mayor of New York City, arguably the world's business and financial center.
Here is New York's answer to Chicago McDonald case.   Same scenario - pay for play cover-up!

Interesting is the fact that a 'sheltered care' (nursing home) facilities operators paid off and made a fortune.   Of course this is all coincidence!    City Hall was duped!    It is always interesting that if public corrupt is hinted at - the political elite are always duped!

Public corruption is now institutionalized, especially in activities related to health care.

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