As a part of the ongoing shitstorm that is the investigation into 45 Rivington Street, the Wall Street Journal has now learned through sources that an appraisal of the gigantic Lower East Side building completed by a city staff member lowballed the site's value. Sources told the Journal that the site was appraised for $65 million, or about half of its sale price of $116 million.
The mayor's office has refused to release the city appraisal amidst investigations into the sketchy lifting of a deed restriction that mandated the building's use as a health center.
In 2015, for-profit care provider Allure Group purchased the former HIV/AIDS care center for $28 million before paying the city just over $16 million to lift the deed restriction. With the deed lifted, Allure went on to sell the building to a group of developers with a profit of as much as $72 million.
The city appraisal has some scratching their heads. An appraiser cited by WSJ says that development opportunities like 45 Rivington, as a rule of thumb, command at least $800 per square foot. The former nonprofit building traded for $433.
The investigation continues.