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Attorney General Moves to Stop Nursing Home Sale to Scandal-Tinged Care Provider

Allure Group, which operates the Harlem nursing home, is at the center of the Rivington House scandal

The effects of the Rivington House scandal are reverberating far outside of the Lower East Side—throughout City Hall, sure, but also up to Harlem. The Wall Street Journal reports that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has just moved to block the sale of a nursing home to the developer at the center of the aforementioned scandal.

In 2014, Allure Group acquired the Greater Harlem Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, located on 138th Street, and had recently been in talks to buy the facility outright. The State Health Department had initially agreed to the sale, with the caveat that Allure would maintain the nursing home as a medical facility.

But the AG’s office has been keeping a careful eye on Allure since the Rivington House scandal broke. In that case, Allure purchased the Lower East Side nursing home for $28 million, then paid the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) $16.15 million to lift the deed restriction on the building, which would have limited its use. Allure then sold the building for a whopping $116 million to a group of developers, who announced their intent to turn the facility into condos earlier this year. That’s the point at which the AG’s office got involved.

According to the WSJ, the affidavit filed by AG Schneiderman’s office alleges that "the Harlem facility didn’t provide adequate protection for its residents and patients, and Allure misrepresented its intentions to government regulators." An attorney for Allure Group countered by telling the paper that the organization agreed to run the nursing home for at least five years, and that they spent "millions of dollars in upgrading and improving the Greater Harlem facility to turn it into a five star financially viable nursing home."