In an attempt to make good on the Rivington House fiasco that has roiled the Lower East Side community when the HIV/AIDS nursing home was closed to be converted into luxury housing, the city has announced a new deal to bring 88 new affordable homes for seniors and 60 new nursing facility beds to the neighborhood.
“This neighborhood must be made whole for a broken City process that resulted in the sale of a critical health care facility,” Mayor De Blasio said in a statement formally announcing the new facilities. Before the city sent out an official press release this morning, rumors surfaced of a switch in the city’s plan to deliver on its promise. Politico reported—and the press release confirmed—that the site the city selected in 2016 for the new senior housing, 30 Pike Street, was no longer in play.
Instead, the 88 affordable apartments for seniors will be built into a new 400-unit mixed-use tower being developed by the Chinese American Planning Council and Gotham Organization on the parking lot adjacent to 50 Norfolk Street and near the former site of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synangogue which was decimated by a fire in May. The synagogue’s air rights are being used to develop the site, The Lo-Down notes.
In addition to senior affordable and mixed-income housing, the building will also have a new congregation space for Beth Hamedrash Hagadol and a new HQ for the Chinese American Planning Council.
The new promised nursing facility beds will be set up at the Gouverneur facility at 227 Madison in spaces that were previously unused. The beds are expected to be operational by April.
The city’s press release comes just days after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that a settlement had been reached with Allure Group, the for-profit nursing home operator that purchased and sold two critical nursing homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn for the development of luxury housing.
The settlement requires Allure to pay $1.25 million to Lower East Side nonprofits that provide healthcare to services to the community as well as $750,000 in penalties and costs to the state. Under the settlement, Allure is also required to make major improvements to the Greater Harlem Nursing Home and open new healthcare facilities in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side that will help compensate for the services lost when CABS and Rivington House shuttered.