After months of speculation about the future of Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, the East Village’s largest elder-care home, The Lo-Down has learned its East Fifth Street building sold last week for $25.5 million.
A private company called “MM 62-74 Avenue B Owner” acquired the building in a transaction recorded in city land records Dec. 2. The firm, which was incorporated in August, lists as its address the law office of Goldberg Weprin Finkel Goldstein near Times Square.
The seller, another private corporation known as 64 B Venture and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a family trust made up of the estates of Jacob W. Friedman and Sol Henkind, according to documents.
The six-story nursing home opened in 1993 and provides care to 240 low-income elderly residents. The potential for its closure sent waves of alarm through the neighborhood this fall, generating pledges of support from community leaders and elected officials.
In a letter dated Oct. 20, members of Community Board 3 pleaded with the buyers, via their attorney, Kenneth Fisher of Cozen O’Connor, for an extension of Cabrini’s lease, which is set to expire in April 2012. The nursing home plans to build a new facility in partnership with the Archdiocese of New York, but that is estimated to take about five years. Plans for the new building have not been made public; last year, there was some talk of relocating the home to the Seward Park Urban Redevelopment Area.
“Losing this facility would be a serious threat to health care services in Community Board 3,” they wrote. “The need for nursing home beds locally is already dire, and we cannot sustain a loss of 240 beds at CCNR.”
Cabrini’s services became even more valuable with the closure this fall of Bialystoker Center on East Broadway, whose nearly 100 patients had to be relocated. That 80-year-old building is being marketed as a development opportunity while preservationists are lobbying for landmark protections.
In the Cabrini deal, representatives of the buyer have been mum on their plans, according to reports in the Villager and the East Village Local over the last month. Meanwhile, over at EV Grieve, readers have been spinning scenarios about new condos at the site, which occupies the southwest corner of the intersection of East Fifth Street and Avenue B., just across Avenue B from the Earth School.
Attorneys for the buyer and seller and Cabrini officials did not immediately return our phone calls; we’ll keep you posted as we have updates.