Earlier this month, The Lo-Down learned the building housing the Cabrini Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation on East 5th Street recently sold for $25.5 million. Today, the neighborhood’s elected officials are out with a letter to the new owner, Magnum Real Estate Group, expressing concern about the prospect that the company intends to sell the building yet again.
Here’s the text of that letter, sent to Kenneth Fisher, the attorney representing Magnum:
We understand that your client, Magnum Real Estate Group, is in negotiations with the Archdiocese to possibly sell 542 East 5th Street, the property currently occupied by Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (CCNR) and recently purchased by your client. We would like to reiterate our position that any future use of the building should retain nursing home beds on the Lower East Side. CCNR has been providing much-needed rehabilitation services to low-income seniors in our community for nearly 20 years. Given the recent loss of Bialystoker Nursing Home on the Lower East Side, it is imperative to protect the 240 beds provided by CCNR. As the Magnum Real Estate Group pursues a sale, we ask that the needs of the senior community on the Lower East Side be taken into consideration. There are a number of options to preserve nursing home beds. The critical importance of those beds for the individuals already accessing CCNR’s service, as well as for the wider community of families and caregivers, must be prioritized.
State Senator Daniel Squadron wrote the letter, along with all of the other city, state and federal officials who represent the Lower East Side. Several weeks ago, they (as well as Community Board 3 and the Archdiocese) urged the building’s previous owner to maintain the building as a nursing home at least until a new facility can be built.
The building’s new owner is ubiquitous East Village developer Ben Shaoul, a fact EV Grieve first reported last month. His company, Magnum Real Estate, was reportedly preparing to convert 542 East 5th Street to condos.
Cabrini’s lease runs out in April. The Archdiocese wants to build a new home somewhere in the neighborhood, but that won’t happen for five years. According to an EV Grieve source:, “Cabrini officials have made an offer to the…new owner to pay a substantial amount of money just to receive a lease extension — in addition to more rent.”