State Attorney General: Allure Group Made False Promises Regarding Rivington House

45 Rivington St.
45 Rivington St.
45 Rivington St.

The state attorney general, city comptroller and city Department of Investigation are still looking into the Rivington House matter. It remains to be seen whether any of the ongoing investigations will lead to the restoration of the former nursing home at 45 Rivington St. as a community facility. But this week there are some encouraging new signs that a shady deal allowing the old school building to fall into the hands of luxury condo developers could potentially be reversed.

The attorney general’s charities bureau has decided to block the sale of two nursing homes to the Allure Group, the operator at the center of the Rivington House controversy. Allure has been trying to purchase the Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center and the Sts. Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn. Those deals must be court-approved. In letters to lawyers representing the homes, the AG’s office stated:

(Allure Group executive) Joel Landau made misrepresentations to the Department of Health that New Rivington (the corporation set up to run the Lower East Side facility) would continue to operate a nursing facility at the site… The not-for-profit Rivington House entity, which the Allure Group came to control in 2015, did not, as was required under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, either seek to dissolve or to obtain approval for disposing of its nursing home operations at 45 Rivington Street.

The city lifted a deed restriction on Rivington House, setting the stage for the $72 million sale of the building. Regulators are also looking into Allure’s purchase of a nursing home in Bed-Stuy. A spokesperson for the attorney general told the New York Times:

Allure made clear and repeated promises to continue the operation of two nursing homes for the benefit of a vulnerable population — promises that proved to be false… Until we conclude our investigation, we will object to Allure buying additional nursing homes.
In response, a lawyer for Allure released the following statement:
At no time has Allure misled any public authority about its intentions or commitments. As the Department of Health-approved receiver for Greater Harlem, over the last two years, Allure has advanced many millions of dollars to renovate and upgrade Greater Harlem, which is now fully occupied. Allure is committed to running Greater Harlem as a nursing home as part of its mission to save needed facilities and jobs.
As previously noted, local residents are stepping up their efforts to return Rivington House to the community. A petition to the mayor now has 869 signatures. If you haven’t signed yet, you can add your voice here. They’ve also set up a Facebook page.