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Rivington House Owner Backs Out of Brooklyn Real Estate Deal

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45 Rivington St.
45 Rivington St.

One of the firms entangled in the Rivingon House mess is walking away from another real estate deal in Brooklyn.

The Daily News and the Post are reporting today that Slate Property Group has sold its share of the Bedford-Union Armory project in Crown Heights. BFC Partners will now handle the large residential and recreational site on its own. The price was not disclosed.

Sources told the News that “the de Blasio administration moved to push Slate out… because officials believe the developer misled them about its plans for former nursing home Rivington House.” Slate, China Vanke and Adam America Real Estate purchased the Lower East Side building for $116 million and plan luxury condos in the converted school building. The sale took place after the city lifted deed restrictions on the property. Two investigations found that Slate and the Allure Group, Rivington House’s previous owner, worked to keep their plans for the property a secret.

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In a letter to the city, Slate’s David Schwartz confirmed his company had “sold its interest in the above-referenced Project … on mutually agreeable financial terms.” … “We’re focused on doing projects that are going to get done, and focused on doing affordable housing,” Schwartz told the News. “It seemed to us that it was going to be a difficult ride, even though we didn’t agree with any of the protests, and there was no merit to it.” The project has to be approved by the City Council and other officials under the city’s land use process. Getting it approved may have been difficult or impossible with controversy swirling around the developer, especially after the unexpected defeat of a different affordable housing project in Inwood. “We didn’t want to give any more fuel to the fire. It’s really important for Crown Heights to get this affordable housing,” Schwartz said. “The community really needs it.”

Schwartz denied that Slate misled the city on Rivington House. Local activists on the Lower East Side want the administration to find a way to get the nursing home back from the luxury developers. The mayor has said the city will invest $16 million on the LES to make up for the loss of Rivington House. But the activists said that’s not good enough.

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