Coming up on Friday, Dec. 1, local activists will mark World AIDS Day and the two year anniversary of the closing of Rivington House.
The former nursing home for AIDS patients was shuttered by the Allure Group in December of 2015. At the same time, it became known that deed restrictions were lifted on the longtime community facility, clearing the way for the sale and luxury condo conversion of the building at 45 Rivington St. A local group, Neighbors to Save Rivington House, has been battling against the condo developers ever since.
A vigil will take place on Friday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. in front of the Rivington House building. Here’s part of the message that will be delivered during the vigil:
We gather by candlelight to remember the former residents of Rivington House who lost their homes and their community when the facility was closed. We miss our beloved neighbors and the community we built together. We gather to honor them, and all our many neighbors—far too many—who faced and lost their lives to HIV/AIDS in the past forty years. And we remain committed to returning Rivington House to the people who need supportive housing and nursing care, whether due to illness, old age, or injury that prevents them from being able to live alone.
Mayor de Blasio has said repeatedly that he sees no legal way to take the building back. A “stop work order” remains in place while investigations into the deed reversals drag on.
Recently, a Department of Buildings liaison informed local elected officials that the developers were expected to resume “structural survey work.” At a town hall meeting over the summer, Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler said that even the exploratory work had been put on hold.
During the town hall, the mayor reluctantly agreed to set up a meeting with the new property owners. City Council member Margaret Chin said she hoped a meeting would help persuade them to “do the right thing.” There’s been no word from the mayor’s office about scheduling that meeting.