The nursing home operator tied to the shuttering of Rivington House has until 2022 to open a health facility on LES.
By Sydney Pereira, Patch Staff | May 14, 2019 3:15 pm ET | Updated May 15, 2019 2:01 pm ET
Allure Group has another 3.5 years to open a health facility on the Lower East Side. (Shutterstock)
LOWER EAST SIDE, NY — Allure Group, the nursing home operator caught in the scandal regarding a lifted deed restriction at the former HIV/AIDS care facility Rivington House, has until 2022 to open a health facility in the neighborhood, Crain's New York Business reported.
The Allure Group must open up a health facility on the Lower East Side under a settlement with the New York Attorney General's office after the nursing home operator paid the city $16 million to lift a deed restriction on the Rivington House — making way for the former HIV/AIDS facility and nursing home center to shutter and be sold to luxury developers for $116 million.
"Right now we're monitoring their progress," assistant deputy attorney general Paul Mahoney said at a recent Community Board 3 meeting, Crain's first reported. "We have seen ideas. We have seen properties named. One of our goals is get that process done. In the real estate environment on the Lower East Side, that's not an easy thing to do."
Crain's reported that Attorney General Letitia James' office could sue Allure Group, led by Joel Landau, if the operator doesn't follow the terms of the settlement — which also includes a $750,000 fine, $1.2 million allocated to Lower East Side non-profits, and requirements to open facilities in both Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. The facility must be licensed by the Department of Health and could be a variety of health facilities, including a nursing home, primary-care clinic or a substance use treatment facility, Crain's reported.
A group of Lower East Siders, dubbed the Neighbors to Save Rivington House, have long been advocating for more nursing home beds in the neighborhood after Rivington House shuttered.
One member, Melissa Aase, said the update from the AG's office was thorough, but the progress Allure has made so far on a possible health facility remains unclear.
"We don't know what Allure's done so far, and we don't know how hard they're looking, or what they're looking at, or who they're talking to," Aase, who's also the executive director of University Settlement, told Patch.
There are also concerns from neighbors about the AG settlement's requirement that Allure operate or partner on operating a health facility for eight years, Aase said.
"The community accepting and trusting Allure as the operator would be at least as challenging as their task of locating space and getting an operation that truly meets the community's needs up and running," Aase said.
The Rivington House itself, located at 45 Rivington St., is currently in being leased to Mount Sinai Beth Israel to make way for a behavioral health center.
CB 3 has not yet voted on a formal opinion on Mount Sinai's Rivington House project — aside from a vote to urge the health system to expand its insurance coverage.
Neighbors to Save Rivington House have been advocating for the health system to share the lease with a 24/7 skilled nursing home facility, Aase said.
Previously, hospital reps have told CB 3 Rivington House's behavioral health facility could be open as soon as the end of 2021.
The AG's office declined to comment. Allure did not immediately respond for comment.
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This article has been updated with additional comment from Melissa Aase for clarity reasons.