The New York City Council is expected to pass legislation on Tuesday that would require mayors to personally approve any alteration to or removal of a city-imposed deed restriction, and would create an online database to track existing deed restrictions and changes to them.
The bill, which aides to Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would sign into law, represents the latest effort by city officials to prevent the circumstances that allowed a protected Manhattan nursing home, known as Rivington House, to be sold to luxury condominium developers this year.
The proposed law creates new standards for the agency that handles deed restriction changes, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which approved the removal of the restriction on Rivington House in 2015 in exchange for $16.15 million. That action allowed a for-profit nursing home company, the Allure Group, to sell the property to a developer for a roughly $72 million profit early this year, after it had paid $28 million for the property several months earlier.
The transactions prompted overlapping investigations by the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, and the Department of Investigation, which found no criminal wrongdoing but highlighted breakdowns in communication between city agencies, and a lack of attention within the de Blasio administration. The New York State attorney general is investigating the matter.