How Alluring is a $72 Million Dollar Windfall, an unrestricted – restricted lease and a prominent New York Fundraiser?
LostMessiah, April 12, 2016
We believe that the Allure deal and Reznitz and Reichner are very much connected. We are posting this article from 3 weeks ago because in retrospect, perhaps we should have been considering Capalino’s role…
This is taken from an article from March 26, 2016 from The New York Daily News.
A $72 million heist has happened on Mayor de Blasio’s watch. The whodunit must end with exposure of the culprits wherever they rank on City Hall’s power ladder.
A Brooklyn nursing home operator cleared that sum in the rapid-fire buying and selling of a former Lower East Side public school .
The building is now set to be turned into luxury condos — thanks to the intervention of city officials at the behest of a real estate lobbyist and de Blasio donor.
Soon enough, documents subpoenaed by City Controller Scott Stringer may reveal whether the city’s decision-making arose from gross incompetence or from a base form of corruption.
What we have here, either way, is a scandal.
It centers on a building that had served since 1992 as a 219-bed residence for AIDS patients, operating under city restrictions that allowed only for a non-profit health facility on the site.
Come 2014 and advances in AIDS care, the building’s owner hired lobbyist and de Blasio fundraiser James Capalino to press the city Department of Citywide Administrative Services to lift the use restrictions to pave the way for a sale.
A for-profit nursing home operator, the Allure Group, stepped in, promising the old school would remain a health facility, just as local residents wanted.
The promise was a mirage, if not a scam.
In February 2015, Allure paid $28 million for the property.
Less than three months later, last May, Allure quietly agreed to sell it for $116 million to the the Slate Property Group, a condo developer also on Capalino’s client roll. The deal was contingent on getting the city to rescind restriction on the property’s use.
In November, Allure paid the city $16 million to lift deed restrictions.
Once the city lifted the deed restriction at Allure’s request — bam, the nursing home gave way to plans for 100 luxury condos.
Clearly, lifting the deed restriction was worth a whole hell of a lot more to taxpayers than $16 million — if it should ever have been lifted at all.
De Blasio’s team could easily have prevented the daylight robbery by changing the deed terms to allow for a for-profit health facility, but a health facility nonetheless.
Or DCAS could have simply said “No,” as city officials have many times before in the face of such wheedling.
Or the city could have agreed to lift the restriction on the proviso that, if future owners converted the building to apartments, some had to be affordable.
A mayoral pledge to refund a campaign contribution from Allure principal Joel Landau, and a slew of reforms hastily promised, should not for a moment distract from the need for full accountability on the debacle.
De Blasio declares himself stunned and “very unhappy . . . we were lied to.”
It could be coincidental that Capalino delivered $45,000 in campaign contributions for de Blasio’s reelection after securing that all-important $72 million signature.
To read the article as printed click, here.