Leopold Friedman, Joe Chetrit, Seabrook, Platinum…

Ben Landa…Bent Philipson…Howard Fensterman – LEOPOLD FRIEDMAN, JOE CHETRIT, Mayor de Blasio and Kenneth Thomson

Contributor to LM, May 27, 2016

We recommend that you read the connected story to this one before embarking on this piece. We further recommend that you read about Leopold Friendman and 266 Broadway, another intertwined story.

This article is simply a continuation of the tale of people connected by politics, money, LLC’s, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, moral bankruptcy and political contributions to Mayor de Blasio and…. wait for it…. Ken Thompson and others.

As it happens, we would be remiss if we did not go back to 2009 and add that the entanglements include toxic waste and lead, school children and zoning violations. 





THE PLAZA REHAB /AKA TCPRNC LLC 25% (was New Jewish Home Lifecare )






PENINSULA Center for Extended Care & Rehabilitation (rec/op)


Hendon Garden Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Dewitt Rehab and Nursing

Advanced Care Staffing

Ultimate Care, Inc. (LHCSA)
The Citadel Rehabilitation and Nursing

151108 Long Beach Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

151308 Brooklyn Gardens Dialysis Center (D&TC)

141210 Cassena Care Dialysis at Peninsula (D&TC)

Port Chester Operating, LLC d/b/a Port Chester Nursing & Rehab Centre-DEVORAH FRIEDMAN

Through his companies, Leo Friedman gave more than $30,000 to Kenneth Thompson’s successful campaign for Brooklyn district attorney

Looking for POT license: Two of the principals behind NY Growing Partners, LLC are nursing home magnate and Ger chasid Michael Melnicke and Leo Friedman, the son of Satmar powerbroker Moses Friedman, otherwise known as Moshe Gabbai.

The company is one of 43 that submitted an application earlier this month to the New York State Department of Health to become one of five registered organizations to manufacture and dispense approved medical marijuana products in the state. The other two principals in NY Growing Partners are Alexander Solovey and Pat (Pasquale) DeBenedictis.

Read: http://nypost.com/2016/05/11/nursing-home-with-ties-to-senator-awarded-30m-grant/

Nursing home with ties to senator awarded $30M grant

A little-noticed provision of this year’s budget directs $30 million to a single nursing home in The Bronx — which is unusual even by the standards of New York state government,” noted the Empire Center for Public Policy.


A head-scratcher in the health budget (updated)

According to the Health Department records, the owners since last year are Leopold Friedman, who holds a 50 percent stake and is also chief executive, Esther Farkowitz (25 percent), Gabrielle Philipson (20 percent), and Bent Philipson (5 percent).

The new owners’ application to take over and renovate the nursing home, which included a detailed financing plan for the project, made no mention of extra state funding from Medicaid. It estimated the facility would turn a profit of $1.6 million in its third year after renovations were complete.

Contacted by NYTorch, Sen. Klein contended that the extra funding for Citadel will ultimately save the state $78 million. This is because the owners could have qualified for dramatically higher reimbursement from Medicaid if they had built a completely new nursing home, instead of renovating one that already existed. A fuller statement of this argument is spelled out in the sponsor’s memo of a stand-alone bill jointly introduced last year by Klein and Bronx Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.





A little something on Chetrit …Then scroll down…ready to build on toxic land and the Mayor lets him:


The story unfolds:


Jewish Home Land Swap

PUBLISHED AUG 13, 2009 AT 6:01 AM (UPDATED MAR 2, 2015)

Representatives from jewish home lifecare, an organization that provides health care for seniors, met with community groups on aug. 12 to unveil a proposal to redevelop its west 106th street nursing home in park west village, on west 100th street.

To bankroll the new nursing home, a project that has long been in the works and was originally planned for the south side of west 106th street between columbus and amsterdam avenues, jewish home was going to sell part of its property to a developer. but with the economy faltering and developers reluctant to buy, the only offer came from joe chetrit, who has taken community heat for his columbus square project, consisting of five luxury rentals and retail space at park west village.

In the deal, chetrit will own jewish home’s current property, at 120 w. 106th st. jewish home will then build its proposed 22-story nursing home on top of land that was to be used for 180 parking spaces, on west 100th street between amsterdam and columbus avenues. those spots will be moved to an indoor parking area without an increase in rates for owners. newly built park space, gardens, outdoor seating and an indoor auditorium for the nursing home residents will also be open to park west village residents.

“Relocating to west 100th street will have a net positive impact on jewish home’s upper west side clients, family members, employees and neighbors,” said bruce nathanson, senior vice president of marketing and communications for jewish home lifecare.

By building a new facility elsewhere, jewish home can continue to operate at full capacity without staff layoffs and construction disruptions for its residents.

However, community groups fear that chetrit will build a massive luxury tower on jewish home’s west 106th street property because of the 2007 upper west side rezoning plan.

That year, jewish home collaborated with community groups in a deal with the city council that carved the nonprofit’s parcel out of the 51-block upper west side rezoning plan, which drastically reduced neighborhood building heights. the concession was meant to allow the nursing home to rebuild a larger, state-of-the-art facility that could update the service provided to clients.

“We had a whole deal and process. we spent a long time putting it together,” said blanca vazquez, co-coordinator of the manhattan valley preservation coalition, which worked on the 2007 zoning compromise. “and now, everything is out the window and up in the air.

Vazquez said the group was upset by the deal because the exemption was based on Jewish Home’s goodwill with the community and the promise of a community facility.

“This is not a simple swap or trade,” Vazquez said. “they made a commitment to community use.

Although Jewish Home’s nursing home will now be located elsewhere, Chetrit will still be allowed to build tall, market-rate residential towers without zoning restrictions, per the 2007 agreement.

Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, who opposed Jewish Home’s exclusion from the rezoning plan, said he was troubled by the new proposal.

“The city council carved out an exception for that site on west 106th street because it was to be used for health care facility,” o’donnell said. “now, that exception seems to be used for a for-profit housing developer. it’s changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

O’Donnell is calling on the council to have Jewish Home’s West 106th Street property conform to surrounding zoning.

“If someone wants to build a for-profit development, they should build within the context [of the neighborhood],” O’Donnell said.”


An excerpt from above:

“Jewish Home had previously struck an agreement with Gluck and Chetrit for a lot on West 100th Street, but zoning regulations made it difficult to build the site.

Meanwhile, Chetrit and Gluck get a large swath of land for future development, although the pair said they wouldn’t begin any construction on the site until the new Jewish Home facility is completed in 2017.” [WSJ]

The City sides with this nursing home connivance –the trade that Chetrit maneuvered seemingly with our Mayor’s help. The community’s furious objection because of the unequivocal findings of  toxic contamination evidenced on the lot for the ‘new’ Jewish Home Lifecare  building has been rejected…with a even more help for the AG! They’re going ahead…!!!


“No JHL At PWV! is a coalition of Park West Village community stakeholders, nursing home advocates, parents, tenants’ associations, neighbors, renters, and condo owners who oppose Jewish Home Lifecare’s inappropriate proposed development on West 97th Street.”

Read more: 3/2/16 article:


An excerpt which also notes the state DOH blessings of licensure for menacing “operators” aka Sentosa-for one- who go about their real business: property development…with no oversight and the freedom to continue to harm the vulnerable.

“In July, SentosaCare, LLC agreed to purchase Jewish Home’s Bronx nursing home at 100 West Kingsbridge Road for $110 million.

SentosaCare, which owns the largest nursing home network in New York State, was the subject of an October 2015 investigative report by the public interest newsroom ProPublica, which found that nursing homes connected to SentosaCare “have a record of repeat fines, violations and complaints for deficient care.” The story questioned why SentosaCare had been allowed by the New York State Department of Health to continue purchasing nursing homes. SentosaCare defended is record to ProPublica, saying, among other things, that the firm had corrected problems at its facilities.

In September, SensotaCare transferred its interest in Jewish Home’s Bronx facility to a newly formed company called TCPRNC, LLC. That firm’s owners include nursing home industry executives Leopold Friedman and Esther Farkovits. Its not clear what relationship remains between SentosaCare and TCPRNC, LLC, or whether SentosaCare will have any role at the Bronx home. SentosaCare COO Bent Philipson did not respond to a request for comment.”

Link to a just published article and some excerpts:

City Sides With UWS Nursing Home Development Despite Lead Concerns

City Sides With UWS Nursing Home Development Despite Lead Concerns

April 7, 2016.


Mayor Bill de Blasio has now injected the city into a lengthy legal battle by coming down on the side of a nursing home development proposed for West 97th Street that has significant neighborhood opposition. Meanwhile, the state attorney general’s attempt to file a brief in the case, which came well past the deadline for responding to a trial court ruling, was promptly rejected by the court.

Jewish Home Lifecare has been trying to push forward with a 20-story nursing home adjacent to an elementary school and several housing complexes in the face of strong local criticism. After State Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis ruled that the New York State Department of Health didn’t take a hard enough look at the hazardous materials and noise produced by the project, JHL and DOH were told to redo their environmental review.

Disagreeing with the court’s decision, JHL filed an appeal on February 22, while Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office would typically defend state agency actions in court — in this case, arguing that DOH had in fact complied with New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) — failed to file a notice of appeal by a February 1 deadline. A later AG effort to file a brief in the case was rejected on the grounds of not being timely.

But JHL just won a hefty ally in the form of the City of New York, which filed an amicus brief on March 22 defending the integrity of the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), whose standards the DOH applied in assessing the proposed development’s compliance with SEQRA.

According to the city’s brief, Lobis’ decision harms the consistency and standards of the CEQR process and would set a precedent that opens the door to untold numbers of challenges over environmental review on projects citywide.

Even as de Blasio signed on in support of JHL, other elected officials reiterated their opposition to the development near the school.

I am truly disappointed by Mayor de Blasio’s decision to file an amicus brief in support of the construction of JHL tower,” said City Councilmember Mark Levine. “The construction of a 20-story tower directly adjacent to P.S. 163 would pose an undeniable threat to the learning and well-being of more than 500 elementary school students.”

Levine has been pushing Intro 420, a bill that would restrict construction projects within 75 feet of classrooms to a noise level of 45 decibels — an amount that’s comparable to that created by light traffic or in a suburban neighborhood. His bill has already won support from West Side.

Congressmember Jerrold Nadler and Borough President Gale Brewer, who also expressed dismay about the mayor’s brief on behalf of JHL.

“Mayor de Blasio’s decision to file an amicus brief in support of this dangerous construction next to a school baffles me,” Brewer said. “The mayor is weighing in on behalf of an expensive private facility and against public school children.”

And while the city’s brief argues for protecting the standards of the CEQR Technical Manual, Marty Rosenblatt, a neighbor of the JHL site, said de Blasio knew of lead concerns at the site well before getting involved.

In 2012, after hearing news of JHL’s interest in the parking lot site across his home on West 97th Street, Rosenblatt hired a lead-testing expert and grabbed 100 samples from parking lots throughout the city. According to the testing results, the JHL site showed high amounts of lead, one reaching 3,850 parts per million. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has established 400 ppm as the limit for children’s play areas.

Just as unexplained as the city’s decision to defend its environmental review procedures for a site shown to have potentially dangerous levels of lead was the state attorney general’s failure to meet its February 1 deadline in the case.

According to a brief filed by the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the DOH on March 22, the SEQRA review completed for the JHL development was sufficient in addressing both hazardous materials and noise.

The court, however, threw out the brief, finding that the attorney general, as representative for DOH, had an obligation as a respondent in the case to file an appeal by February 1. The AG’s Office has now filed a motion to be considered an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to have its brief entered into the record.

Rene Kathawala, the attorney for the P.S. 163 parents who are scrambling to block the JHL project, said the AG’s motion is simply an attempt on the attorney general’s part to circumvent its exclusion from the case because of its failure to meet its deadline.

“They had the right to appeal and they chose not to for whatever reasons they have,” Kathawala said. “The brief got rejected and instead of putting their tail between their legs, they did something even more outrageous.”

Kathawala, who is himself a P.S. 163 parent, was equally disappointed in the mayor’s efforts that bolster JHL’s development plans.

“The mayor is supporting a project that a state judge has found will hurt children,” Kathawala said. “It’s wildly offensive and outrageous.”

He said that with legal motions now on record from JHL, the city, and the DOH, the case could go to court by June, though he predicted action could be delayed until as late as September.”

Finally… ‘Jobs for New York’ – slush fund for candidates who REBNY wanted in office…?




“repositioning, reusing and redeveloping former health care facilities for residential use”

            C/O/ CHETRIT GROUP    512 7TH AVE, NYC 10018
            “Our confidence in making this offer is due to our substantial experience throughout New York City, specifically with respect to transactions with health care facilities. A particularly relevant example is Jewish Home Lifecare on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We have undertaken a project that has successfully unlocked the real estate value of this vital senior citizen facility, giving Jewish Home a firm financial footing and a new, state of the art, sustainable complex.
We also were responsible for the residential conversion of the former Cabrini Hospital campus at 227 East 19th Street, which was very positively received by the local Communtiy Board and its elected officals. Our experience in repositioning, reusing and redeveloping former health care facilities for residential use is unmatched.                                                                        Currently, we are transforming the iconic City owned building at 49-51 Chambers Street from an outdated office building to an apartment building while preserving the landmark interior space at the lobby level. The Chetrit Group was selected for this project as a result of a City procurement process. We, better than any other development team understand the instructions of the RFP. We can and will achieve a similar excellent result in Cobble Hill: preserving and enhancing important community facilities while enriching the residential elements of a neighborhood.”

 And not to be outdone – POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS:


New Yorkers United Committee 

The largest donor was the Chetrit Group, a major real estate developer. Other donors were real estate investor Joseph Cayre, who gave $100,000, and Michael H. Steinhardt, a billionaire hedge fund manager and supporter of Jewish causes, who gave $46,050. Joseph Cayre was also a contributor to the Small Business Coalition. 15786.98 95822.11

Contributions to “New Yorkers United Committee” 

The largest donor was the Chetrit Group, a major real estate developer. Other donors were real estate investor Joseph Cayre, who gave $100,000, and Michael H. Steinhardt, a billionaire hedge fund manager and supporter of Jewish causes, who gave $46,050. Joseph Cayre was also a contributor to the Small Business Coalition. 15786.98 95822.11

Contributions to “New Yorkers United Committee”

  Contributor   Total Contribution    
    Contribution Details  
1 The Chetrit Group LLC $119,800 Single individual contribution