Irvington Property Once Sought as Assisted Living Site Finally Sells

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by Barrett Seaman – 

It was two years ago when representatives of the company that develops Brightview Assisted Living homes picked up their briefcases and walked out of Irvington Village Hall after Mayor Brian Smith cast what they considered the decisive vote against their plan to build a 100,000 square foot facility on eight acres along North Broadway. Ironically, the mayor was in the minority, as three other members of the five-member board had already voiced their approval.  But as David Steinmetz, Brightview’s attorney, had made clear, his client would not go forward with the plan without the support of the village’s chief executive.

That sale would have yielded $6 million for the Carrafiello family, owners of the property and managers of the office rental complex their father had developed. Jerry Carrafiello, fuming at the mayor’s refusal to accommodate the zoning changes necessary to build the assisted living home, vowed to sell it “as of right,” either as an office park again, or in two-acre residential plots—anything that would not require village approval—or he would sell it to some non-profit that would deprive the village of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax revenue.

For the rest of 2016 and all of 2017, the For Sale sign sat at the base of the property as potential buyers came and went. After a while, Carafiello stopped cutting the grass on the expansive lawn that swept down towards Broadway from the main white clapboard office building.

Meanwhile, Carrafiello filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court, contending that his real estate agency, Houlihan Lawrence, and two of its brokers had breached their fiduciary duty to him by badmouthing the deal, even as Brightview’s negotiations with the village continued.

In March, State Supreme Court Judge Terry Jane Ruderman dismissed the suit, ruling that the fiduciary obligation applied only to the brokers contractually assigned to the deal, which did not include the defendants. The judge’s ruling did not address the question of whether the alleged subterfuge, if it indeed occurred, had any influence on Smith’s opposition to the developer’s plans. Carrafiello said he is appealing.

There is one bright spot for the erstwhile owner of 88-106 North Broadway: in January, he sold the property for a reported $4.5 million to a newly-formed Manhattan-based Limited Liability Corporation called KEF Holdings. The new owners—not to be confused with the huge multinational conglomerate of the same name, says the buyers’ broker, Gordon Sokich of Grand Lux Realty—say they  plan to continue to rent out office space, for which they have created a website, www.bridgelineonthehudson.com.

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