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State AG Files Motion to Stop Sale of UWS Senior Residence

By Emily Frost | November 6, 2014 6:10pm
 New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the sale would pose an undue hardship on the seniors living there. 
Attorney General Asks Judge to Dismiss Application for Sale of Williams Memorial
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NEW YORK— Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a motion with the State Supreme Court arguing against the sale of the Salvation Army's senior housing facility to a luxury developer, saying the move would disrupt the lives of its elderly residents. 

The nonprofit's proposed sale of the 352-unit Williams Memorial Residence, at 720 West End Ave. at West 95th Street, would cause "severe stress and hardship" to the 192 elderly residents living there and is a "betrayal" of promises the Salvation Army made that they could live out their days there, according to the AG's motion, filed on Wednesday. 

The Salvation Army has argued that in order to remain financially viable, it needs to sell the Williams Memorial Residence for $108 million. The nonprofit, which has operated the facility for 50 years, now wants to move the seniors currently living there to a new state-of-the-art facility on East 125th Street.

The nonprofit is asking the court to approve of the sale, which is required for it to go through, the Attorney General's Office said. 

“The Salvation Army’s proposed sale will result in stress, disruption, and relocation for elderly residents of the building they now call home," said Schneiderman spokesman Matt Mittenthal.

"Attorney General Schneiderman strongly urges the Court to listen to the concerns of residents, consider the hardship this move will bring to almost 200 senior citizens, and dismiss the Salvation Army’s application," he continued.

The Salvation Army did not respond to a request for comment.

Residents and elected officials have fought the move, which they learned of this past June, calling it an unfair burden for seniors who don't want to leave their community behind. More than a dozen seniors have filed affidavits with the court so far.

Schneiderman is calling for the court to hold a hearing in which the residents can share their objections to the sale.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has said the sale goes against the mission of the Salvation Army.

The case is back in court on Nov. 14.