Landlord Sues Valentino For $207.1M After Retailer 'Abandons' Fifth Avenue Store
A Fifth Avenue landlord is asking the Supreme Court of the State of New York to make luxury retailer Valentino pay $207.1M, alleging the Italian fashion house illegally deserted its location and violated the terms of its hugely valuable lease.
Savitt Partners, which filed the lawsuit under 693 Fifth Owner LLC, sued Valentino U.S.A. Inc. for unpaid rent, damages and for the sum of the rent until the retailer's lease agreement is up in 2029, according to the lawsuit. Reuters first reported news of the lawsuit Friday.
Retail landlords have been suing their tenants for unpaid rent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but for sums that pale in comparison to what Savitt is seeking from Valentino. JEMB Realty sued H&M for $4M in unpaid rent in Herald Square, Simon Property Group filed a $66M national lawsuit against the Gap, and L'Occitane was sued by its Upper West Side landlord, The Vanbarton Group, for $746K.
The landlord alleges Valentino “abandoned” its location at 693 Fifth Ave. in December, after failing to pay rent from September to February of this year and “turned over the Premises … with its valuable components having been destroyed."
The damages alone will cost the landlord over $12.8M, it claims in the lawsuit. The landlord is asking for the court to make Valentino pay its rent through the end of its lease term on July 31, 2029, on top of rent owed while the retailer still occupied the building.
The suit comes after Valentino was one of a slew of retailers that attempted to get out of their leases by bringing their landlords to court. Valentino argued it should be allowed to exit the lease because Fifth Avenue could no longer provide the kind of location needed to sell the luxury products amid the pandemic and onward.
A judge dismissed that case last month, weeks before the landlord sued the company, court documents show.