Moinian Settles With NBA Store After Claiming The Retailer Owes $9M In Back Rent
Moinian Group and the National Basketball Association have reached a deal over a legal dispute regarding what the landlord claims is millions in unpaid rent.
Moinian launched a lawsuit against its tenant at 545 Fifth Ave. in June 2020, but a notice of discontinuance has now been filed with the New York Supreme Court, The Real Deal reports. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
In the original suit, Moinian had said NBA Media Ventures, which signed a 20-year lease for 25K SF in the building seven years ago, had fallen behind in its rent. The rent was $625K per month, and by April this year the tenant allegedly owed $9M in rent.
“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass had previously told The Real Deal. “Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit.”
Legal disputes between landlords and their tenants have become a flashpoint of the pandemic, with many retailers arguing they should not have to pay rent when the government ordered them to close. Many small retailers, like gyms and galleries, as well as major players like Gap and Valentino have all claimed they are not beholden to lease obligations because they had been shut down.
Many of these suits have worked their way through the courts, often resulting in retailers being ordered to pay up. In January, an eight-month legal battle came to an end with a Manhattan judge ruling that Victoria’s Secret was still on the hook for its nearly $1M per month rent in Herald Square, despite the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis. The next month, Gap and its landlord Stawski Partners reached an agreement after the landlord had sued over hundred of thousands in unpaid rent.