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Trump Organization Suing Shoe Designer For Over $1M In Skipped Rent At Trump Tower

Trump Tower in New York

The Trump Organization claims footwear company Marc Fisher hasn’t paid rent for its space at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in months and is suing in New York state court to recoup the funds.

Marc Fisher has a showroom in the former president's flagship tower, paying a monthly rent of more than $238K, Bloomberg reports. In a complaint filed with the New York State Supreme Court, The Trump Organization alleges the company stopped paying rent last November.

It is asking the court to order Marc Fisher to pay almost $1.47M in back rent for the space on the 21st and 22nd floors in the building where Donald Trump used to live full time in a triplex apartment.

The lawsuit is just the latest in a string of disputes between commercial tenants and their landlords. Nearby, Savitt Partners is suing Valentino for more than $200M, claiming the retailer abandoned its store, left millions in unrepaired damages and stopped meeting the terms of its lease. Valentino had previously sued the landlord, trying to get out of its arrangement on the grounds the location was no longer prestigious

Victoria’s Secret had attempted a similar move at its Herald Square store, and it sued SL Green last May saying it should be allowed out of its nearly $1M per month rental obligations. The lingerie giant lost the case in January when a judge ruled it was still on the hook for the rent, even in light of the pandemic disruptions. 

Lawyers told Bisnow last summer the strategy, which many retail tenants were employing, was unlikely to succeed in New York City as contracts are usually fastidiously enforced by courts. Still, it paints a picture of the challenges faced by landlords and the people who occupy space in the city, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wear on.

Retail leasing velocity fell for the sixth consecutive quarter at the end of 2020, dropping below 2.1M SF for the first time in four years, per CBRE. Office buildings are still mainly empty as companies have opted to keep tenants at home, and Manhattan saw its slowest leasing year since the start of the century, per Colliers. The lack of office workers has dealt fatal blows to retailers across Manhattan.

The Trump Organization is facing a well-documented specific set of challenges. The company experienced a 38% overall drop in revenue between 2019 and 2020, and multiple companies have sought to distance themselves from the company in the fallout of the deadly Capitol insurrection in January.

Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank both said they will no longer lend to Trump or his businesses, while JLL withdrew from a partnership to sell Trump’s D.C. hotel and Cushman & Wakefield, which handled leasing for Trump Tower and 40 Wall St., dropped the company as a client.