The Real Deal New York

Broadway theater lands in court over $25M building deal

The Helen Hayes Theatre is accused of holding out for more money

February 14, 2015 03:00PM

240 West 44th Street and owners Martin Markinson and Jeffrey Tick

240 West 44th Street and owners Martin Markinson and Jeffrey Tick

There’s real estate drama on Broadway. A nonprofit is accusing the owners of the Helen Hayes Theatre of backing out of a $25 million deal to buy the landmark building.

The nonprofit Second Stage Theater filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court claiming that the owners of the Helen Hayes Theatre – the smallest and only independent theater left on Broadway – backed out of a seven-year-old purchase agreement, according to the New York Post.

But Hayes co-owner Jeffrey Tick calls the lawsuit “utter nonsense.”

“They made me out to be this rich theater owner beating up on the poor nonprofit,” Tick told the Post.

Second Stage, which produces contemporary plays, agreed to buy the West 44th Street building in 2008. But the closing process was extended several times because of fundraising issues, and by the occupancy of the hit musical “Rock of Ages.”

Second Stage claims that now that real estate prices have skyrocketed, owners Martin Markinson and Tick are holding out for more money. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

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