The Real Deal New York

Judge rules in Armani’s favor in fight with SL Green

Retailer must pay only $3.5M a year at 760 Madison while REIT sought around $10M

August 26, 2015 12:30PM

From left: Marc Holliday, Giorgio Armani and 760 Madison Avenue

From left: Marc Holliday, Giorgio Armani and 760 Madison Avenue

Tick one for Giorgio Armani in the retailer’s ongoing legal battle with landlord SL Green Realty over its 760 Madison Avenue location in Midtown.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos ruled this month that Armani must pay only $3.5 million in annual rent due under its lease at the store through 2025 – significantly below the $10 million requested by SL Green.

At the court hearing Aug. 5, Susan Kurland of CBRE, called as an expert by Armani, argued that the retailer is entitled to pay only $1.1 million due to a “pop-up store discount” triggered by SL Green’s planned redevelopment of the 760 Madison Avenue location, according to the New York Post.

Those plans — which could entail a boutique hotel or residential condo building, and had given rise to the legal dispute at the center of the lawsuit — had made Armani a short-term tenant, Kurland said.

While Ramos described SL Green’s plans as “at most theoretical and in its infancy,” the annual rent due is a win for Armani — as was the Ramos’ striking down a motion for the retailer to post an $83 million “undertaking” to SL Green for “missing the market and lost opportunity damages.” Instead, the amount was set at $750,000 toward lawyer fees, should SL Green later prevail in the legal matter.

The two sides will meet again in court at the end of October. [NYP]Rey Mashayekhi