The Real Deal New York

Tory Burch sued by disgruntled Soho neighbor

Landlord Herbert Moskowitz claims construction at designer's flagship store at 151 Mercer damaged his property

September 18, 2015 06:30PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

Tory Burch

151 Mercer Street in Soho and Tory Burch

Tory Burch is being sued by landlord Herbert Moskowitz, who alleges construction on the fashion designer’s four-story flagship store at 151 Mercer Street in Soho caused damage to his own property next door.

Moskowitz, who owns 153 Mercer Street, claims his property “has shifted and been damaged” from the neighboring construction, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court.

The landlord specifically cites damage to his 130-year-old building’s stairwell and elevator doors, which require “extensive and costly repairs,” and notes that he will likely have to reduce rents at 153 Mercer Street “to keep the tenants in possession of their apartments.”

“Tory Burch wanted to ‘fast track’ this construction project [at 151 Mercer Street] irrespective of the consequence of the building at 153 Mercer Street,” the suit states.

Moskowitz is seeking damages in excess of $500,000 plus legal fees, and is attempting to block Tory Burch from continuing construction on the store until the damage is rectified. The designer inked a lease at 151 Mercer Street in 2013, with initial plans for new 12,500-square-foot, five-story building on the site.

The lawsuit also cites as defendants Skanska USA, the construction project’s contractor, and the city’s Department of Buildings, which approved Tory Burch’s building plans. None of the defendants could be reached for comment. A representative for Moskowitz declined to comment.

Burch, who launched her eponymous fashion line in 2004, was briefly married to real estate investor William Macklowe – son of Harry Macklowe – in the 1990s.