The Real Deal New York

Olmstead wants cancer research center out of 180 Varick St.

NYU counters Langone Medical Center lease termination notice with lawsuit

November 13, 2015 03:25PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

180 Varick Street

180 Varick Street in Hudson Square (inset: Samuel Rosenblatt)

UPDATED, 4:15 p.m., Nov. 13: NYU obtained a temporary injunction against Olmstead Properties in New York State Supreme Court on Friday afternoon, effectively stopping the clock on Olmstead’s five-day lease termination notice. The parties are due back in court on Monday.

New York University filed suit Friday against Olmstead Properties, claiming the Samuel Rosenblatt-led landlord is wrongfully looking to terminate the university’s lease at a 17-story office building in Hudson Square.

NYU claims Olmstead served it with a five-day lease termination notice on Wednesday to vacate the building, at 180 Varick Street, where the university leases space on the fifth through eighth floors as a research facility for its NYU Langone Medical Center.

While NYU has a 15-year lease at the property that it signed in 2010, Olmstead is allegedly claiming the school breached its lease by failing to address several violations at the building, according to the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.

Those alleged violations include not paying around $60,000 in outstanding mechanic’s liens related to a $10 million renovation of NYU’s space, as well as citations for problems with the building’s dumbwaiter.

Despite claiming that it “has done (and continues to do) everything in its power to resolve those issues,” NYU says it received the notice from Olmstead this week — notifying the university that the landlord had elected to terminate its tenancy effective Nov. 16.

The parties are due to meet in court Friday afternoon, where a judge will rule on the matter – including potentially granting an injunction to stop the clock on Olmstead’s termination notice.

“We believe that the landlord’s claims are de minimis and that the judge will grant an injunction in the university’s favor, and that ultimately the university will prevail,” attorney Lucas Ferrara of Newman Ferrara LLP, who is representing NYU in the case, told The Real Deal.

Olmstead and its legal representatives did not return requests for comment.

NYU Langone uses its space at the 329,000-square-foot property to conduct research work on ovarian cancer, Barth Syndrome, HIV and gene therapy. The university said a shutdown of its Varick Street facility would have major consequences on the medical center’s research efforts.

“A sudden displacement of dozens of researchers would certainly result in a significant disruption and threaten ongoing research projects and experiments,” the school said in the complaint.