The Real Deal New York

Sutton’s company sues former Brooklyn value-priced chain tenant for $178K

March 12, 2012 06:30PM
By Adam Pincus

From left: Jeff Sutton, president of Wharton Properties, and Danice Stores storefront at 482 Fulton Street (credit: Google Street View)

Retail investor Jeff Sutton is in a dispute with a former discount clothing store owner who recently vacated one of Sutton’s building’s on the rapidly changing Fulton Mall retail stretch of Downtown Brooklyn.

Sutton’s company at the site, 482 Fulton Street LLC, filed suit last Thursday against an individual named Barry Group, who is president of Brooklyn-based value-priced chain Danice Stores at 482 Fulton Street. Sutton is seeking $153,140 in alleged back rent and $25,000 to cover legal costs and other expenses, the papers filed in New York State Supreme Court show.

The Fulton Mall strip, between Boerum Place and Flatbush Avenue, is undergoing a rapid transformation, with projects such as the Laboz family’s United American Land preparing for retailers including H&M at 505 Fulton Street, and Acadia Realty Trust developing CityPoint, where retailer Century 21 may join expected tenant Target.

Danice Stores, which sells affordably-priced clothing lists 19 locations in the five boroughs and New Jersey on its website, vacated Sutton’s commercial condo with the address 482 Fulton Street in January, court papers say.

Sutton is president of Wharton Properties, which owns interests in about 100 properties mostly in New York City including high-profile retail locations such as 1551 Broadway and 1552 Broadway in Times Square.

The lawsuit says Sutton’s company filed an earlier action claiming the tenant owed back rent from July 1, 2011 through Nov. 30, 2011, but that suit was terminated when Danice Stores vacated the premises. Following that, Sutton filed the new charges. The lawsuit claims Barry Group agreed to personally guarantee payment in the event of a default or if the lease was terminated.

Barry Group and Sutton declined to comment.

The space remains vacant, but one source familiar with the site who did not want to be identified, said a tenant was, “on the way,” although that could not be independently confirmed.

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