The Real Deal New York

Savanna faces $10M suit over Chelsea art gallery eviction

Lehmann Maupin Gallery claims landlords of 540 West 26th Street lack DOB demolition permit

August 29, 2014 10:30AM

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Rendering of 540 West 26th Street and Savanna’s Chris Schlank (credit: Max Dworkin)

Manhattan real estate fund Savanna, along with the Manhattes Group and the Silvermintz family, is facing a lawsuit from a Chelsea art gallery tenant that is alleging illegal eviction.

Lehmann Maupin Gallery is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages, and an undisclosed sum for punitive damages, the New York Observer reported. The landlords plan to demolish the two-story property at 540 West 26th Street near Eleventh Avenue, and construct a nine-story Morris Adjmi-designed office building with a ground-floor art gallery space.

The landlords lack a valid Department of Buildings demolition permit in order to tear down the building, the suit filed Tuesday claims. Tenants received a letter in October 2013 to vacate by the end of April. Two art galleries in the building have moved out, but the Lehmann Maupin Gallery remains.

Savanna, Manhattes and the Silvermintz family did not comment to the New York Observer.

Earlier this week, Savanna filed to dismiss a number of claims in a $7.5 million breach of contract lawsuit by the board of managers at 141 Fifth Avenue, while alleging professional negligence against several of its own contractors, as The Real Deal reported. [NYO]Mark Maurer

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