Developer sues W&H for allegedly illegal renovation at 1400 Broadway

January 25, 2011 05:43PM

From left: Developer Charles Cohen, 1400 Broadway and Anthony Malkin, president of W&H Properties

Developer Charles Cohen is suing W&H Properties, alleging that the company violated a long-term lease at its 1400 Broadway tower by failing to obtain permission to renovate the 38-story property between 38th and 39th streets, Crain’s reported. Cohen is seeking to have the lease terminated. The lease began in 1962 and could be extended all the way to 2063. Last week, the New York Times reported that Cohen was trying to terminate W&H Properties’ lease at 112 West 34th Street for the same reason. “We are seeing a pattern of arrogance from W&H,” said Warren Estis, a partner at Rosenberg & Estis, which is presenting Cohen. Anthony Malkin, president of W&H, said that the lawsuit was without merit and that he didn’t seek authorization for the $81 million renovation because it wasn’t necessary under the lease. Meanwhile, W&H is only paying $675,000 a year to lease the space, an amount that could rise substantially if Cohen wins the suit. If Cohen wins, he could terminate the leases of all the tenants in the building, Estis said. W&H is nearing the end of a $500 million renovation of the Empire State Building. [Crain’s]