Before Jeff Sutton transformed it into the darling of Manhattan retail, a Times Square retail building was part of a property tax-saving scheme, the New York Post reported. Between 2005 and 2010, 1552 Broadway, which Sutton purchased last year with SL Green Realty and lured Express as an anchor tenant, raked in millions from unregistered billboards.
Because the owners, 1552 Broadway Owner Corp LLC (previously reported to be the Riese Organization restaurant group) failed to file the ad spaces with the city’s Department of Finance, they were never factored into the buildings valuations, and in turn, its tax bill.
The building’s assessed value doubled with the billboard discovery (and Times Square’s increasing popularity) to $34.8 million. The former owners agreed to pay $240,000 last month to settle the case with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. [Post] —Adam Fusfeld