Chetrit Group sues Phat Farm founder for $650K

Ruby Azrak allegedly broke terms of lease agreement
By Katherine Clarke | January 30, 2013 01:00PM

The Chetrit Group is suing celebrity clothing tycoon Ruby Azrak for “abandoning” his company’s lease at 1384 Broadway, The Real Deal has learned.

The landlord and developer has requested that the New York State Supreme Court judge order celebrity clothing tycoon Ruby Azrak, the co-founder of Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm clothing line, fork out $652,000 to satisfy allegations that he breached his lease agreement at the office space he occupied at the building between 2006 and 2012, according to the request for summary judgment forwarded to The Real Deal by an attorney for the Chetrits.

A good guy guaranty in the lease allows the landlord to legally pursue Azrak personally.

Chetrit, which has owned the building since 2006, according to previous reports, originally entered into a 10-year lease agreement with Azrak that year for a portion of the building’s 17th floor. The lease was later amended several times between 2006 and 2010 to include portions of the property’s eighth, ninth and 24th floors, according to legal documents. The landlord then alleges the Azrak’s clothing branding company, known in legal documents as RVC Realty Holdings, reneged on its lease and backed out without warning in October 2012, notifying the landlord by email. RVC “abandoned” the lease, the landlord alleges, while it still owed rent.

At the time of the tenant’s early surrender of the lease in October, it owned $485,000 in rent and accrued fees, the landlord alleges. As of the time of The Most Recent Court filing January 25 — RVC allegedly owed $652,000. The celebrity fashion mogul has collaborated with many big names; he worked with Beyonce on her clothing line House of Dereon, with Jay-Z on Rocawear and most recently with Michael Vick on his clothing line V7.

A spokesperson for Azrak said the firm has now vacated the premises. The mogul denied all allegations in an answer to the complaint late last year. He declined to comment on the litigation via a spokesperson. The Chetrit Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.