Howard Hughes faces third South Street Seaport lawsuit, this time from Gap

TRD New York /
Mar.March 22, 2013 05:30 PM

The Gap has become the latest retailer to file suit against Howard Hughes Corp., which is rebuilding Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. The Dallas-based developer is facing two other suits from companies that want to continue operating their businesses at the pier, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

The Gap alleged that Howard Hughes improperly moved to end the store’s lease and ordered the retailer to remove all of its merchandise by today. The Gap is located inside the Fulton Market Building, which is across the street from the pier.

A Hughes spokesperson told Crain’s that the suit is “factually incorrect and legally without merit.”

The caterer Bridgewaters and the Seaport Café filed suit in December and January, respectively, claiming Howard Hughes is using Sandy damage as a smokescreen for evicting tenants it no longer wants around. Both businesses’ buildings are still closed, which Howard Hughes attributed to Sandy-related problems.

The Howard Hughes spokesperson told Crain’s that the company has filed a countersuit against Bridgewaters over an alleged $2.5 million in unpaid rent. In addition, he told Crain’s that the café’s suit is “completely without merit.”

The City Council approved Hughes’ Pier 17 redevelopment plans this week. Work is expected to be complete by 2015. [Crain’s]Zachary Kussin

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