Empire State Building tenant sues for alleged lost business

June 11, 2013 05:30PM

Another day, another lawsuit at the Empire State Building. This time, a ground-floor lounge and bar tenant has sued the building’s owner for $40 million over alleged problems stemming from construction work. Empire Room’s lawsuit alleged that a wall, exterior elevator and scaffold present since November 2011 has led to a minimum 60 percent drop in business.

“Pedestrians are forced to travel through a maze/cave-like corridor behind a wall in order to enter plaintiff’s bar and lounge,” the complaint said. “Plaintiff’s signage, doors and windows cannot be seen from the street, little to no sidewalk access is available and potential and returning customers passing on the street in front of the Empire Room Bar and lounge would not know the bar and lounge is there and open for business.”

Moreover, the suit claimed that the renovations allegedly violate a lease provision stipulating that the landlord, a group of investors that includes Malkin Holdings, will not tamper with the signage and access to the tenant’s space.

The construction project is slated for completion next summer.

Neither side of the dispute could be immediately reached by Law360 for comment. [Law360] —Zachary Kussin