JEMB suing H&M for $25 million

Landlord's suit latest in Herald Center facade saga
By Rey Mashayekhi | May 14, 2015 03:44PM

JEMB Realty is suing Swedish retail giant H&M for $25 million, claiming the clothing company failed to pay excessive renovation costs for work done to the façade of its new flagship store at 1293 Broadway in Herald Center.

The Lower Manhattan-based firm – which owns the Herald Center property where H&M will open its 63,000-square-foot flagship on May 20 – alleges that the retailer approved a façade renovation that would cost “significantly in excess” of JEMB’s contribution as landlord, yet has “failed and refused” to pay such excess costs.

The lawsuit was filed on the same day that H&M brought its own legal action against JEMB, seeking more than $11 million and claiming the firm changed the design of the façade at 1293 Broadway without its permission. That lawsuit placed JEMB’s agreed contribution to the façade reconstruction at $12 million.

While H&M’s lawsuit alleges that renovation work was not completed by an agreed-upon date in December and seeks damages of $41,000 for each day in the delay of the work’s completion – more than $4.6 million at the time of filing – JEMB’s lawsuit claims it achieved “substantial completion” of the work on that date.

The landlord also claims that while H&M has “raised certain objections to the excess costs incurred” by JEMB, the firm has “performed its obligations” under the lease agreement between the two sides.

Legal representatives for both H&M and JEMB Realty did not respond to requests for comment.

H&M’s has increased its profile in the city in recent years, arranging for four illuminated “H&M” signage panels to be installed atop the Durst Organization’s 4 Times Square office tower in 2013.