Steve Madden sues Cayre, partners over “crumbling” 720 Lex

Court filing is the latest drama between retailer, landlord
By Rey Mashayekhi | August 27, 2015 05:00PM

Steve Madden’s beef with landlord Bobby Cayre and partners continues after the shoe retailer filed a lawsuit this week claiming its flagship Midtown location, at 720 Lexington Avenue, is dealing with a crumbling foundation, water damage and loose and fallen brick.

The shoe retailer alleges that deteriorating conditions at the location, which it has occupied since 2007, have forced it to vacate the building’s basement and shut down its second-floor retail space in order to accommodate inventory storage, according to documents filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court.

The property at 720 Lexington is owned by Bobby Cayre’s 720 Lex Acquisition LLC — itself affiliated with frequent Cayre collaborator Alex Adjmi’s A&H Acquisitions — in partnership with Haim Chera’s Crown Acquisitions. Cayre also runs Aurora Capital Associates.

Steve Madden occupies the entire four-story, roughly 7,000-square-foot building and claims it is dealing with “hazardous conditions” at the property that pose “substantial danger” to customers, employees and valuable inventory.

According to the suit, racks and holes in the building foundation leave it “at risk of caving in from the point of connection with the exterior sidewalk,” while its wood-framed interior structure “has suffered chronic water infiltration” that has left it rotting and has caused “substantial and pervasive mold.”

The retailer is seeking a partial abatement of rent — noting that it tendered only partial rent for the month of August – as well as damages to be determined at trial.

A lawyer for Steve Madden declined to comment. Cayre could not be immediately reached.

This isn’t the first legal run-in between the retailer and landlord. Cayre, Adjmi and Chera sought to evict Steve Madden from the location in 2013 over unpaid rent. That case was settled last year, with Steve Madden agreeing to pay $150,000.