David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity threatened to kick an Equinox gym out of its Tribeca luxury rental building 50 Murray Street, claiming it produces “excessive noise.” Now, Equinox Tribeca has responded with a $8 million lawsuit.
Clipper Equity served Equinox with “a notice of intent to terminate the lease” if the alleged noise issue is not resolved by Feb. 16, according to a complaint filed with the New York State Supreme Court Wednesday.
In its suit, Equinox Tribeca disputes “that the very same noise and vibrations that have been associated with normal exercise at the health club for the last 14 years suddenly rise to the level of “defaults” under the Lease.” The gym claims it can address noise issues without having to move out, and alleges that Clipper Equity’s notice of default violates the lease agreement.
Equinox seeks an injunction to block the termination, as well as $8 million in damages – the sum it claims to have invested in building out the space. It evoked 9/11 in its complaint, noting that the gym “was designed and built in the wake of the September 11th attacks—a risky time for a real estate investment in downtown Manhattan—based on Equinox’s then belief that the Tribeca neighborhood and the surrounding financial district would rebound and thrive again.”
Equinox moved into the 21-story, 389-unit apartment building in 2002, signing a 15-year lease with an option to renew for a further five. In December 2014, the Sapir Organization sold 50 Murray Street along with the apartment building 53 Park Place to Clipper Equity for $560 million.
The building recently became a battleground over the little-known 421g tax abatement, as tenants fight to keep their luxury units rent-regulated under the program.
An attorney representing Clipper Equity could not immediately be reached for comment.