Rent hike threatens Joffrey Ballet School

Sabet Group bought its Grove Street dorm for $24M in 2014
June 13, 2016 08:42AM

JoffreyBalletSchool 61 Grove

61 Grove Street in Greenwich Village

A decades-old ballet school says it can’t pay its new rent at the Sabet Group’s 61 Grove Street, and the dispute may force it into bankruptcy.

Long Island-based Sabet raised the Joffrey Ballet School’s rent at the property to $108,000 per month from $40,000 per month after it bought the five-story, 15,000-square-foot rental-and-retail building in 2014, for $24 million.

The new landlord gave the school 30 days to accept the new deal or relocate students it housed in the building, according to the New York Post. The school took the new deal, but, after about a year, is no longer able to make the payments. Sabet is now suing, according to the Post.

The building has 12 apartments and three retail units. Sabet also raised rent on Boots & Saddle, a drag lounge that had called the building home for 40 years. It was forced to relocate.

The Joffrey School was founded in 1953 by famed choreographer Robert Joffrey. Its rock opera “Astarte” was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1968.

The landlord is seeking $800,000 as a penalty for breaking the lease. The company told the post it has worked out a deal under which Joffrey would pay $200,000 a month.

“There’s no way to pay that,” the school’s executive director Christopher D’Addario told the Post. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg