Orda trying to force out retail tenant in favor of Facebook, BuzzFeed: lawsuit

Ainsworth Park restaurant says landlord sending “utterly baseless” default notices
By Ariel Stulberg | June 17, 2016 03:13PM

225 Park Avenue South

225 Park Avenue South and the Ainsworth Park restaurant

The Ainsworth Park restaurant is suing its 225 Park Avenue South landlord, Orda Management, alleging the company has tried to pressure it to leave its 7,000-square-foot space to make way for a pair of Internet giants.

Orda issued a “laundry list of purported ‘defaults’ and a threat to terminate the lease if [Ainsworth Park] did not cure in thirty days,” the restaurant claims in the suit. The claims are “utterly baseless,” Ainsworth Park asserts in the complaint. The company is “not in default of its rent obligations or any other obligations under the lease.”

The restaurant operates on the ground-floor of the 19-story office building. It’s a 10-year lease, running through 2022.

Orda didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.

Orda’s motive, according to the complaint, is to create extra space for two of the building’s marquee tenants: Facebook and BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed occupies about 189,000 square feet at the office building, and Facebook recently signed to take 190,000 square feet of its own. The suit alleges Orda seeks to use the restaurants space as a cafeteria for the two tech firms’ employees.

Orda asked last spring if the landlord could reclaim a part of the restaurant’s space to create a dedicated lobby for BuzzFeed, according to the suit. The restaurant agreed to the proposal, but now says Orda’s construction work was severely disruptive.

The landlord is now seeking to recapture Ainsworth Park’s basement space, according to the suit, and has cut off basic services to the tenant.