The Real Deal New York

Sheldon Solow sued by another 57th Street tenant who refuses to go quietly

MacKenzie-Childs wants an $800K lease termination fee
By E.B. Solomont | January 03, 2018 11:55AM

MacKenzie-Childs at 20 West 57th Street and Sheldon Solow (Credit: Getty Images)

MacKenzie-Childs, a purveyor of hand-painted ceramics and colorful home goods, is the latest of Sheldon Solow’s tenants to mess with the octogenarian developer’s plans for a Billionaires’ Row condominium tower.

The retailer, which has leased a storefront at Solow’s 20 West 57th Street since 2012, is suing the developer over nearly $800,000 it says it’s owed for its lease being terminated four years before it’s due to expire.

Solow, who has spent years assembling the site of of a planned hotel and condo tower at 10 West 57th Street, informed MacKenzie-Childs in March 2017 that it planned to end its 10-year in September 2018, according to the lawsuit. When MacKenzie-Childs said it was owed an early termination fee of $769,931, the suit said Solow hit the store with a breach of contract claim, alleging the retailer never submitted documents showing it had final approvals for the store’s buildout back in 2012.

MacKenzie-Childs, which pays $90,833 a month for the 3,700-square-foot ground-floor space, plus a 1,500-square-foot mezzanine floor, spent $1.8 million to renovate the space in 2012, according to court documents.

In the complaint, the retailer said Solow never requested the documents previously and instead collected its rent for 59 consecutive months. “Landlord’s demands for these documents is a transparent and wrongful attempt to terminate the Lease Agreement,” it said.

Solow is also battling Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques, the long holdout tenant at 10 West 57th Street, where SOM is designing a 54-story hotel and condo tower.

Last year, Solow tried to terminate the store’s lease, claiming it violated terms of the agreement by selling ivory. But Metropolitan, which pays $283,000 a month in rent, claimed the developer put up scaffolding to force the store out.

The famously litigious developer bought the first parcel of the assemblage in the 1970s, and added two more parcels in 2007. In 2016, he paid Gary Barnett $128 million for 16 West 57th Street.

The mogul, who is worth around $4.7 billion, according to Forbes, is also developing a 19-story residential project at 7 West 57th and a 42-story rental-and-condo project at 685 First Avenue.