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.
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.