Trump Organization sues Dean & DeLuca over rent defaults

Gourmet grocery chain has faced a slew of problems over the past few years

Nov.November 13, 2019 03:00 PM
Donald Trump and Dean & Deluca's Soho location (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Donald Trump and Dean & Deluca’s Soho location (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Add a lawsuit from the Trump Organization to the litany of problems facing Dean & DeLuca.

President Donald Trump’s family firm has sued the struggling gourmet grocer for defaulting on its lease at 40 Wall Street, according to Crain’s. It is seeking more than $16 million but is still waiting on a response from Dean & DeLuca. The lawsuit was filed in July, and according to Crain’s, the grocer doesn’t appear to have hired legal representation.

Thailand-based Pace Development acquired Dean & DeLuca in 2014 for $140 million, and the grocery store struck a deal with the Trump Organization the next year to pay at least $1.4 million per year in rent for the ground floor retail space at 40 Wall. The store allegedly has not made any rent payments in two years, and the Trump Organization has taken over the space with the goal of renting it to a different tenant.

This is just the latest in Dean & DeLuca’s financial downfall. The chain has closed stores in locations ranging from the Upper East Side to Napa Valley to Kansas in recent years, and several vendors have complained about the company withholding payments from them.

In 2017, the company backed out of a lease 29 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District and called off plans for a store at 420 Lexington Avenue in Midtown. [Crain’s]  — Eddie Small

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