TIAA sues Douglas Elliman over allegedly unpaid rent at Brickell high-rise

Suit alleges Elliman did not pay rent in April, May or June, totaling $47K, for its 2,721 sf office

Jay Parker and Mike Sales, with 801 Brickell Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)
Jay Parker and Mike Sales, with 801 Brickell Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

UPDATED, July 22, 4:48 p.m.: Douglas Elliman was sued by its Brickell landlord for allegedly failing to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Elliman closed and vacated the 2,721-square-foot office at 801 Brickell Avenue in Miami as of May 31. It was one of three South Florida offices Elliman shuttered as a result of coronavirus.

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), which owns the 28-story Brickell office building, sued Elliman for allegedly failing to pay rent in April, May and June, totaling $46,912. In a letter dated June 10, Carlton Fields attorney John Hart, representing TIAA, wrote that Elliman owed about $17,749 in unpaid rent, after applying the $29,163 security deposit.

The letter states that Elliman is still on the hook for the remainder of the unpaid May and June rent, plus all rent due going forward until the lease expires October 31, 2021.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Elliman said the brokerage “has been in regular communication with the landlord” and has reached a resolution. Court records show the lawsuit, filed on Friday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, was voluntarily dismissed on Wednesday. A spokesperson for TIAA said in a statement that “the issue was resolved.”

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In April, developer Avra Jain said her only tenant that had not paid rent that month was Elliman, at 5555 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.

During an earnings call in May for the brokerage’s parent company Vector Group, Elliman chairman Howard Lorber said the firm was seeking to consolidate offices and negotiate “rent reductions, deferrals or holidays” with landlords nationwide, as well as reduce staff and salaries.

The 801 Brickell lease began in October 2015 and encompasses suites L30, with 861 square feet; and 210, with 1,860 square feet, according to the lawsuit. Statewide, Elliman now has 17 offices.

Records show TIAA paid $80 million for the office building in 2002. Tenants include Gensler, co-working operator Spaces and Komodo Miami, a Groot Hospitality restaurant.