For giant Vornado, even $87K in missing rent matters

Dig Inn hasn’t paid landlord since February, REIT’s lawsuit alleges

Vornado's Steve Roth and Dig Inn at 11 Penn Plaza (Getty, Google Maps)
Vornado's Steve Roth and Dig Inn at 11 Penn Plaza (Getty, Google Maps)

Vornado Realty Trust, which manages over $7.3 billion in assets, is suing a Midtown eatery for $87,000 in unpaid rent.

The Steven Roth-led firm is taking Dig Inn to court for the rent, which the fast-casual chain stopped paying in February, Crain’s reported. In addition to the back rent for its 11 Penn Plaza locale, Vornado is seeking $25,000 in holdover fees.

According to the court filings, Vornado gave Dig Inn until July 8 to vacate the property after serving up a notice of default a month before and terminating its lease June 29. So far, Dig Inn has not dug into its pockets for the money, the lawsuit alleges.

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Vornado also alleges the restaurant, which rebranded as Dig last year and before that signed a lease for June 2018 through June 2031, did not complete renovations it had promised to carry out.

A spokesperson for Dig told the paper its Penn Plaza location has been closed since March, when stay-at-home orders were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The company was in contact with Vornado to renegotiate its rent, the person said.

Vornado owns about 9 million square feet of commercial space in the Penn Plaza District, where it is planning a $2 billion redevelopment project of the properties. Penn Station, which normally sees 600,000 people pass through on a daily basis, has been a virtual ghost town for months and office workers in Manhattan have been few and far between. [Crain’s] — Georgia Kromrei