Kent Swig hit with rent suit for 444 Madison Avenue HQ

Lincoln International seeking $342K from landlord

Swig Equities president Kent Swig and 444 Madison Avenue (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images and LoopNet)
Swig Equities president Kent Swig and 444 Madison Avenue (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images and LoopNet)

An investment firm is suing Kent Swig for months of unpaid rent at his commercial brokerage’s Madison Avenue headquarters.

Investment firm Lincoln International sued Swig and his firm, Helmsley Spear, for missed rent payments at 444 Madison Avenue, the Commercial Observer reported. Swig’s firm is Lincoln’s subtenant at a 15,000-square-foot space in the building owned by Westbrook Partners.

Lincoln alleged in a complaint filed last week in New York Supreme Court it hasn’t received any payments from Swig since April. The lawsuit, which names the landlord, Helmsley Spear and Swig Equities among the defendants, is seeking more than $342,000 from Swig.

Helmsley Spear and another Swig-helmed company, Falcon Pacific Construction, signed the sublease agreement at the 42-story tower in 2020. Swig is being sued because he personally guaranteed the rent, along with his firms.

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Swig, the son-in-law of developer Harry Macklowe and Brown Harris Stevens co-chairman, took a major hit during the 2008 financial crisis. The once prominent office landlord was forced to sell off many of his buildings and repay tens of millions in debts to creditors.

Last year, Swig started dabbling in cryptocurrency, announcing a form of cryptocurrency tied to gold. Swig’s firm stated it would be able to extract gold from mines in Arizona, California and Nevada with the help of Apache Mill Tailings.

It didn’t take long, however, for questions to emerge about the venture and issues related to the mining firm. As of last May, the firm had yet to acquire any gold.

Westbrook recently lost one of its most significant tenants at 444 Madison Avenue. Burberry signed a 15-year lease to move its offices from the Plaza District office building to Tishman Speyer’s 11 West 42nd Street, across from Bryant Park.

The British fashion label had been on Madison Avenue since 2009, boasting top-of-tower signet for the property. The retailer also had stores in the building’s base, which are now up for rent through Cushman & Wakefield.

— Holden Walter-Warner