43rd Street Deli Inc. v Paramount Leasehold L.P.

Rosenberg & Estis represented Paramount Leasehold L.P., the landlord of 43rd Street Deli, Inc., which operated a lucrative pizzeria in the building at 1501 Broadway, known as Bella Vita Pizzeria. A dispute between the parties arose with respect to alleged overcharges for water used at the premises. 43rd Street Deli claimed that the bills were overstated and withheld payment and ultimately brought an action for a declaration to that effect. It eventually came time for 43rd Street Deli to exercise its five-year renewal option. The landlord rejected the exercise of the option claiming that 43rd Street Deli was in monetary default under its lease and was therefore unable to renew. The monetary default was based on 43rd Street Deli’s continued nonpayment for water and its nonpayment of percentage rent due for the years 2005 through 2010. 43rd Street Deli then amended its complaint to include a claim that it had properly exercised the renewal option and was not in default at the time the renewal term was supposed to begin. After a four-day trial in August 2018, the Court (Joel M. Cohen, J.) ruled in favor of Paramount, holding that 43rd Street Deli did not properly renew the lease because it was in monetary default at the time the renewal term was supposed to have commenced. The Court declared 43rd Street Deli to be a holdover, awarded Paramount a judgment of possession, and held that Paramount, as the prevailing party, was entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees. 43rd Street Deli is now out of possession and the parties are proceeding with an attorneys’ fee hearing before a Special Referee to determine how much in attorneys’ fees will be awarded to Paramount.