Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. Successfully Represents 35 West Realty Co., LLC, In Lease Amendment Dispute




35 West Realty CO., LLC v Booston LLC and Friedphil Realty Corp.

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. successfully represented the landlord, 35 West Realty, LLC (“35 West”), the owner of the building at 35 West 57 th Street in Manhattan, in a hotly contested dispute against the ground floor restaurant tenant, Booston LLC (“Tenant”). In a judgment obtained from Justice Charles E. Ramos, of the Commercial Division, NY County, the court ruled that a purported lease amendment giving the tenant a 20-year lease extension from 2020 to 2040 was void and unenforceable.

The Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. team that worked on the case was Warren A. Estis member of the firm.

35 West purchased the small 6-story building at issue in 2006. This building is considered extremely valuable to developers because of its prime location on West 57 th Street between 5 th and 6 th Avenues.

At the time of the purchase of the building, the seller, Friedphil Realty Corp., represented that the Tenant’s lease expired in 2020. Furthermore, all the lease documents furnished by the seller at the time showed that the lease expired in 2020.

After purchasing the building, 35 West entered into a lease amendment with Booston, in which the tenant never mentioned the existence of the disputed 20-year lease extension and ratified and confirmed only the original 20-year lease.

In 2012, the Tenant sued 35 West and obtained a Yellowstone injunction with respect to a default notice served by 35 West. Importantly, in its papers submitted to the court in that action, the Tenant stated that its lease expired in 2020 and again made no mention of the alleged 20-year lease extension.

In 2014, Booston, unexpectedly revealed the alleged 20-year lease extension. Thereafter, R&E commenced an action in New York Supreme Court against the Tenant seeking a declaratory judgment that the lease extension was invalid and that the lease expires in 2020. Booston moved for summary judgment and R&E cross-moved for summary judgment. In its judgment issued in March 2018, Justice Ramos agreed with R&E that the alleged lease amendment was null and void and of no force or effect, and that the lease expires in 2020. In addition, the Court stated that the Sheriff is directed to evict the Tenant from the premises if the Tenant does not vacate the premises on or before October 31, 2020. The Court also awarded 35 West its attorneys’ fees.