Restaurateur Fights Lease Termination; Retailers Negotiating Lower Rents

January 15, 2009
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A big fight is taking place in New York City between Tishman Speyer Properties, landlord of the famed Rockefeller Center, and one of its tenant’s—the Ciprianis—who have lost their lease for the Rainbow Room.

Tishman Speyer Properties is terminating the Ciprianis’ lease for failing to pay rent since September 2008, according to The New York Times. The Ciprianis challenged a rent increase, which was imposed when the family renewed its lease almost a year ago. The matter went into arbitration, and the Ciprianis’ rent was decreased. However, Tishman Speyer still wants to end the lease for failure to pay back rent. However, the Cipriani family said that it plans to fight the lease termination in court.

Meanwhile, big-name retailers are starting to renegotiate for lower rents and asking for more concessions as their leases come up for renewal. Among the well-recognized retailers are stores such as Office Depot, Pier 1 Imports, and the Gap. Some of the landlords are concerned about losing anchor stores in their shopping centers and finding new tenants to replace them.