At least two former Manhattan Mall retailers have sued landlord Steve Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust over their recent evictions from the mall to make way for a new 150,000-square-foot J.C. Penney department store.
Proprietors of Pretzel Time and Square One Shoes & Clothing each claim in separate lawsuits that their leases were prematurely and illegally terminated last month.
Lawyers for Square One have argued that the construction of a new J.C. Penney was "secretly planned in October 2006 — but not publicly disclosed until months later."
The clothier’s lease for 8,200 square feet inside the mall was signed just six weeks before Vornado acquired the building for $689 million, yet the prior landlord made no mention of the pending sale, according to court papers.
Pretzel Time, meanwhile, had invested nearly $300,000 in renovations required by the prior landlord and was just two years into its 10-year lease renewal when Vornado abruptly terminated its stay, court papers show.
Both retailers are seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.