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Big Retailers, Landlords, On Collision Course

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October 12, 2020

By early summer the statistics were already grim, with fewer than a third of retail tenants paying as little as 75 percent of their rent, according to a recent industry study. In Manhattan average asking rents along 16 major retail corridors declined for the 11th consecutive quarter, according to another report, as the number of available ground floor retail leases hit a record high. While many parties are engaged in sometimes frantic negotiations, trying to stay out of court, some major litigation has already commenced. In one high profile case, Miami landlord Bal Harbour Shops tried to evict Saks Fifth Avenue for failure to pay $1.8 million in rent. The retailer has countersued, alleging alleging defamation, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. In another high profile suit-and- countersuit, a theater chain in Texas is in court with its landlord, in San Antonio. The theater chain’s attorney, from law firm Arnall Golden Gregory, sees a lot more landlord-tenant litigation in the cards.  “I think we are just now getting to the biggest problems,” he says.

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