Century 21 again Victorious in ongoing Dispute with Landlord over NYC Lease

November 21, 2023 | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Appeals

The Appellate Division, First Department handed Century 21 another critical and decisive legal victory in the ongoing dispute over the fate of the famed department store.

Century 21’s longstanding right to remain in its flagship store in lower Manhattan was fiercely challenged by its landlord who claimed that Century 21’s leasehold interest had been effectively terminated in January, 2022.  Rivkin Radler’s team led by Evan Krinick, David M. Grill and Evan Schieber, initially persuaded the Supreme Court that the landlord’s interpretation of the various interrelated agreements that govern Century 21’s rights was incorrect, and that Century 21 did, in fact, have a long-term lease.

The Appellate Division First Department, in construing the agreements, and in unanimously upholding the Supreme Court’s ruling, determined that Century 21’s long-term lease was valid and in full force and effect, thereby confirming Century 21’s right to remain in its flagship store in downtown Manhattan for the next 100 years. Unwilling to admit defeat, the landlord then moved to reargue the Appellate Division’s decision urging that the Court overlooked key provisions in the various documents and failed to properly analyze the parties’ rights and obligations.

On November 14, 2023, the Appellate Division granted the landlord’s motion and ruled that its prior decision was recalled and vacated in favor of a new decision rendered in its stead. The Appellate Division’s new decision not only firmly upheld its prior unanimous support for Century 21 but was drafted to further bolster its holding by including additional facts and analysis proffered by Rivkin Radler.

This dramatic decision marks the latest in a string of important victories for Century 21 and all but cements its continued presence in downtown NYC.

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