August 25, 2017 News

Morrison Cohen Successfully Obtains TRO for Client to Prevent Interference by Landlord during the Remaining Lease Term and to Preserve Tenant’s Ability to Renew the Lease

August 25, 2017 – Morrison Cohen successfully obtained a temporary restraining order in a Yellowstone and preliminary injunction action in New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division.  Morrison Cohen’s client 205-215 Lexington Avenue Associates LLC (“Tenant”) possesses a valuable ground lease interest (the “Lease”) in a commercial high-rise building at 205 Lexington Avenue in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan (the “Premises”). 

Tenant inadvertently neglected to exercise timely its renewal right under the Lease; when Tenant became aware of the issue and promptly gave notice, landlord, 201-203 Lexington Avenue Corp. (“Landlord”) rejected the notice as untimely.  Tenant then made clear to Landlord its equitable renewal right based on Tenant’s (i) significant improvement to the Premises made with intent to renew the Lease, (ii) excusable neglect in failing to renew timely, and (iii) lack of prejudice to Landlord in permitting renewal (in light, inter alia, of a “rent reset” Lease provision entitling Landlord to a market adjustment in the renewal term). 

When Landlord still unreasonably withheld its consent to the Lease renewal, Morrison Cohen, on behalf of Tenant, filed an Order to Show Cause seeking a Yellowstone and Preliminary Injunction and a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Landlord from interfering with Tenant’s use and enjoyment during the remaining lease term or entering into a new lease with a third party prior to determination of Tenant’s equitable renewal right.  Justice Jaffe, sitting in for Justice Scarpulla, granted Tenant’s application for a TRO.  Hearing on the injunctive relief is set for next month.   

The Morrison Cohen team included Y. David Scharf, Alvin C. Lin, and Jed E. Dinnerstein.