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Gap Slaps Seaport Developer with Lawsuit Over Cancelled Lease

The Gap store at the South Street Seaport pre-Sandy, via Google Maps<span></span>
The Gap store at the South Street Seaport pre-Sandy, via Google Maps

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The redevelopment of the South Street Seaport has been anything but smooth sailing so far. After gaining approval from the City Council on plans for Pier 17—and agreeing to hold construction until after the profitable summer season—developer Howard Hughes Corp. has been hit with a lawsuit from the Gap. The megabrand joins a catering company and a cafe as the third Seaport tenant to threaten legal action against the developer.

Here's the backstory: Hughes has cancelled the leases of some Seaport tenants, citing Sandy-related damage. Apparently, the storm destruction triggers a clause in the stores' leases allowing termination. Said tenants are not pleased, and want to continue to operate at the Seaport. They feel that the developer is manipulating the situation to get longtime businesses out and effectively charge higher rent to more premium tenants.

Pier 17 will be a three-story mall topped with a green roof, completed by 2015. The other big retail stretch at the Seaport is the Uplands, on Fulton Street, which has been closed since Sandy. Some of those businesses are in negotiations to reopen, but Hughes Corp. said it is trying to "re-tenant" the row. A spokesperson for the developer added that the Uplands makeover, "will bring new specialty stores and restaurants while retaining existing brands." A Hughes executive hopes some of the stores will open by June or July.
· Seaport developer slapped with tenant lawsuits [Crain's]
· Finally: Pier 17 Shops Will Be Able to Stay Through Summer [Racked NY]

South Street Seaport

12 Fulton Street, New York, NY