Amazon Sued by Real Estate Group, Probably Not Opening NYC Retail

by MR Magazine Staff

AmazonOnline retail giant Amazon, which inked a 17-year lease with Vornado Realty Trust for office space at 7 West 34th Street in Manhattan last fall, is being sued by another real estate group, the Durst Organization, for pulling out of an 11-year deal for office space at 1133 Sixth Avenue.

According to the Daily News, which broke the story, billionaire Douglas Durst’s company is suing Amazon for $25 million, citing a letter of intent from last July. The Durst Organization spent over $1 million to prepare the space for Amazon when it learned that the retailer had signed the lease with Vornado.
“Amazon deliberately misled Durst to believe that the negotiations remained exclusive, with knowledge that Durst would continue to rely on such representations and continue to prepare the premises for Amazon’s occupancy,” the real estate group said in court documents.

The Durst space, at Sixth Avenue and 44th Street, was 310,290 sq. ft. and the Vornado lease at 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building, is for 470,000 sq. ft.

According to a report by Forbes, the property did not include any potential retail space. That backs up what Amazon has been saying all along—that there are no plans for a New York brick-and-mortar retail space. It was reported in October that Amazon may be considering a retail store along with the office space on 34th Street.

“We have leased this building primarily as corporate office space and we intend to sublease to other tenants the ground-floor retail space,” a spokeswoman for Amazon told Bloomberg in November.