Live Nation faces $47 million lawsuit over Times Square property
Live Nation is facing a $47 million property lawsuit in Manhattan. A lawsuit filed in New York the week of November 23 alleges that the ticketing and events company owes back rent and demolition fees for a four-story space in Times Square‘s 106-year-old Candler Tower, leased to McDonalds in 2003. Live Nation held a 20-year lease for Candle Tower, but upon its decision to leave the building in 2017 for favor of an office on Manhattan’s West side, subsequently subleased the vacant space in Candle Tower to other tenants. McDonalds was among those tenants.
In June, the fast food retailer left the Times Square location, a move made to “focus on serving customers a few blocks away at the new flagship McDonalds on 45th and Broadway,” according to McDonalds officials. Live Nation’s lawsuit worries arose three months later when its 20-year lease expired, prompting the company to return the keys to Epic LLC, the real estate management entity that owns the historic building.
Epic LLC argues that the ticketing company didn’t do its part in removing “all fixtures, equipment, improvements and appurtenances” before handing over the keys, such as the McDonalds’ “freezer and refrigeration units that were installed after the [Live Nation] lease was executed.” The complaint filed by Epic LLC’s lawyers reads,
“The heights of floors and ceilings were altered in the restaurant area and mezzanine levels were installed between floors, all after the Lease was executed, which reduced the square footage available on the second floor. To correct these conditions, among others, Plaintiff will be forced to, inter alia, infill the second floor concrete floor slab, remove the mezzanines, remove or adjust the locations of mechanical, electrical, sprinkler, fire alarm and plumbing installations in the Premises, and return the Premises to New York City code compliant condition.”
Epic posits that the necessary renovations will take between 14 and 16 months, during which period it expects Live Nation to continue paying rent for a total surpassing $40 million. Although the fines may only be a drop in the bucket for the $14 billion events company, the litigation is expected to be contested. Live Nation has yet to comment on the story.
Featured image: Mark Lennihan