A commercial landlord is claiming that local food vendors are responsible for lost income totaling close to a million dollars. And the landlord is suing the city to get it, The Real Deal first reported.
Landlord Rymsbran Continental and its LLC Adar 28 is part of a family-run business that owns the space at 2341-59 Broadway between 85th and 86th streets. According to the lawsuit, they’re fed up with “constant problems of unlicensed vendors selling home made food constantly Monday through Saturday.”
The complaint goes on to allege that a “van parked on the Street with a trunk of food … is adversely affecting the business operations of the subject premises, including in particular the Pizzeria and the fruit and vegetable and grocery store and the rental of the vacant store at the subject premises.”
The pizza place is cited as Syros Pizza Corp (a.k.a. Bravo West Pizza), a business which reportedly deducted $12,000.00 per month in rent before it “left and vacated the subject premises due to the substantial interference with their business” by the so called “illegal vendors.” The landlord plaintiff claims they’ve subsequently lost $180,000 in rent as a result and that they cannot rent the corner store on 86th and Broadway because the vendors scare off potential customers and make it “very undesirable.” The inability to rent this space has allegedly cost the plaintiffs at least $540,000.
The grocery store in question is Broadway Farm (a.k.a. Broadway Fruit Market LLC), which occupies the northwest corner of 85th and Broadway. The plaintiffs claim this business is the one “most severely economically damaged” due to the vendors obstructing the sidewalk. The grocer now pays $14,000 less in rent since September 2022 “due to these horrific conditions,” according to the complaint. The requested damages suffered by the plaintiffs as they relate to this store are $210,000 to date.
The landlord believes the city is responsible for the damages because of an obligation to regulate these types of vendors through various city agencies. The plaintiffs claim they’ve made repeated and “constant” requests for help from the city since September 1, 2022, including calling 311, but these complaints have been willfully ignored. When the police responded, no action was taken because the city directed the officers not to do anything, according to the lawsuit.
Exactly why the landlord believes the vendors lack the appropriate city permissions is unclear. The plaintiffs’ papers only state that “[t]he vendors on the street between 85th Street and 86th Street have no license or permit to sell food and have no license on display” and “have been threatening and combative when asked to display a license.”
Notably, neither Broadway Farm nor Syros/Bravo West are part of the lawsuit as of writing. However, individuals from both stores are cited as potential witnesses, along with others from Juice Generation and Jeffrey Stein Salon. However, the initial filing does not state that they’ve been impacted by the vendors.
In addition to seeking $930,00 in financial damages, the landlord is also seeking punitive damages against the city.