NEW YORK — In a dispute that stretches across two adjacent buildings on West 40th Street, Donna Karan’s landlord wants over $1.1 million in back rent.
Donna Karan Co.’s landlord, 240 West 40th, manager of the building at 240 West 40th Street, filed suit against DKC in April for back rent. It said that DKC hasn’t sent a rent check since February, even though the firm has two paying subtenants, LC Libra, a part of Liz Claiborne, and Oxford Industries, in the space. The amount due for base rent on the day the suit was filed was $558,881, with another $568,641 due for rent increases, taxes and electricity.
DKC, now part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, had claimed it overpaid its rent obligations to TRS Associates, DK’s original landlord at the 240 site, and 240 between December 1994 and December 2001, and that it was entitled to compensation. DKC also leases space next door at 250 West 40th Street, albeit with a different landlord, and claimed in a lawsuit filed in 2000 that its landlords at 240 had given it permission to break through the walls of the buildings for “convenient access.” DKC said that at its request, it was also given permission to post a guard in the lobby at 240.
Court documents were filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and just came to WWD’s attention. Karan officials were unavailable for comment.
Shortly after DKC commenced its action, the defendants notified the firm that it had acted without authority in using the entrance to the 240 building for access to the 250 building and in keeping a guard in the lobby. They also said that they didn’t give DKC permission to combine fire alarm systems for the adjoining buildings.