By  on August 19, 2009

A Manhattan property owner that ended a lease with Steven Madden Ltd.’s retail unit to make way for a Guess store sued Guess Retail Inc. after the denim and sportswear company allegedly backed out of the new agreement.

According to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Aug. 14, 720 Lex Acquisition LLC agreed in June 2008 to rent its entire building at 720 Lexington Avenue to Guess.

The 15-year lease called for the Los Angeles-based brand to pay $30 million in rent over its term. The lease was to begin no later than Aug. 1, court documents showed.

As part of the preparation for its new tenant, the property owner said it terminated a lease with the building’s previous occupant, Steve Madden Retail Inc.

Those arrangements notwithstanding, 720 Lex said it was informed on May 20 by Guess that the fashion brand didn’t intend to take over the space.

The landlord has accused Guess of breach of contract and is seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.

Neither Guess nor its attorney returned calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

According to documents filed with the New York City Department of Finance, 720 Lex purchased the building in February 2007 for $14 million.

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