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NYU, Olmstead resolve legal drama at 180 Varick Street

Landlord served university with lease termination notice at Hudson Square building in November

April 11, 2016
By Rey Mashayekhi

180 Varick Street

180 Varick Street in Hudson Square (inset: Samuel Rosenblatt)

It appears New York University and Olmstead Properties’ legal dispute over NYU’s lease at a Hudson Square office building really was much ado about nothing, with the two sides settling the university’s lawsuit against the Garment District-based landlord last week.

On Friday, NYU and OlmsteadTRData LogoTINY “fully and completely” resolved a complaint filed late last year by the university, which claimed the Samuel Rosenblatt-led firm wrongfully sought to terminate NYU Langone Medical Center’s tenancy at 180 Varick Street.

Olmstead served NYU with a five-day lease termination notice in November to vacate its space at the 17-story building, where the university’s medical school operates a cancer research facility. NYU subsequently fired back with a lawsuit against the landlord and successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against Olmstead.

NYU’s suit detailed the motivations behind the lease termination notice, which centered on the NYU’s alleged failure to address several building violations at 180 Varick Street – including outstanding mechanic’s liens and Department of Buildings citations for problems with the property’s dumbwaiter.

But the two sides settled with minimum fuss, acknowledging that “any and all alleged violations [at 180 Varick] are resolved,” according to the New York state Supreme Court filing Friday.

Olmstead also withdrew its lease termination notice and acknowledged NYU’s 15-year lease at the 329,000-square-foot property, which it signed in 2010 for the fifth through eighth floors of the building.

The only compensation awarded in wake of the dispute is a $2,500 payment by NYU to Olmstead to cover the landlord’s costs and fees in relation to the legal action.

Lucas Ferrara of law firm Newman Ferrara LLP represented NYU, while Jeffrey Klarsfeld of Platte, Klarsfeld, Levine & Lachtman LLP represented Olmstead. Neither attorney returned requests for comment.

NYU Langone uses the space at 180 Varick to conduct research work on ovarian cancer, Barth Syndrome, HIV and gene therapy. In its complaint, the university said Olmstead’s lease termination notice would result in a “significant disruption and threaten ongoing research projects and experiments.”

Klarsfeld told The Real Deal in November that NYU was “in the process of removing the violations that were the basis of the [lease termination] notice,” and said Olmstead’s goal was “to cure a response from the tenant” and “get these violations and mechanic’s liens off the building.”