Vornado Realty Trust Sues Hongkun USA for $1.1M in Rent

Vornado’s Steve Roth and 888 Seventh Ave (Getty, Google Maps, iStock)

The latest tenant to be sued by Vornado Realty Trust for missing payments should know something about the importance of rent.

The tenant, Hongkun USA, is a real estate firm itself.

Vornado is suing the U.S. subsidiary of big Beijing-based homebuilder Hongkun for $1.1 million in back rent at 888 Seventh Avenue, according to Crain’s. Vornado says Hongkun skipped payments even after the two renegotiated terms during the pandemic.

Hongkun USA signed a lease for the 28th floor of the building in 2017. Under the agreement, it was paying about $133,000 per month.

But in April and May 2020, Hongkun failed to pay. Vornado arranged deferral agreements which pushed back April through June rent until the beginning of this year, when Hongkun was to pay it in 12 monthly installments, Crain’s reported.

The deal also deferred half of the rent from July through December until the beginning of this year, when Hongkun would pay it in three monthly installments.

But Hongkun did not pay and Vornado served a notice of default in early February, then ended the lease. However, Hongkun has still not vacated the premises. The firm recently released renderings of a 282-unit development it is planning for the Weehawken waterfront.

Vornado has sued tenants in other locations for skipping rent during the pandemic, including Planet Hollywood in Times Square, fashion retailer Elie Tahari on Fifth Ave and Dig Inn at 11 Penn Plaza.

[Crain’s] — Sasha Jones

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