Legally experienced chef Todd English — the man knows his way around a lawsuit — is named in a lawsuit against Kushner Companies, his landlord for a planned Midtown food hall, claiming the company lied about the terms of the lease to his partner in the hall OHM Concession Group. But Kushner Companies today plans to file a countersuit against English and partner OHM alleging that they fell behind in renovating the space and owe nearly $100,000 in unpaid rent, The Real Deal reports.
OHM’s suit reportedly (and hilariously) accuses Kushner Companies of using “alternative facts” in the lease, originally describing a bridge area in front of the nearly 12,000-square-foot space at 229 West 43rd St., between Seventh and Eighth avenues, as part of the lease. English and OHM planned to install a high-end Champagne bar there, and now the loss of the space will reportedly cause a 20 percent loss in annual net operating income, or $6 million, as well as a loss of 90 percent of its expected foot traffic, according to The Real Deal.
Kushner reportedly recently told English and OHM that the space was actually going to be shared with neighboring tenant National Geographic. Kushner denies this, saying the bridge was always a shared space. Spokesperson Christine Taylor tells The Real Deal that OHM filed the suit to head off the one that Kushner will file today.
”OHM, aware that we were about to file a lawsuit against them for being in default of their lease agreement for not opening their food hall by the date set in the lease, rushed to file their own suit filled with untruths, misrepresentations, and salacious and false accusations in an attempt to litigate in the press rather than meet their plain leasehold obligations,” she said.
OHM signed with Kushner in August 2016 and initial reports planned a summer 2017 opening, which has long come and gone. Since the lease was signed, English backed out of a Chelsea food hall and was sued for sexual harassment. They now want to end the lease with Kushner Companies and are suing for $3 million in damages.