It’s rather poetic that Amazon, the company responsible for taking so much of retail online, would eventually run afoul of a company dealing with brick-and-mortar properties.
Amazon is currently on the receiving end of a $25 million lawsuit from a New York real estate company, which alleges the e-commerce giant reneged on a long-term rental agreement for more than 300,000 square feet in Midtown Manhattan.
Filed on Friday, the Durst Organization (a developer of One World Trade Center) says that Amazon filed a letter of intent stating that it planned to rent 10 floors of one of Durst’s Midtown Manhattan office buildings, only to sign a 17-year deal with another developer for a space near the Empire State Building. Amazon has been using that location for office space and as a hub for its one-hour delivery service.
Durst claims to have spent $1.6 million in renovating the building for Amazon’s purposes and says Amazon was dishonest about talking with other real estate companies about alternative venues to rent.
“In our business, when you make a commitment it means something,” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesperson for Durst. “Unfortunately this was lost on Amazon.” Amazon has yet to issue a statement.
Durst is asking for $20 million from Amazon for the annual rent it would have received had the company moved in, alongside an extra $5 million for damages.