The landlord, 535-545 Fee LLC, claims in court papers that NBA Media Ventures LLC missed two monthly rent payments of $625,000 and now owes $1,257,412.96, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. A version of the suit was published online by Law360.com.
In addition to the two payments of $625,000, the lawsuit also calls for the association to pay metered water charges of $349.91, metered steam charges of $3,839.64, and late interest charges of $3,223.41, court papers show.
An NBA spokesperson told FOX Business the store had no choice but to close as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit," spokesperson Mike Bass said in an emailed statement. "We have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to work directly with our landlord to resolve this matter in a manner that is fair to all parties.”
The building, located at 545 Fifth Avenue, is home to the NBA Store and is emblazoned with the famous NBA logo on its front door. .
“To our global fans," a message posted to the store's website states. "We are working very loosely with the appropriate government and health-related authorities to help limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on the current situation in the U.S., and in an abundance of caution to ensure the utmost safety of our employees and customers, the NBA Store in New York will be closed for the time being.”
The NBA has leased space from the ground floor and lower level, as well as the entire second floor of the building, since 2014, the suit states.
It’s far from the first big-name entity to be sued for failure to pay rent.
According to Law360.com, AMC Theaters was hit with a $7.5 million suit for neglecting to pay up, while Ross Stores is facing a $5.5. million lawsuit and The Gap Inc. is accused of owing $530,000 in unpaid rent.
In addition to the overdue payments, Tuesday's lawsuit is seeking at least $20,000 to go toward attorney fees.
This story was updated to include a statement from NBA spokesperson Mike Bass.