Vornado Threatens to Evict Crunch Gym From UES Co-op for Noise

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Vornado Realty Trust is trying to kick Crunch gym out of the retail space at an Upper East Side co-op after a neighbor complained that the gym was making too much noise, according to court documents filed earlier this month.

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A co-op owner at 201 East 66th Street has repeatedly complained that Crunch was playing music too loud, violating both the gym’s 15-year lease with Vornado and Vornado’s long-term contract on the space, according to the complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court. In response, Crunch has tried sound-proofing its 9,000-square-foot space between Second and Third Avenues by building a sound-isolating “floating” wood floor and installing acoustic ceiling tiles, per the court documents.

But, its sound-proofing efforts weren’t enough to satisfy the co-op. The board reminded Vornado that it would be in violation of its proprietary lease for the space if it allowed its tenant to exceed the New York City noise code. So in February, Vornado hired a consultant to monitor the gym’s activities, and the consultant found that its noise was within the city’s legal limit, according to the legal documents. Crunch cancelled a particularly loud early-morning class and took other measures to reduce the sound it created, including mounting its speakers on vibration-isolating neoprene pads, moving weight racks and subwoofers away from the walls, and “instructing patrons to place (rather than drop) weights onto fitness mats during classes.”

After the co-op board received more noise complaints, Vornado notified Crunch that it was defaulting on its lease in early June, and that if it didn’t stop violating the noise conditions of its lease, then it would face eviction. Crunch’s director of leasing replied two weeks later that it would make additional efforts to reduce the noise and hoped to negotiate with the landlord to avoid defaulting on the lease.

A source familiar with the situation told Commercial Observer that Vornado and Crunch are trying to resolve the matter outside of court.

A Vornado spokesman declined to comment on the matter, and Crunch’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Gyms have been facing eviction attempts thanks to noise complaints as fitness concepts have proliferated across the city over the past few years. A judge attempted to boot a CrossFit gym from a Chelsea condo building on West 17th Street in early 2015, but ultimately the gym appealed the decision and still operates in the space. And in February 2016, landlord Clipper Equity tried to evict Equinox from its retail space at the base of a luxe Tribeca rental tower at 50 Murray Street, The New York Post reported.