Gym Chain Equinox Hit With Another Lawsuit for Skipping Rent
High-end gym chain Equinox has another Manhattan landlord coming after it for back rent.
The owners of SoHo’s 568 Broadway — a trio of investors led by Allied Partners — filed a lawsuit against Equinox, claiming that the gym owes more than $3.3 million in unpaid rent and other fees, according to the complaint filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Representatives from Allied and Equinox did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Allied’s lawyer, Jerry Montag, declined to comment.
The lawsuit was first reported by Crain’s New York Business.
Equinox originally leased space at 568 Broadway in 2005, but starting in April 2020, it stopped ponying up for the space, according to court records.
The 568 Broadway lawsuit is at least the third that Equinox is facing for not forking over its rent for Manhattan locations.
In February, the owners of 14 Wall Street and 196 Orchard Street filed separate lawsuits, claiming that Equinox owes a combined $2.7 million in rent.
The gym chain — which counts Related Companies as a major investor — made headlines early on during the coronavirus pandemic, when it sent a letter to the owners of its more than 300 locations, notifying them that it wouldn’t pay April 2020’s rent because it was forced to temporarily shutter locations.
That news came the same week that Jeff Blau, CEO of Related, chastised other tenants on national television for doing the same, saying that the pandemic was “not an excuse” to miss rent.
A Related spokesperson previously told Commercial Observer that Equinox is a separate entity that makes its own decisions.
Meanwhile, Equinox — which also owns SoulCycle — has reportedly been in talks to go public through a blank-check company that could value Equinox for at least $9 billion.
Gyms, though, face a particularly uncertain future post-pandemic, as users might not be so quick to flock back to them after living more than a year with a virus spread, in large part, through bodily droplets. But that hasn’t stopped landlords from talking them up as amenity draws for tenants post-COVID.
Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.