A McDonald’s located in Times Square has literally made a federal case out of the fact that it may be forced to pay rent for its huge iconic golden arches sign.
The branch of the world leading franchise rents its space on 1560 Broadway near West 46th Street from 1522 Broadway Retail Owner LLC, which is associated with the New York real estate mogul Jeff Sutton.
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According to a report in The New York Post, the McDonald’s tried to renew its lease in June for the space that it has occupied for the past 30 years. But the landlords insisted on charging rent for the old sign commiserate with what it would receive for allowing someone to rent the space on the outside of the building for an LED billboard.
The McDonald’s has asserted that there should be no extra rent charged for the sign since it has never been asked to pay for it in the past. It has asked a federal judge to bar any such rental fees being imposed.
The real question here is why this is a Federal case and not an issue to be determined by a local court based on New York City Laws?
Aren’t landlords allowed to raise the rents at their discretion? If there are any local ordinances that protect businesses from rent gauging then surely this is a local matter.