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Contracts Keyed to Kunz
J.N.A. Realty Corp. v. Cross Bay Chelsea, Inc.
Citation:366 N.E.2d 1313 (N.Y. 1977)
Plaintiff originally leased the building premises to the Vascellero’s for a 10-year term starting on January 1, 1964. The lease granted the Vascellero’s, as the tenants, an option to renew for another 10-year term. The Vascellero’s opened a restaurant on the premises and formed the Foro Romano Corp. and assigned the lease to the corporation. Three years after entering the lease, the restaurant was operating at a loss. For this reason, Foro decided to close and offer it for sale or lease. About a year later, Foro entered into a contract with Defendant to sell the restaurant and assign the lease. As a condition of the sale, Foro was required to obtain a modification of the option to renew so Defendant would have the right to renew the lease for an additional 24-year term. Plaintiff accordingly modified the option and consented to the assignment to Defendant who reopened the restaurant. Plaintiff claims that throughout the tenancy it regularly informed Defendant in writing of their obligations under the lease. However, Plaintiff did not take any action to inform Defendant that the option had lapsed until November 1973 when Plaintiff sent a letter noting that the date had passed and stated that since Defendant has been silent on this point, they assume Defendant will vacate the premises at the expiration of the original term January 1, 1974. Defendant responded four days later via written notice stating their intention to renew the option. Plaintiff refused to honor Defendant’s option to renew.
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