A New York Judge Has Ordered Pace Gallery to Pay $6.3 Million to a Real Estate Firm

The company CBRE alleges that it helped Pace secure a new lease in 2015 but the gallery refused to pay commission fees.

Pace Gallery's flagship location at 540 West 25th Street, New York. Photo: Thomas Loof. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

A New York District Court jury has ruled that Pace Gallery must pay one of the city’s biggest real estate firms, CBRE, $6.3 million.

The decision, which was first reported by ARTnews, effectively concludes a dispute between the two parties that goes back five years.

In April 2017, CBRE filed a complaint alleging that Pace owed the firm over $3 million in commissions for assisting the gallery in securing a new location for its flagship branch in the neighborhood of Chelsea. 

The filing claims that Pace’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Harnden met with real estate broker and CBRE Senior Vice President Stuart Siegel in early 2014 to discuss the agreement. The two allegedly agreed CBRE would have the “exclusive right to locate, negotiate and secure a lease for Pace.” For the rest of that year, the complaint explains, Siegel worked to identify new potential locations. 

In 2015, Harnden advised Siegel that Pace had agreed to terms with Weinberg Properties, the development company that owns the building the gallery already occupied at 540 West 25th Street, on a new lease at the same location.

In the court document, CBRE alleged that it was owed a market rate of $3 million for Siegel’s services. But because the final lease negotiation occurred directly between Pace and Weinberg Properties, Harnden said the gallery would not pay CBRE’s commission fee. 

Last week, the case went before a jury, which ordered Pace to pay $6,308,604 in damages.

CBRE’s lawyer confirmed the jury’s verdict but declined to comment further. A Pace spokesperson did not respond to Artnet News’s request for comment, nor did the gallery’s attorney in the case. Pace can still appeal the jury’s decision.


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