This week I called Sudler Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Sergio Martinucci to get his angle on the eviction he was handed last week by a company owned by investor Ross Hilton Kemper, owner of the Palmolive Building at Walton Street and Michigan Avenue. A suit filed against Sudler claims the brokerage owes approximately $371,000 in back rent.
“How did it come to this?” I asked. Here’s what Sergio said:
“Believe me when I say it was totally out of the blue when they hit us with an eviction notice. They never gave any hint.
“It’s in black and white, not ‘he said, she said.’ We were promised a nine-by-nine sign on Michigan Avenue and never got it. Realistically, we’re on the third floor of the Palmolive Building – it’s not like someone walking down Michigan Avenue is going to walk in, take the elevator to the third floor and buy and sell property.
“We assumed and had frank discussions that the adjusted rent was in lieu of the sign. We wound up paying something around half. They took and cashed it and, for all we knew, were very satisfied.”
What about the lawsuit?
“We’ll provide an official response at the proper time and seek a dismissal. We’ve paid on time and if anything we’re owed money.”