Aug 11, 2005

CBGB's can stay ... for now

CBGB, the legendary punk venue in NYC had been threatened with eviction because of about four years of unpaid rent increases, interest, and fees.

However, yesterday a civil court judge ruled that the club can't be evicted, because it "shouldn't be punshed for not noticing it owed its landlord money."

The dispute involved about $100,000 in rent increases, interest and fees. The club says the increases went unpaid for four years because of a bookkeeping mix-up. CBGB's said it wasn't billed for the increases, but Rosenblatt said the increases were clearly stated in the lease. CBGB's rent is $19,000 a month.

In her ruling, Judge Joan Kenney praised the club's impact on the neighborhood, which she said was plagued by "destitution, degradation and substance abuse" when the club opened in 1973.

"CBGB has proven itself worthy of being recognized as a landmark -- a rare achievement for any commercial tenant in the ever diverse and competitive real estate market of New York City," she wrote in the ruling, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press by the Save CBGB's Coalition.

"It would be unconscionable for this court to allow petitioner to proceed with its intent to evict CBGB ... because it failed to notice that monies were outstanding for approximately four years," the judge wrote.
Cool. I'm a big fan of holding onto historical places for as long as we can. I mean, so many bands have played here: Blondie, Joan Jett, The Plasmatics, The Ramones, etc. I've never been inside (I hear the bathroom is legendary), but I walked past it once a few years ago on my way to Webster Hall with some friends.

The lease expires at the end of this month, and it's still not known whether it will be renewed.

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