Sign Company and SoHo Building Owner Agree to Pay Record Fine for Illegal Signs

Illegal signs on 598 Broadway

Illegal signs on 598 Broadway. Credit: LPC

Owner of 598 Broadway and Colossal Media Group repeatedly installed advertising signs without Landmarks’ approval. On May 4, 2012, the New York City Law Department and the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced that 598 Broadway Realty Associates and Colossal had reached a settlement agreement with the City to remove the existing illegal signs on the building facade facing Houston Street and to pay $225,000 in civil fines. According to the Law Department, this was the first lawsuit filed against an owner of a landmarked building for failing to obtain a sign permit. It is also the highest fine paid by an owner for failing to obtain a sign permit from Landmarks. As part of the settlement, Colossal also agreed to either remove or legalize signs on other buildings under Landmarks’ jurisdiction. These buildings, including 343 Canal Street, 438 Broome Street, 59 Grand Street, and 60 Grand Street, are all within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe had issued a preliminary injunction ordering removal of the signs on November 14, 2012 (read CityLand’s coverage here). The settlement terminates the litigation.

Press Release: City Nets Record Settlement from Sign Company and Building Owner Who Repeatedly Installed Illegal Wall Signs on Landmarked Building, New York City Law Department Press Release, May 4, 2011.

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