Judge rules D.C. fitness company must pay $8.2M in back rent

Byndfit, the D.C. health club startup that hoped to revolutionize the fitness industry, was hit Tuesday with a judgment of nearly $8.2 million for failure to pay rent at Terrell Place in Chinatown.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe ruled that Beacon Capital Partners had shown that a Byndfit affiliate had defaulted on the terms of its lease. She said the landlord rightfully kicked the tenant out of its space at 650 F St. NW, an office building across the street from Capital One Arena in D.C.

Tuesday’s ruling came more than a year after another Superior Court judge found Byndfit could be evicted for nonpayment of rent.

Byndfit, co-foundered by Ryan Macaulay and Raymond Rahbar, had hoped to establish a series of gyms, potentially leading to a franchise model, following the launch of its initial concept in Chinatown in the early days of the pandemic, per court documents. The idea never got off the ground, however, and Byndfit’s landlord first notified the tenant it had defaulted on the terms of its lease in April 2020.

An attorney for Byndfit, Zachary Boron of Charnoff Simpson PLLC, made no substantive arguments and called no witnesses Tuesday in effort to counter the $8,167,881.64 in unpaid rent sought by Terrell Place. All parties acknowledged during Tuesday’s hearing that prior court rulings had struck down all of Byndfit’s potential defenses, leaving only a ruling on damages to be determined at Tuesday’s hearing.

The judge set another hearing for May 21 to consider ruling on attorneys fees and related costs not included in Tuesday’s judgment.

Pipe’s ruling capped a “bloodbath of filings” by Byndfit lawyers meant to delay eviction and court rulings on damages, per James Sadowski, an attorney with Greenstein Delorme & Luchs PC who representing the landlord. During an opening statement Tuesday, Sadowski said the Byndfit affiliate failed to respond to default notices and requests to cure breaches of other lease terms, leading ultimately to its April 2023 eviction from the space.

Included in those alleged delay tactics were several related-party bankruptcy cases subsequently dismissed by their respective courts, including one filed in early April in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria that was dismissed April 26.

Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs, P.C.