An affiliate of Quinlan Development Group, in a joint venture with Building & Land Technology, recently closed on the acquisition of 41 Flatbush Ave. for $89.4 million. Also, ClearSlide Inc. has signed a four-year lease with Tishman Speyer Properties at 183 Madison Ave. for nearly 10,000 square feet.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Heights Properties 1388 v. Make Realty,” where the court ruled that a corporation’s bylaws prohibited the secretary from executing contracts for the sale of property and held the sales contact invalid, and “New York City Housing Authority v. Feliciano, where a tenant was awarded 100 percent rent abatement for the Housing Authority’s failure to correct violations occurring after Hurricane Sandy.
In his Zoning and Land Use Planning article, Anthony Guardino explains how the requirements under the State Environmental Quality Review Act are not necessarily over when a site plan is approved. In many instances, applicable regulations and court decisions mandate preparation of a supplemental environmental impact statement before work on a project can begin, or continue.
Dolce & Gabbana has designs on 155 Mercer St. for the opening of a new store in SoHo, between West Houston and Prince streets. Also, Vodafone Group, one of the world's largest telecommunication companies, has doubled the size of its office at 560 Lexington Ave.
In their Financing column, Jeffrey B. Steiner and Jason R. Goldstein discuss limiting the scope of a guarantor's liability upon a mortgage lender's exercise of remedies and offer a sample provision drafted in a manner that in many circumstances will render it acceptable to a commercial real estate mortgage lender.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “The Board of Managers of 266 West 115th Street Condominium v. 266 West 115th Street,” where the court held that triable issues precluded dismissal of contract breach claim but that alter ego claim was maintainable, and “Merry-Go-Round v. City of Auburn,” where it was held that a theater group was entitled to tax exemption status on apartment buildings it used to house actors.
Mayer Brown has relocated its New York City offices to 1221 Avenue of the Americas in Rockefeller Center, after nearly 20 years at 1675 Broadway. Also, Media General Inc. has leased the entire 62nd floor of the landmark Empire State Building
In their Construction Law column, Kenneth M. Block and Joshua M. Levy write: Since the exceptions to the no-damages-for-delay clause expose the developer to liability for a broad array of contractor-incurred damages, a properly crafted exculpatory clause and attention to the project-specific factors that could lead to delay are critical parts of any construction contract.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “201 W. 89th Owners v. Mostel,” where the court found in favor of a cigarette-smoking tenant, holding that subjective testimony as to the odor was insufficient to demonstrate violation of the lease, and “Parkchester Preservation Co. v. Randolph,” where it was held that a premises' owner waived its right to enforce a lease provision prohibiting dogs on the property after the dog’s presence was found to be open and notorious.
In their Rent Stabilization Column, Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel write: The Court of Appeals' Feb. 24, 2015 ruling in 'Conason v. Megan Holding' constitutes the high court's latest attempt to clarify the four-year rule, and features a spirited dissent by Judge Eugene F. Pigott.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “42nd and 10th Assoc. v. Ikezi ,” where the court held that using a residential apartment as a hotel room and profiteering off of it is ground for eviction and is incurable, as it undermines a purpose of the Rent Stabilization Code, and “Borden v. 400 East 55th Street Associates,” where the court pointed the way for classes to challenge rent overcharges.
The law firm of Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman has found office space in a new building—but with the same landlord it has had for the past 15 years. Also, OSP Group is on course to relocate to downtown Manhattan, opening its online virtual retail venue at One New York Plaza, at South and Whitehall streets.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews ‘Matter of Mary Veronica Santiago-Monteverde’, where the New York Court of Appeals held that a tenant's interest in her rent-stabilized lease was a ‘public assistance benefit,’ and thus exempt from her bankruptcy estate; and ‘56 7th Avenue, LLC v. Sobel,’ where it was held that a tenant's absence from his apartment for health reasons, was excusable.
In the second most-expensive office building deal in U.S. history, a joint venture of Ivanhoe Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties has purchased 1095 Avenue of the Americas for $2.2 billion. Also, Silverstein Properties has acquired a property at 520-530 W. 41st St. for more than $100 million.
Relocating its corporate headquarters to Philadelphia, the American Bible Society, a longtime institution at 1865 Broadway, has sold its West Side property for $300 million to AvalonBay Communities Inc. Also, Extell Development Company has relinquished the reins of 212 Fifth Ave. to the joint venture of Madison Equities, Building and Land Technology, and Thor Equities for $260 million.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Commerce Street Professional Center, LLC v. Connolly,” where the court held that a guarantor cannot be exposed to a greater obligation than he intended or consented to, and “Board of Managers of the 125 North 10th Condominium v. 125 North 10, LLC,” where it was held that a building’s managing agent was not responsible for the building's 'defective' design and construction.
In their Transactional Real Estate column, Peter E. Fisch and Mitchell L. Berg write: Over the last several years, sale-leasebacks have been implemented with increasing frequency, perhaps driven in part by a proliferation of real estate investment trusts and other institutional buyers seeking the stable returns these transactions provide.
Paris-based Publicis Groupe, one of the world's leading media firms, is expanding its New York City operations at 1675 Broadway. Also, digital advertising and media management software developer Centro Inc. has signed a lease with The Feil Organization for 26,235 square feet at 841 Broadway.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “US Bank Natl. Assoc. v. Williams,” where the Appellate Division addressed remedies for a lenders’ failure to act in good faith during foreclosure settlement conferences, and “Green Tree Servicing v. Christodoulakis,” where a borrower used proceeds from an unrecorded mortgage to satisfy a recorded mortgage, prompting a court ordered attachment and a finding that unjust enrichment does not require a finding of wrongdoing.
Adam Leitman Bailey and Jeffrey R. Metz write: "Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 117 rental buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn were converted to cooperative or condominium ownership. Many of the units contained therein were deregulated." The article then explores what rights the tenants of these units have vis-à-vis rent-regulated tenants when a building is being converted, and the effect of leasing units at fair-market rents both before and after a conversion.
Washington, D.C.-based litigation firm Zuckerman Spaeder has completed the final touches to its new midtown Manhattan offices at 399 Park Ave. Also, one of the country's largest accounting firms, CohnReznick LLP, has signed a long-term lease for a new location for its national headquarters.
In their Landlord-Tenant column, Warren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein of Rosenberg & Estis, discuss the First Department Appellate Division's ruling in "251 CPW Housing v. Pastreich," where the court rejected the Appellate Term's "colorable claim" standard as a basis for denying attorney fees.
Scott E. Mollen reviews "LIDC I v. Sunrise Mall," where a Yellowstone injunction was denied when mall tenants failed to show an ability to cure their default, "Newport Gardens v. McCoy," where the court found the allocution of an illiterate pro se tenant was far below the minimum level rendering her signed stipulation unjust, and more.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews ‘Board of Managers of the South Star v. WSA Equities’, where the complaint at issue failed to allege a relationship between condo unit owners and sponsors; and ‘In re Glick v. Harvey,’ where NYU won a bid for a $6 billion Greenwich Village expansion; and ‘Pickerell v. The Town of Huntington,’ where a zoning board of appeals failed to comply with SEQRA in granting a permit for a 7-Eleven.
In his Zoning and Land Use Planning column, Anthony Guardino discusses
how a decision by the Appellate Division, Second Department, rejecting a property owner’s bid to overturn an agency’s declaration requiring that it prepare a draft environmental impact statement, conflicts with an established opinion by New York’s highest court.
Jeffrey B. Steiner and Jason R. Goldstein of DLA Piper review the different categories of misrepresentation cited by New York courts and draw distinctions between seemingly innocent statements in loan documents as opposed to circumstances where a representing party knew or should have known that their representation was untrue.
Transforming its office space and gaining a better view, Kirkland & Ellis has signed a 20-year lease extension for its headquarters to remain at 601 Lexington Ave., while Mintz & Gold has increased its office space with a move to 600 Third Ave.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Saint-Jean v. Emigrant Mortgage Co,” where the plaintiff’s claim that a lender's 'No Income, No Asset' program was an asset-stripping scheme survived dismissal, and “NMF Holdings v. First Quality Properties III,” where the court held that the seller was not contractually obligated to remove a declaration of covenants and restrictions for ground water management from the contract.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Shearin v. Back on Track Group,” where the court held in an illegal lockout proceeding that the petitioner in the case was a tenant rather than a licensee of a temporary “program house,” and “WRG Acquisition v. Strasser,” a landlord-tenant case where the respondent/brother was estopped from presenting two inconsistent positions in order to gain succession rights to his elderly sisters apartment.
In their Hospitality Litigation column, Todd E. Soloway and Joshua D. Bernstein examine the structure of common indemnification provisions in hotel management agreements and what a hotel owner must be cognizant of before agreeing to this potentially burdensome additional financial obligation.
Scott E. Mollen reviews "Estate of Helen Del Terzo v. 33 Fifth Avenue Owners Corp.," where the court overturned a co-op board's rejection of a
shareholder's sons' application to succeed to
their mother's apartment, and "M. M. & I. Realty v. Gargano," a landlord-tenant case where it was held that the spouse of a rent-controlled tenant does not become a tenant upon her marriage to and cohabitation with the tenant.
Lowe's, the national home improvement retailer, will be taking up residence in Chelsea in 2015 after signing a 15-year lease with SL Green Realty Corp. to open a flagship store. In an unrelated deal, SL Green Realty Corp. has also signed a new retail lease in midtown with Equinox Holdings Inc., which operates 23 upscale fitness and well-being clubs in New York City.
Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman write: The importance of liquidated damages clauses are two-fold: They make the tenant think twice before breaching the lease or overstaying it, thus reducing the traffic in landlord-tenant court; and they allow the landlord an award of its full damages as it envisioned them at the time of the writing of the lease.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "Brardo v. American Hope Group," in which the court dealt with an alleged fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme, and "Ferby v. Jonero," a commercial landlord-tenant case involving the eviction of a residential tenant occupying a commercial space.
In their Taxation column, Ezra Dyckman and Libin Zhang address some noteworthy changes that affect owners of real property in the wake of the Department of the Treasury finalizing new regulations in 2013 and 2014 that will dramatically affect the income taxation of such property owners as well as other businesses.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation, Manufacture New York and Salmar Properties have jointly announced plans to develop the Manufacturing Innovation Hub at Liberty View Industrial Plaza, in Brooklyn.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews two cases: “New York State Division of Human Rights v. 111 East 88th Partners,” where the plaintiff failed to provide evidence of present impairment to justify a “support dog,” and "Beekman Delameter Properties v. Village of Rhinebeck Zoning Board of Appeals," where the extension of a Zoning Board of Appeals' variance was nullified.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Truman Capital Advisors v. Nationstar Mortgage,” where a plaintiff asserted claims for breach of contract based on defendant’s refusal to consummate a mortgage pursuant to an online auction, and “Livecchi v. The City of Geneva,” where a pro se property owner’s suit against a judge was dismissed based on judicial immunity.
Rosenberg & Estis has acted on its real estate expertise with the expansion of its offices at 733 Third Ave. The firm, which has grown to 70 attorneys from 45 in 2012, renewed its lease for existing footage of 30,522 square feet, the entire 12th and 14th floors; plus expansion footage of the entire 19th floor.
In their Residential Lease Law column, Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., discuss how all residential leases in New York State now require a notice to the tenant about the presence or absence of sprinkler systems in the "leased premises," making note that while stating what must exist, the law has no enforcement mechanism on its face and no penalty stated for noncompliance.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, North America's largest transit network, has signed a 20-year lease with SL Green Realty Corp. for an expansion of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. at 420 Lexington Ave. Also, boutique financial firms Brightwood Capital Advisors LLC and DH Capital LLC will be moving their headquarters to 810 Seventh Ave.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law reviews “Henry Phipps Plaza v. Quijano,” where a landlord was awarded possession after the tenant intentionally misrepresented household income, “Bank of America v. Lucic,” where the court tolled a homeowners interest as a penalty to the bank for excessive delays, and “Midfirst Bank v. Agho” where the Second Department clarified the law relating to conformity of out-of-state affidavits.
After previously writing in their Landlord-Tenant column that Yellowstone injunctions are routinely granted, Warren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein discuss how the court in 'LIDC I v. Sunrise Mall' denied a commercial tenant's motion for such an injunction, finding that the tenant failed to show they were prepared to cure their rent default.
TD Bank U.S. Holding Company has signed a long-term lease with SL Green Realty Corp. for TD Bank's regional headquarters at One Vanderbilt, a proposed tower that will stand adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews the case 'Hurley v. Watanabe,' where a condominium sponsor was held liable for breach based on delays in
closing on the unit.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three cases: “Matter of an Inquiry by Schneiderman, Attorney General of the State of New York v. Eichner,” where the attorney general obtained an ex parte court order barring sales at a timeshare hotel, and “737 Park Avenue Acquisition v. Jetter,” a landlord–tenant case dealing with the definition of “prevailing party,” and “American Atheists v. Port Authority,” where a group of atheists challenged the display of the cross in the September 11 museum.
In his Zoning and Land Use Planning column, Anthony S. Guardino of Farrell Fritz discusses how New York’s highest court has established a new standard for determining whether a zoning board of appeals must grant an off-street parking variance.
The law firm of DeCorato Cohen Sheehan & Federico is returning downtown after being displaced by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The full-service civil litigation firm has signed a 15-year lease for the 14th floor of 90 Broad St.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews 'Huggins v. Randolph,' a landlord-tenant case where the court ruled in favor of a tenant who feared elder abuse from his son; 'Seerattan v. Seerattan,' where a mother successfully stated a claim for a constructive trust against her daughter; and 'Kurtz v. Verizon,' a condemnation case involving the company's installation of terminal boxes on private property.
In their Financing column, Jeffrey B. Steiner and Jason R. Goldstein address the practicalities of the lender's position should it would wish to enforce an after-acquired property provision in a commercial mortgage transaction, and the rights and remedies available to the lender should the provision prove inadequate.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which awards fellowships to scholars, artists and scientists, has signed a direct lease with Vornado Realty Trust at 90 Park Ave., where the foundation has been a subtenant for nearly five decades.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "Friedman v. Maspeth Federal Loan," where a borrower sufficiently pled claims for violation of RESPA, and "Colemen v. Onsite Property Management," where the court ordered the restoration of a tenant to his apartment after finding he neither abandoned nor surrendered it.
In their Rent Regulation column, Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel of Rosenberg & Estis discuss 'Ram I v. DHCR,', and explain why the First Department held that with respect to most rent-stabilized apartments, a landlord regains the right to obtain luxury deregulation once J-51 benefits expire.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews “Board of Managers of the Clermont Greene Condo. v. Vanderbilt Mansions,” where a condo board failed to comply wlth bylaws; and “Randolph v. New York City Housing Authority East River Houses,” where NYCHA was held in criminal contempt for agreeing to stipulations it knew would not be complied with.
Boutique law firm Bleichmar Fonti Tountas & Auld has a new office at 7 Times Square. Also, a joint venture of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and Deka Immobilien GmbH has acquired a two-level luxury retail condominium at 522 Fifth Ave. from Morgan Stanley for about $170 million.
By Todd E. Soloway, Joshua D. Bernstein and Eric D. Dowell
In their Real Estate Litigation column, Todd Soloway, Joshua Bernstein and Eric Dowell discuss the "Rule of Definiteness" in real estate contracts and write: This "definiteness" requirement is among the oldest in contract law but often is forgotten in a time where the pace of transactions and client pressure to "get the deal done" necessitates that certain terms be left open.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews 'Southampton Day Camp Realty v. Gormon,' where a SLAPP suit was dismissed; 'Vivir of Li v. Ehrenkranz,' dealing with piercing the corporate veil; and 'Jamaica Seven v. Jean,' a landlord-tenant case where the court found a discounted rent provision in a lease unenforceable.
While retaining majority interest in three high-profile office buildings, Boston Properties Inc. has announced an agreement to sell a 45 percent interest in 601 Lexington Ave., at East 53rd Street in Manhattan, along with two other office buildings in Boston. Also, Elite SEM has signed a seven-year lease at 142 W. 36 St.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews “3660 Oxford Ave Assoc. v. Ambrosini,” that dealt with a 90-year-old-tenant’s claim of violations for warranty of habitability; and “MG West 100 v. St. Michael’s Church,” where the court voided a contract for the sale of real property owned by the church due to the failure of the church to obtain consent from the bishop.
In their Taxation column, Ezra Dyckman and Daniel W. Stahl of Roberts & Holland discuss the case 'Allen v. United States,' and write: "The fact that a taxpayer acquires real property with the intention of developing it does not by itself mean that an ultimate sale of the real property will result in ordinary income." For the taxpayer in 'Allen,' however, it did.
In their Transactional Real Estate column, Peter E. Fisch and Ira J. Gilbert of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison discuss the tax implications when buyers who purchase adjacent condominium units combine them into a single unit.
The Savanna Fund recently closed on the sale of 80 Broad St. to Broad Street Development for $173 million. Also, Town Sports International Holdings Inc., the operator of New York Sports Clubs, has closed on the sale of a commercial property to an affiliate of Stillman Development International and Ceruzzi Properties for $85.5 million.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three landlord/tenant decisions: “Gold Street Properties v. Freeman,” “2976 Marion v. University Consultation Center,” and “Matter of PWV Acquisition v. Towns.”
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: 'Rural Community Coalition v. Village of Bloomingburg,' where an injunction to stop a townhouse development was denied due to a seven-year delay in challenging the annexation, and 'Zalewski v. Cicero Builder Dev.' where the court dismissed the plaintiffs copyright infringement claim on architectual designs.
In their Broker Fee Regulations column, Adam Leitman Bailey and Jeffrey R. Metz discuss 'SPRE Realty v. Dienst' which the authors describe as "a thoughtful decision authored by Justice Rolando Acosta which clarified the guidelines for earning a real estate broker's commission in Manhattan and the Bronx."
In an international deal involving more than 50 attorneys, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. has announced it has entered into an agreement to sell its flagship hotel, the Waldorf Astoria New York, to Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. for $1.95 billion. Hilton Worldwide will continue to manage the legendary 47-story hotel at 301 Park Ave. for the next 100 years.
Nearly tripling the size of its New York City presence, Squarespace has leased 100,000 square feet at 225 Varick St., between W. Houston and Clarkston streets, as the site of its new headquarters. Also, Cushman & Wakefield has signed a 10-year lease with The Durst Organization for a portion of the 45th floor at One World Trade Center.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: 'LaVertu v. The Town of Huntington,' where the court was faced with a town that allegedly retaliated against plaintiffs after plaintiffs released a YouTube video opposing the town’s proposed housing project; and 'Walden Gardens v. Burns,' where the court ruled against residential use limitation - on public policy grounds—and held that the tenant in the case may operate a licensed day care center in her co-op.
In their Landlord-Tenant column, Warren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein of Rosenberg & Estis discuss the chronic non-payment holdover proceeding - a landlord's best weapon when faced with having to commence multiple non-payment proceedings against defaulting tenants. They note, however, that if the tenant asserts a valid defense to non-payment, the court may very well conclude that a substantial obligation of the tenancy has not been breached.