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.
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.
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.
With designs on a new downtown location, engineering firm AKF Group LLC has signed a 15-year lease with Brookfield Office Properties for its New York City office at One Liberty Plaza. Also, technology company BetterCloud has signed a 10-year lease for 12,500 square feet at 330 Seventh Ave., between 28th and 29th streets.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: ‘Windsor Plaza v. Pinies,’ where the court ordered a tenant to submit to an independent medical examination when he put his medical condition at issue to explain his absence from the apartment, and ‘Matter of Hernandez v. NYCHA,’ where the court annulled a tenant’s termination of her lease based on NYCHA’s violation of its own internal procedures.
In their financing column, Joshua S. Sohn and John Dodson of DLA Piper write: Eminent domain in New York carries with it an unavoidable degree of uncertainty for condemnors and condemnees, but prudent mortgage lenders have the ability to significantly mitigate—if not altogether eliminate—the risk of condemnation of mortgaged properties having much, if any, effect on loan repayment.
In an effort to maximize efficiency, Paul Hastings has plans for its New York City office involving a move to the MetLife Building at 200 Park Ave. in early 2016. Also, London-based UBM plc, a global media and communication services company, has signed a 10-year lease with Vornado Realty Trust for 26,444 square feet at Two Penn Plaza for a new Americas headquarters.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews ‘Lambert Houses Redevelopment v. Jobi,’ where a landlords action against a Section 8 tenant for nonpayment was dismissed for failure to comply with HUD notice requirements, and ‘Board of Managers of Cathedral Tower Condominium v. Sendar Assoc,’ where a plaintiff condominium board claimed the sponsor of the condominium had underfunded the condo’s reserve fund.
The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. has signed a lease for 250,000 square feet for the creation of a three-level Neiman Marcus anchor store at The Shops of Hudson Yards, a 1-million-square-foot retail center under construction on Manhattan's far West Side.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "SPRE Realty, Ltd. v. Dienst, " which provided a test for determining whether a broker was the "procuring cause" of a real estate transaction, and therefore entitled to commission.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews ‘Matter of Russo v. NYCHA,’ involving NYCHA succession policies, and ‘Matter of Thompson Corners, v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,’ where it was held that the subsequent owner of a hazardous waste storage facility was not obligated
to provide financial assurance for ongoing remedial
In their Rent Stabilization column, Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel of Rosenberg & Estis discuss the current landscape of owner occupancy proceedings since the 2008 case ‘Pultz v. Economakis,' and write: Notwithstanding a small number of owners who have attempted to vacate entire buildings, the flood of “mass eviction” owner occupancy proceedings, feared in the wake of ‘Pultz,’ has not materialized.
Cohen Rabin Stine Schumann, a full-service family law firm, has signed a 10-year lease with SJP Properties Inc. at 11 Times Square. Also, New York REIT Inc. has acquired 245-249 W. 17th St. from The Savanna Fund for $335 million.
In their Taxation column, Ezra Dyckman and Daniel W. Stahl of Roberts & Holland discuss the Treasury Department's proposed partnership regulations which, if implemented, would have a profound impact on many partners by radically shifting partnership debt allocations.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews '275-277 Realty v. Lawrence-Harris,' where the court vacated a stipulation of settlement, 'Parkash 242 LLC v. Gyan,' involving a minor signing a lease, and 'North-Driggs Holdings v. Burstiner,' which dealt with with timing issues surrounding a rent stabilized apartment.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "184-188 Claremont Investors v. Nelson," where a landlord was awarded judgment of possession after a jury found the tenant was not using his apartment as his primary residence, and "Gordon v. 476 Broadway Realty," where the court upheld a co-op board’s decision to terminate a proprietary lease.
By Todd E. Soloway, Joshua D. Bernstein and Jared D. Newman
In their Hospitality Litigation column, Todd E. Soloway, Joshua D. Bernstein and Jared D. Newman of Pryor Cashman discuss the the extent of a hotel company's liability to guests whose personal information was stolen, given the increasing sophistication of computer hackers and their ability to infiltrate even the best designed data security systems.
Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman will be moving its office to 919 Third Ave. Also, SoHo Properties Inc. has recently acquired 49-51 Park Place, the location of a proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque in Lower Manhattan.
Empire Outlets, New York City's first retail outlet complex that is being constructed in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island, has signed a lease with Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. to open a Nordstrom Rack. Also, international advertising company Rocket Fuel Inc. has relocated its New York City office a short distance to 100 W. 33rd St.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three cases: “In re September 11 Litigation," where a real estate developer sued the owners and lessees of the World Trade Center and the owners of the airplanes that crashed into it, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), “Kerem Realty v. Hussein,” where a landlord commenced a chronic non-payment holdover proceeding against a rent stabilized tenant, and “Ortiz v. New York City Housing Authority,” where the petitioner sought to annul a determination by a NYC Housing Authority hearing officer, which denied the petitioner succession rights to the apartment of her late mother.
In their Licensing Law column, Adam Leitman Bailey and John M. Desiderio of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., write: In February of this year, in "Union Square Park Community Coalition, v. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation," the New York Court of Appeals appears to have redefined and narrowed the limits of what distinguishes a license from a lease by expanding the scope of what may be deemed a license.
Growing in size and services, general service law firm Bond Schoeneck & King has relocated its New York City office a short distance to 600 Third Ave. from 330 Madison Ave. Also, Samsung Electronics North America has announced the creation of a Manhattan flagship office at 837 Washington St.
In their Landlord-Tenant column, Warren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein of Rosenberg & Estis discuss the issue of allowing day care facilities to be operated in residential buildings, and write: Bronx County has now ruled, as a matter of public policy, that restrictive covenants in proprietary leases limiting occupancy to residential use are unenforceable with respect to the operation of a licensed “group family day care home.”
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: ‘1414 Holdings, LLC v. BMS-PSO,’ where the court held that a landlord was not permitted to engage in self-help eviction if it was not authorized by the lease, and ‘AAR Allen Services v. Feil 747 Zeckendorf Blvd,’ where the court found that a tenant’s right of first refusal to purchase property was not triggered when an alleged third party acting as a “straw” purchaser submitted an offer to purchase.
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 Board of Managers of the Plaza Condominium v. The New York City Dept. of Transportation,” where the city's placement of a Citibank bike share station across from The Plaza Hotel was upheld, “Supreme Co. I, v. Moylan,” where a summary proceeding based on nuisance relating to bed bug infestation was dismissed, and “MKC-S v. Laura Realty,” where it was held that a foreign corporation was "doing business" by "acting as a sub-landlord.
In their Rent Regulation column, Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., discuss the legal recognition of non-traditional relatives of the tenant of record for purposes of succession to a regulated tenancy.
In his Zoning and Land Use Planning column, Anthony S. Guardino of Farrell Fritz, discusses how the New York State Court of Appeals has upheld the ability of towns to use their zoning laws to ban fracking.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: ‘Rosenblum v. Corcoran Group Eastside,’ where fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims against a listing broker were dismissed with the court holding that the doctrine of Caveat Emptor applies to both sellers and their brokers, and ‘Bibi Lieberman 1999 Revocable Trust v. The City of New York,” a land use case where a NYC Board of Standards and Appeals’ determination that an owner had demonstrated his right
to complete construction pursuant to the Vested Rights Doctrine was upheld.
BNY Mellon, a corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, will be moving its world headquarters to Brookfield Place from 1 Wall St. Also, boutique law firms Katz Melinger and W.R. Samuels Law have combined forces at 280 Madison Ave.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews 'Matter of Billmyer,' where the court charged the executor of a Brooklyn brownstone a $630,000 surcharge plus interest for breach of his fiduciary duty to his beneficiaries for selling the property at grossly below its fair market value.
In his Foreclosure Litigation column, Bruce Bergman writes: Abetted by the ongoing economic distress and the glacially slow pace of home loan foreclosures in the Empire State, the continuing substantial volume of such cases has begotten a contentious clash between foreclosing mortgagees and condominiums holding common charge liens.
Varonis Systems Inc. is expanding its worldwide headquarters at a Jamestown property at 1250 Broadway, between W. 31st and W. 32nd streets. Also, Uber, a tech-based global transportation business, has leased 52,350 square feet at 636-638 W. 28th St.
By Mitchell L. Berg, Andrew Wurzburger and Philip A. Heimowitz
In their Transactional Real Estate column, Mitchell L. Berg, Andrew Wurzburger and Philip A. Heimowitz of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison write: A sponsor that intends to raise capital from third-party investors for investment in real estate or real estate-related assets should consider whether the general partner, managing member or outside adviser to the vehicle that will be formed to undertake the investment will be required to register as an investment adviser under, and comply with the other requirements of, the Investment Advisers Act.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three cases: 'Fulton Street South Redevelopment v. James,' where the court stayed an illegal use holdover proceeding pending completion of the underlying criminal action, '67-15 102nd Street v. Whitman-Gross,' a landlord-tenant case where the - Appellate Term held that an illegal subtenant is not responsible for the landlord’s legal fees, and 'Caraballo v. The Art Students League of N.Y.,' where the court denied a plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction which would have stopped a nonprofit from closing on a proposed sale of air rights to a developer.
It's been a busy leasing season at 26 Broadway, which has attracted several new tenants and had a number of recent renewals. One tenant, the law firm of Gladstein Keane & Flomenhaft, will more than double the size of its offices when it moves into permanent space after a temporary post-Sandy stint there.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews ‘Landesbank Baden-Württemberg v. RBS Holdings,’ where the purchaser of a residential mortgage-backed securities sued claiming fraud, negligent misrepresentation, aiding and abetting a fraud, and rescission; and ‘OLR, MM, L.P. v. Bracero,’ a landlord-tenant case where a rent stabilized tenant must certify her household income to her landlord because the landlord receives federal low-income housing tax credits.
In their Rent Regulation column, Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel discuss a recent ruling that buildings converted on or after Jan. 1, 1974 from commercial to residential use are exempt from rent stabilization, even if the owner has not satisfied all of the substantial rehabilitation requirements.
Upscale retailers Lexus and M·A·C Cosmetics will be opening new locations along 14th Street. Lexus, a division of Toyota, has a lease with Thor Equities, for 15,000 square feet at 412 W. 14th St. Several blocks east, M·A·C Cosmetics will open a new store at 853 Broadway at 14th Street.
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 Sevenberry Condominium v. N7B,” where the court dismissed claims against a condominiums architect and engineer holding: “The statements at issue in the report...do not constitute material affirmative misrepresentations that would support a common-law claim that is not entirely dependent on the Martin Act for its viability.”
In their Taxation column, Ezra Dyckman and Libin Zhang of Roberts & Holland discuss the "Frank Aragona Trust" case—the first authority that has held that a trust can be a real estate professional and can therefore generate non-passive income and losses from its rental real properties. The authors explain that the holding is limited to the taxation of non-grantor complex trusts, but such trusts may benefit substantially with some proper structuring and designation of trustees.
In his Construction Law column, Kenneth M. Block of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt addresses the issues raised with demolition and new construction on sites previously occupied by a building sharing a party wall with its neighbor.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three landlord-tenant cases: “G&L Holding Corp. v. JR Gonzalez,” which held that tenants do not forfeit their residence status due to a temporary absence, even where the temporary absence is attributable to incarceration, and “217 Malcolm X Blvd v. Naughton Bros. Funeral Home, a commercial landlord-tenant case where a tenant was granted a dismissal because the landlord’s petition only partially described the premises to be recovered, and “In re Mary Encarnacion Grant v. NYCHA,” where a NYC Housing Authority’s termination of a tenancy was upheld.
RXR Realty has closed on the deal to acquire 61 Broadway for $330 million, after being in contract for about two months. Also, Delshah Capital has purchased an office building at 221 W. 17th St. for $26.4 million.
In their Co-ops and Condominiums column, Adam Leitman Bailey and John M. Desiderio of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. discuss several recent cases that show how New York courts give deference to the actions of co-op and condo boards wherever it is clear that the boards have acted within the scope of their authority and in good faith in the interests of their shareholders, unit owners, and their buildings.
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 550 Grand Street Condominium v. Schlegel,' where the court found that negligence claims against an architect were time-barred.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three Landlord tenant cases: “418 West 130th Street. v. Rawlings,” a rent stabilization case, “Sixth Avenue Terrace v. Langley,” involving a summary no-payment proceeding, and “Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira,” which asked the question “May a rent-stabilized tenant prevent the assumption and assignment of his or her lease by claiming that the lease (or its value) is a ‘local public assistance benefit’ exempt from the bankruptcy estate?”
With a focus on growth and new opportunities, KiDS, a creative branding ad agency, has signed a 15-year lease at One World Trade Center. Also, New York University Hospitals Center has acquired SL Green Realty Corp.'s leasehold interest in 673 Third Ave. for $145 million.
In their Landlord/Tenant column, Warren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein of Rosenberg & Estis discuss "Kaplan v. Park South Tenants Corp," where the court issued an injunction enjoining a co-op from interfering with a tenant's alterations.
Time Inc. has signed a 15-year lease for 700,000 square feet with Brookfield Office Properties at 225 Liberty St. in lower Manhattan as the location for its new corporate headquarters. It will be leaving 1271 Avenue of the Americas, the Time & Life Building, where it has been since 1959.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "Bennett v. Towers" in which a judge fined an attorney $10,000 for filing SLAPP lawsuit, and "Kellner v. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers," a land use case where the court denied injunctive relief to stop the city from proceeding with demolition work.
In his Zoning and Land Use Planning column, Anthony S. Guardino of Farrell Fritz writes: As the economy improves, more developers are seeking to complete projects that had been approved but that they had not constructed. What happens if applicable zoning laws have changed in the meantime?
In their Financing column, Jason R. Goldstein and Joshua Sohn of DLA Piper discuss the legal protections and risks afforded by representations in complex loan agreements and any related qualifications in transactional matters.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews two cases: ‘1855 7 Ave. Housing Dev. Fund v. Wigfal’, where a co-op’s board of directors’ termination of a proprietary lease was upheld, and ‘34th Street Penn Asso, v. Payless Shoesource’, a commercial landlord-tenant case where the tenant was entitled to a 50 percent rent abatement because “opening conditions” had not occurred, as per the lease.
In one of the largest Brooklyn rental deals in a decade, global e-commerce website Etsy has signed a 10-year lease for the entire nine-story building at 117 Adams St. as well as the sixth floor in an adjacent building at 55 Prospect St.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews 'Saccheri v. Cathedral Properties,' dealing with a damage claim in a wrongful eviction case which was dismissed due to lack of authority to award legal fees, and "420 W 206th Street Owners Corp. v. Lorick," a co-op case involving the rights and obligations of the holder of unsold shares.
In their Transactional Real Estate column, Peter Fisch and Salvatore Gogliormella outline some of the key features that are negotiated as part of senior housing management agreements—fee structures, operational and physical standards, performance tests and territorial restrictions—and the manner in which they are sometimes addressed.
A joint venture of Savanna and KBS Capital Advisors has acquired 110 William St. from Swig Equities and Dubai Investment Group for $261.1 million. Also, retail real estate firm RKF has expanded its midtown New York City headquarters at 521 Fifth Ave.
Scott E. Mollen reviews landlord tenant cases, one involving attorney fees and the reciprocal mandate of RPL §234 in a holdover proceeding, and another where a chronic rent delinquency holdover proceeding was dismissed.
In their Rent Regulation column, Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel write: One might imagine that it is a simple matter to determine how many dwelling units a building has. Nothing in the rent regulation, however, is a simple matter.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews three cases with issues ranging from laches, to horizontal multiple dwellings, to attorney fees.
In their Hospitality Litigation column, Todd E. Soloway And Joshua D. Bernstein of Pryor Cashman write: Though often overlooked when negotiating a hotel management contract, ownership of hotel guest records can rapidly become a point of contention when a hotel transitions to new management, either by termination of the previous management agreement or otherwise, and both parties want to retain and continue to make use of the hotel guest records.
In a string of new leases, several investment companies will join the roster at Boston Properties, 250 W. 55th St., at Eighth Avenue. Also, media group Thomson Reuters, headquartered at 3 Times Square, has signed an expansion lease with at Waterfront Corporate Center II in Hoboken, N.J.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews "Armonk Snack Mart v. Robert Porpora Realty," and writes: When a real estate market is declining, some purchasers will attempt to “escape” their contractual obligations to close. They may try to renegotiate the price to a lower amount based on some “allegedly material” breach by the seller. In a rising market, some sellers may look to invalidate their sale contracts so that they sell the property to someone else at a higher price or try to renegotiate a higher price with their purchasers.
In their Rent Legislation column, Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman of Adam Leitman Bailey, PC, discuss several of the amendments the DHCR has made to the Rent Stabilization Code and conclude: While the new amendments do have the virtue of making the applicable law easier to find by gathering it all into one place, for the most part, these amendments will simply increase the cost of doing business, without necessarily providing the tenants a corresponding benefit.
White & Case, one of New York's oldest law firms, has signed a long-term lease for nine top tower floors at the McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas. Also, privately held brokerage group Transwestern will be moving its Northeast regional headquarters to 600 Lexington Ave.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews '409-411 Sixth Street v. Mogi,' involving the standard for appellate review of non-primary residence cases, 'Crestwood Loft Partners v. Crestwood Station Plaza,' dealing with anticipatory breach of contract, and 'Pitter v. Gregory', where an escrow agent's counterclaims were dismissed.
In their Transactional Real Estate column, Peter E. Fisch and Mitchell L. Berg, partners at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, discuss a recent case from the Delaware Court of Chancery which suggests that reverse triangular mergers may not violate prohibitions on lease assignments—even prohibitions that specifically restrict assignments by operation of law—that do not include express restrictions on changes of control.
The Kaufman Organization, in a new joint venture with Principal Real Estate Investors, has signed a 99-year net lease with Extell Development Company to redevelop four vacant Manhattan commercial buildings in Midtown South.
In their Mortgage Transactions column, Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., discuss how the case 'Miller-Francis v. Smith-Jackson' has upset the stability of real estate transactions, specifically the enforceability of mortgages.
Scott E. Mollen, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein and an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, reviews 'Adler v. Ogden Cap Properties,' which held that a class action is inappropriate to determine Hurricane Sandy damages,
and 'Maetreum of Cybele v. McCoy,' where a pagan religious group was allowed a tax exemption for its upstate property.
Securities litigation firm Murphy & McGonigle has moved and consolidated its two Manhattan offices at 1185 Avenue of the Americas. Also, Nordstrom Inc. has signed a seven-year lease for office and showroom space at 205 W. 39th St.