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Real Estate - Transactional

Kasowitz’s Real Estate – Transactional group advises clients in a full array of complex issues relating to office, residential, lodging, gaming, shopping center and mixed-use projects throughout the United States. The group’s attorneys represent clients in acquisitions and dispositions of single properties and property portfolios; acquisitions and participations of mortgage and mezzanine debt; workouts and restructurings; financings of real estate properties and projects; office and retail leasing; and joint venture development.

Kasowitz’s real estate attorneys are frequently recognized by leading legal media outlets and ranking publications. The group has been described by The New York Times, as having handled some of the biggest deals in New York City, including the acquisition, joint venturing, financing and development of the Times Square Gateway Center at 701 Seventh Avenue. Prominent ranking publications that regularly tout the group’s practice include Law360, The Legal 500, and Super Lawyers. Practice leader Wallace L. Schwartz has been described as an “effective negotiator” and is regularly ranked as a leader in the real estate field by Chambers USA.

Notable representative transactions handled by the real estate group include:

Development and Joint Ventures

  • Times Square Gateway Center. Acquisition, financing and development of a mixed-use retail, signage and hotel project at 701 Seventh Avenue, New York, for a joint venture between New Valley/Witkoff Group and Starwood Capital/Winthrop Realty Trust.
  • Steinway Site. Acquisition, joint venturing, financing and development of a mixed-use project on West 57th Street, New York, for JDS Development Group.
  • Park Lane Hotel. Acquisition, joint venturing, financing and development of a residential, mixed-use hotel/condominium project at 36 Central Park South, New York, for the Witkoff Group.
  • Tuxedo Farms. Equity joint venturing for a 1,200 acre master development residential community in Tuxedo, New York, for The Related Companies.
  • Tysons Corner. Sale, joint venturing, leasing and development of a one million-square-foot residential, mixed-use project in Tysons Corner, Virginia, for DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners.
  • 626 First Avenue. Joint venturing, financing and development of an 800 unit multi-family project, utilizing Inclusionary Housing Credits and 421-a tax benefits, for JDS Development.

Landlord Representation

  • The Related Companies/Oxford Properties. The one million-square-foot retail project at Hudson Yards in New York.
  • Boston Properties. 399 Park Avenue, 510 Madison Avenue, 601 Lexington Avenue, Times Square Tower, and 250 West 55th Street, New York.
  • Forest City Ratner Companies. 1 MetroTech Center and One Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn, New York, and Westchester’s Ridge Hill shopping center.
  • Extell Development Company. The GEM Tower on East 47th Street, New York.
  • Spear Street Capital. 315 Park Avenue South, New York.
  • Steel Equities. Triple net leases in Queens and Long Island, New York.

Capital Markets and Financing

  • The Related Companies. Mortgage and mezzanine construction financing of the Hilton West Palm Beach in Florida.
  • Starwood Capital Group. The acquisition and participation of mezzanine debt.
  • Atalaya Capital Management. Loan origination, secondary markets transactions, and strategic alternative investments.
  • New Valley. A joint venture to acquire mortgage debt secured by a portfolio of California office properties and a joint venture to acquire a multi-family portfolio in Maryland.
  • Kalimian Family Trust. A highly structured mortgage and mezzanine financing of a multi-family rental building in New York City.
  • Cantor Commercial Real Estate. Loan origination for its CMBS platform.

Workouts and Restructurings

  • Borders Group, Inc. The disposition of real estate assets throughout the country in connection with its bankruptcy and liquidation.
  • Five Mile Capital Partners. In their capacity as special servicer, the workout and foreclosure of securitized debt secured by a portfolio of 39 shopping centers in 13 states.
  • Capital Trust. The restructuring of a mezzanine loan and a mortgage loan secured by property located in Miami, Florida.
  • DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. The modification of mortgage debt secured by a resort hotel in the Caribbean.
  • The Related Companies. The modification of mortgage loans secured by properties in New York and Michigan.

Gaming and Lodging

  • Penn National Gaming. The proposed Hollywood-branded destination casino, hotel, retail and entertainment center in Springfield, Massachusetts; and gaming projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.
  • Loews Hotels and Resorts. The acquisition and financing of hotels throughout the United States.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square, New York.
  • Morgans Hotel Group. Management agreements at properties in New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
  • DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. The development of a boutique hotel in Lower Manhattan.

Acquisitions and Dispositions

  • Rouse Properties. The acquisition and financing of shopping centers throughout the United States.
  • Extell Development Company. The triple net/long-term ground leasing of four commercial properties that are part of the “Ring Portfolio” in Midtown South, New York.
  • American Realty Capital Properties. The acquisition of 300 commercial properties.
  • Africa Israel. The sale of the Clock Tower Building at 5 Madison Avenue, New York.
  • Starwood Capital Group. The acquisition of the leasehold interest at 1372 Broadway and 435 West 50th Street, New York.
  • DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. The acquisition of commercial properties in New York City.

Tenant Representation

  • Microsoft Corporation. New York City headquarters lease and a lease in New York City’s Midtown South.
  • Havas Worldwide. New York City headquarters lease.
  • Société Générale. New York City headquarters lease.
  • Knight Capital. Leasing and subleasing of office space throughout the United States.
  • Major League Baseball. Leasing of office space in New York City and MLB Network broadcast studio space in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Pro Bono

  • Hudson River Trust. Renewal of the lease for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, at Pier 86 in New York City.
  • Right to Dream. Formation of entities providing academic and athletic training in the United States for underprivileged children from Africa.
  • Voss Water Foundation. Formation of global partnerships to develop water projects in Africa.

Highlights 

Kasowitz Named a Leading Law Firm in Real Estate by The Legal 500

Kasowitz has been recognized by The Legal 500 as a leading firm in real estate and construction. Clients quoted by The Legal 500 describe the firm’s real estate lawyers as “superb leasing lawyers” that provide “excellent service in every way” with a “great understanding of the industry.” Real estate partners Wallace L. Schwartz, Adam M. Endick and Douglas B. Heitner are individually recognized.


Commercial Mortgage Alert Profiles Kasowitz’s Expansion into Transactional Real Estate

 

In a recent Commercial Mortgage Alert article, Kasowitz is highlighted for the successful launch of its transactional real estate practice and the group’s impressive growth, adding new attorneys and handling numerous significant transactions within only six months since its inception.  Wallace L. Schwartz, head of the group, also discusses the future for real estate at Kasowitz, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we double in size by the end of this year.”  To read the full Commercial Mortgage Alert profile on the transactional real estate group, please click here.