Real Estate - Transactional
Kasowitz’s transactional real estate group represents, among others, developers, private and institutional investors, opportunity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), lenders and servicers, and major corporations in connection with real estate-related matters.
The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience in development of office buildings, shopping centers, residential properties, hotels and casinos, and mixed-use projects throughout the United States; acquisitions and dispositions of single properties and property portfolios; acquisitions and participations of mortgage and mezzanine debt; workouts and restructurings on behalf of borrowers and lenders; financings of real estate properties and projects on behalf of borrowers and lenders; sale-leaseback transactions; office, restaurant and retail leasing on behalf of landlords and tenants; partnership agreements, LLC agreements, and other forms of joint ventures; real estate fund formation and REITs; and gaming and lodging.
Notable representative transactions handled by the real estate group since its launch in 2011 include:
Development and Leasing
- New Valley/Witkoff Group, in the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use retail, signage and hotel project known as Times Square Gateway Center, at 701 Seventh Avenue, New York.
- JDS Development, in connection with the acquisition, joint venturing, financing and development of the mixed-use Steinway project, located at 105-111 West 57th Street, New York.
- Boston Properties, in connection with 250 West 55th Street, New York (including the 260,000 square foot Kaye Scholer lease) and 601 Lexington Avenue, New York (including the 500,000 square foot Citibank lease).
- Forest City Ratner Companies, in connection with various leases at One Pierrepont Plaza and 1 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn, New York.
- Extell Development Company, in connection with various leases at the GEM Tower on East 47th Street, New York.
- New Valley, in connection with a joint venture investment in a residential project on East 68th Street, New York, a joint venture investment to convert an office building to residential in Tribeca and a joint venture to develop a hotel/condominium project in the West Village.
Capital Markets and Financings
- Cantor Commercial Real Estate, as loan origination counsel for its CMBS platform.
- Starwood Capital Group, in connection with the acquisition and participation of mezzanine debt.
- New Valley, in connection with 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.
- Capital Trust, as special servicer in the restructuring and foreclosure of highly securitized debt secured by the Marriott Waikiki.
- Five Mile Capital Partners, as special servicer in the workout and foreclosure of securitized debt secured by a 39 property, 13 state shopping center portfolio.
Acquisitions and Dispositions
- Africa Israel, in connection with the $165 million sale of the Clock Tower Building at 5 Madison Avenue, New York.
- DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, in connection with the acquisition of commercial properties in New York City.
- Starwood Capital Group, in connection with the acquisition of the leasehold interest at 1372 Broadway, New York.
- Starwood Capital Group, in connection with the acquisition of 435 West 50th Street.
Gaming and Lodging
- Penn National Gaming, in connection with the proposed Hollywood-branded destination casino, hotel, retail and entertainment center in Springfield, Massachusetts; and gaming projects in Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.
- Intercontinental Hotels Group, in connection with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square, New York.
- Morgans Hotel Group, in connection with management agreements at various properties in New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
- DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, in connection with the development of a boutique hotel in New York City.
- Starwood Capital Group, in connection with the acquisition of debt related to the Standard Hotel in New York City.
- Microsoft Corporation, in connection with its New York City headquarters lease and a lease in Midtown South.
- Havas Worldwide, in connection with its New York City headquarters lease.
- Société Générale, in connection with its New York City headquarters lease.
- Knight Capital, in connection with various leases and subleases throughout the United States.
- Major League Baseball, in connection with leasing of office space in New York City.
- BT Americas, in connection with its New York City headquarters lease.
- ING Investment Management, in connection with its New York City headquarters lease.
Workouts and Restructurings
- Borders Group, Inc., with respect to the disposition of real estate assets throughout the country in connection with its bankruptcy and liquidation.
- GFI Capital, in connection with the restructuring of certain real estate assets in New York City and Palm Springs, California.
- Capital Trust, in connection with the restructuring of a mezzanine loan, and a mortgage loan secured by property located in Miami, Florida.
- DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, in connection with the modification of mortgage debt secured by a resort hotel in the Caribbean.
The Legal 500 2012 – Real Estate
Kasowitz has been recognized by The Legal 500 as a leading firm in the area of Real Estate. The practice is described as “outstanding,” with attorneys who are “smart, practical, available, hardworking, personable dealmakers.” The publication notes that “the firm is valued for, among other strengths, its ability to combine its real estate, bankruptcy and litigation expertise.”
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.