Real Estate

Our Real Estate attorneys engage in a wide variety of commercial leasing matters – for companies large and small – including the review, drafting and negotiation of all types of leases such as industrial, retail and office, as well as ground and other triple net leases. Whether a client is a landlord or a tenant, Phillips Lytle has the experience and expertise to identify the critical lease issues and promptly and cost-effectively bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

Landlord and Tenant Representation

  • Represented landlords and tenants in matters involving urban and suburban office properties.
  • Represented retail landlords and tenants in leasing spaces in a wide variety of properties, including shopping centers, urban locations and mixed-use projects throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Represented owners and tenants of data centers; energy generation and manufacturing facilities; utility infrastructures; shopping centers; hotels; armored truck and cash handling terminals; museums; precious metals and art storage facilities; hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; assisted living homes; research, university and medical projects; and other specialty properties.
  • Represented landlords and tenants in connection with the repositioning of properties, including subletting, assignments, early terminations of leases, alternative rent restructurings and sales of leaseholds.
  • Assisted clients in the establishment of policies and procedures on issues involving:
    • Creation of standard forms of leases and lease abstracts
    • Establishment of procedures for review and processing of leases
    • Insurance coverage, environmental reviews and risk management issues
    • Implementation of real estate tracking software
    • Establishment of standardized leasing requirements on key issues
  • Trained in-house real estate personnel with respect to routine transactions such as estoppel requests, non-disturbance agreements, storage agreements and temporary licenses.
  • Worked with in-house construction departments and project managers, as well as outside consultants, with respect to:
    • Architectural agreements
    • General contractor and subcontractor agreements
    • Allocation of build-out responsibility
    • Land use and zoning approvals
    • Overseas fabrication of point-of-purchase and sign fixtures
  • Represented public and privately held organizations in connection with corporate real estate matters such as:
    • Consents of over landlords and lenders to assignments of leaseholds and transfers of properties in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions
    • Environmental due diligence, compliance and remediation programs
    • Sales of real estate portfolios
    • Closing of conventional and IDA-assisted financing to build-out and equip leased space
  • Represented landlords in connection with the bankruptcies of tenants.
  • Represented tenants in connection with issues related to landlord bankruptcies, including enforcement of pre-petition obligations of landlord and analysis of options and strategies for going forward.
  • Represented landlords in the leasing and subleasing of mixed-use office/retail centers and industrial properties, as well as initial lease-up of multi-tenant new construction office buildings throughout the east coast.
  • Represented landlords and tenants in connection with the ground leasing of environmentally distressed properties. Our work included issues involving compliance with federal and environmental laws, abatement of USTs, ground water and soil contaminants.
  • Represented landlords and tenants in connection with zoning, building department and landmark issues.
  • Represented landlords in connection with site preparation issues, including site-compaction, curb-cuts, utility issues and regulatory matters.
  • Represented BPO client in domestic and offshore letting of space for permanent high-density occupancy locations and subletting of substantial spaces for short-term (three to six months) seasonal projects requiring a large number of personnel, communications and technology availability, permitting, build-out and other related issues.
  • Represented private developer/landlord and physician clients on build/rehab-to-suit buildings for a university, hospital, computing center, ambulatory surgery center, imaging center, medical office and similar properties.

Additionally, our dispute resolution experience encompasses the following:

  • Rent escalations
  • Gross sales audits
  • CAM audits
  • Construction disputes, including mechanics liens, warranty claims and construction delays
  • Additional rent and other charges
  • Zoning and licensing issues
  • Default notices and the responses to default notices
  • “Yellowstone” injunctions
  • Allocation of environmental remediation responsibility
  • Consents
  • Rent arbitrations

Retail Leasing Transactions

  • Represented Fortune 10 company in connection with retail showroom leases at the World Trade Center and South Street Seaport.
  • Represented a New York Stock Exchange fashion accessory retailer in connection with numerous shopping center and urban retail locations across the United States and Canada.
  • Represented a major international bank in connection with numerous branch and office leases for urban, suburban and shopping center properties, including ground lease development transactions.
  • Represented a fashion tenant in matters involving retail leases located in urban and shopping center properties.
  • Represented a shopping center developer in connection with numerous retail leases in mall properties.
  • Represented a grocery store chain as tenant in mega food store locations in Upstate New York.
  • Represented a Manhattan developer in connection with a master antique center lease and several retail antique dealer leases.
  • Represented an owner in connection with a series of restaurant leases.
  • Represented an ownership trust in connection with appliance store leases.
  • Represented a strip mall shopping center owner in connection with retail leases in Long Island, New York.
  • Represented a bank in connection with numerous leases and subleases of excess space.
  • Represented a landlord in connection with numerous retail and office leases in New York City.
  • Represented a bank in connection with numerous disputes and bankruptcy claims against a big box retail store chain.
  • Represented a foreclosing lender in connection with the lease for a New York City hotel property.
  • Represented an owner in connection with several retail art gallery leases in New York City, as well as in connection with art storage and shipping warehouses in Queens, New York and New Jersey.
  • Represented a book retailer in connection with several retail premises including its former flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
  • Represented a shopping center owner in connection with anchor department store leases.
  • Represented a tenant in connection with a lease for a skating rink in New York City.
  • Represented a retail home products company in numerous retail leases in Upstate New York and the Midwest.
  • Represented a travel agency in several retail locations in Western New York.
  • Represented a printing company in several leases located in Western New York and the Midwest.

Mixed-Use Real Estate Transactions

  • Represented a Japanese lender in connection with the financing, repositioning and reconstruction of an occupied office building for residential use.
  • Represented a lender in construction financing in the amount of $169 million for a mixed-use project on a site formerly occupied by a major department store for a group of U.S. developers and Japanese investors.
  • Represented a commercial lender in the financing of a multimillion-dollar recreational and entertainment complex.
  • Represented a lender in connection with the establishment and implementation of documentation and procedures for the closing of loans ranging from $500,000 –$200,000,000, each secured by multi-family properties in disadvantaged areas.
  • Represented a developer/ground lessor in construction financing in the amount of $120 million for a “trophy” mixed-use building on the east side of Manhattan, and represented a developer in replacement construction financing in the amount of $150 million from a Japanese bank.
  • Represented a FORTUNE 500 company in connection with the sale of a portfolio of Manhattan long-term leaseholds.
  • Represented the purchaser of a multimillion-dollar mixed-use building on the east side of Manhattan, including the formation of a general partnership among the venturers and three acquisition loans.
  • Represented a developer in the conversion of a part-commercial and part-residential condominium on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with an aggregate sales price of approximately $25 million.
  • Represented a lender in a bankruptcy proceeding involving a portfolio of properties valued at more than $90 million and in the foreclosure and forced sale of certain properties.
  • Represented a fee owner in the sale of a parcel located within a shopping center to a nationwide hotel chain, including issues relating to reciprocal easements, signage and parking.
  • Represented a landlord in major anchor department store and retail shopping center leases in regional shopping centers located across the Southeast.
  • Represented a landlord in connection with the acquisition of several multi-tenant office and residential buildings in Washington, DC and Texas. Our work included ensuring compliance with the applicable local laws.
  • Represented an internationally known contractor in connection with the construction contracts and joint venture agreements for the construction of hotel, office, industrial and co-generation facilities.
  • Represented a purchaser in connection with the purchase, financing and reconstruction of a portfolio of approximately 40 residential properties in Bedford, Stuyvesant, Throggs Neck and Morris Park.
  • Represented an architect/developer and equity investor in connection with the reconstruction of five historic properties located in Tribeca.

Office Leasing Transactions

  • Represented boutique tenant in the lease of space in an iconic New York City landmark office building. Issues included supplemental air conditioning and issues unique to short-term rentals.
  • Represented office/information systems tenant in the renewal of an office building lease in Chelsea. The project required keeping an existing renewal option alive while simultaneously negotiating a new lease for reconfigured space on terms different from the renewal option.
  • Represented a not-for-profit tenant in a lease for a full floor of office space in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented office tenant in connection with the lease of the majority of the tower space of a landmark New York City office building. Issues included satisfying the requirements of the underlying ground lease with a municipal agency and securing non-disturbance agreements from multiple public sector parties.
  • Represented anchor office tenant in connection with the lease of substantially all of the space of a build-to-suit building in downtown Buffalo. Issues included on-site and off-site parking, securing a package of public benefits, negotiations with respect to operating budgets, CAM, design parameters for the construction of landlord’s work and the construction management of tenant’s work.
  • Represented multi-floor law firm tenant. Issues included signage, 24-hour support, emergency generator service and extensive build-out requirements.
  • Represented large governmental entity in connection with leasing its office headquarters. Issues included the landlord’s concerns with regard to leasing to a public sector tenant and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Represented office tenant in connection with simultaneously leasing expansion space from the landlord and subleasing additional expansion space from an existing tenant, with the sublet space set to merge with the main lease upon the expiration of the existing overlease and sublease.
  • Represented financial institution in connection with the lease of a reconfigured office building. Issues included private entrance, street presence, signage, security and emergency generator issues.
  • Represented start-up tenant in connection with its headquarters lease. Issues included the security deposit, a “good guy” guarantee and the reduction/return of same over time.
  • Represented high-tech tenant in connection with a think-tank style office lease. Issues included allocation of building conduits and roof space, installation of building-wide DAS system, allocation of available alternate source energy and emergency backup generators.
  • Represented national tenant in connection with the establishment of its policies and procedures for environmentally sensitive “green” office leasing initiatives.
  • Represented oil trading company as a tenant in connection with the landlord’s buyout of the company’s leasehold interest in its New York headquarters.
  • Represented a major financial institution in the lease of the majority of an existing Manhattan office building for its regional headquarters, including space uses ranging from data center to executive offices. Issues included emergency backup generators, 24-hour services, building security, expansion and contraction rights.
  • Represented partial floor office tenant in connection with relocation of other tenants and leasing the remainder of the floor. Issues included negotiating terms to relocate other tenants, obtaining the landlord’s cooperation and consent, and engineering issues such as asbestos, fire partitions and egress.
  • Represented several tenants in connection with new leases and lease renewals for a landlord with a reputation for creative accounting. Issues included precise definition of operating expenses, audit rights, caps on additional rent charges and covenants with regard to maintaining building services.
  • Represented global media company in a multi-floor relocation lease in Lower Manhattan, including consolidation of multiple offices and simultaneous sublease of prior space.
  • Represented Brazilian high-end clothing manufacturer in entering and establishing corporate headquarters in the U.S.
  • Represented private equity firm in turn-key lease in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented venture capital firm in turn-key lease establishing New York office.
Commercial Leasing