Rent Stabilization Association of NYC - Litigation in New York State Supreme Court
Representation of the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC, the largest trade association in New York City dedicated to protecting and serving the interests of the residential housing industry, in litigation filed in New York state Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of the state's Tenant Protection Unit and a set of new rent regulations that violate rent regulated owners' rights.
Clear Channel Outdoor - Department of Buildings
Advise Clear Channel Outdoor in several matters including oversight by the NYC Department of Buildings regarding the outdoor billboard industry and litigation related to the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals and the use of billboards on MTA property.
Real Estate Developer - Business Divorce
Representation of a real estate owner/entrepreneur in a difficult business divorce from a longtime partner, involving numerous properties. We achieved a very favorable settlement with minimal litigation expense, and obtained a very favorable arbitration award on related issues.
Real Estate Company - Restaurant and Night Club
Representation of a real estate company seeking to open a restaurant and night club in Manhattan in its dealings with the New York City Department of Buildings, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Office of the Mayor.
Real Estate Developer - Large Retail Shopping Center
Representing a real estate developer in connection with the development of a large shopping center complex in New York City. Our work includes a significant Uniform Land Use Review Process application involving zoning changes, street mappings, special permits, government relations activities and an environmental impact statement.
Property Management Firm - Motion to Intervene and Vacate $2.3 Million Default Judgment
Representing a high profile property management firm and one of its executives in litigation related to a $2.3 million default judgment obtained against a company formerly owned by the firm coupled with allegations that our clients fraudulently transferred ownership of the business in order to avoid liability. Our motion to intervene in the underlying action and vacate the default judgment was granted by the trial court, but later overturned on appeal. The Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, has since agreed to review our case.
Dispute with Former Property Manager - Allegations of Fraud and Self-Dealing
Representing the property owner of four valuable Manhattan buildings in an action filed in New York state court against our client's former property manager with damage claims in excess of $5 million. Dispute involves allegations of fraudulent and bad-faith conduct that included self-dealing, comingling of funds, and the misrepresentation of material information.
Lenders/Title Insurance - Litigation to Protect $15 Million in First Priority Mortgages
Representation of lenders in a case in which the plaintiffs, including a prominent New Jersey real estate developer, are seeking to divest the owner of twenty-two investment properties located in Jersey City and North Bergen, New Jersey of title and, in so doing, avoid our clients' $15 million in first priority mortgages secured by those properties.
Lender/Title Insurance - New York Supreme Court Victory
Obtained reversal of a New York Supreme Court ruling finding that the deed transferring title to a property was void ab initio. Our client, a lender with a first priority mortgage lien on the property, had not been named as a party in the underlying action, but was sued in a subsequent action filed by plaintiffs seeking to use the ruling to extinguish our client's $2.5 million lien on the property. We successfully intervened in the underlying lawsuit on behalf of the lender and argued that the Judge's original ruling -- finding that the deed was void ab initio -- was incorrect as a matter of law.
Title Insurance Company/Property Owner - Restrictive Covenant Dispute
Representing the owner of a vacant parcel of land in Westchester County, New York in a dispute with neighboring property owners over our client's plans to construct an affordable housing complex on the property. Relying on a century-old restrictive covenant contained in a prior deed which prohibited development of a "tenement or flat-house" on the property, the neighboring property owners are attempting to block our client's planned development of the land.
Real Estate Investment Company - Litigation Arising from Failed Real Estate Joint Venture
Representing a real estate investment company in litigation arising from a failed joint venture to acquire, own and operate a 50 percent tenant-in-common interest in fourteen valuable midtown Manhattan commercial properties. Dispute includes claims that our client's former partner breached a contribution agreement between the parties by selling the rights and interest in the acquisition to a third-party for its own benefit, misappropriating funds intended for joint venture purposes, and misappropriating a $46 million payment that it was not entitled to under the terms of the agreement.
Limited Liability Company - Malpractice Claims
Representing a limited liability company in litigation with former counsel in a dispute involving allegations of malpractice in the preparation of a written operating agreement and the refinancing of a property located in Brooklyn. Action seeks to recover damages of over $11 million, plus interest and attorneys' fees.
New York State Association for Affordable Housing - Challenge to Local Law 44
Representing the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and individual developers in litigation seeking to invalidate Local Law 44 - which requires any developer receiving city funding to submit quarterly wage reports - as unconstitutional, pre-empted by New York state law, and imposing an unreasonable economic burden on small businesses competing for affordable housing work. As a result of our pending litigation, the NYC Department of Housing and Preservation has agreed to delay implementing the Local Law, pending resolution of the litigation.
Developer - Dispute with the City of Long Beach, New York
Representing a real estate owner/developer in a high-profile dispute with the City of Long Beach, New York over zoning ordinances relating to a planned four tower condominium project. Herrick helped secure an appellate win permitting our client to seek monetary damages against the city in this litigation which also seeks a judgment declaring that our client is entitled to a building permit that would allow completion of the ocean front development as originally approved.
Mezzanine Lenders - Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Litigation
Herrick is co-counsel to junior lenders in litigation related to the foreclosure of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan's largest housing complex, which our clients allege was based on a flawed premise, designed to provide an unjust windfall of approximately $1 billion to the defendants at the expense of junior lenders.
Real Estate Investment Company - Dispute with Former Joint Venture Partner
Defense of a real estate investment company in litigation related to the sale of an iconic Charlotte, NC hotel, once jointly owned by our client, the plaintiff and other investors. Claiming to have been fraudulently induced into selling its stake in the property, the plaintiff unsuccessfully sought an injunction to block the sale of the hotel and now seeks economic damages in excess of $10 million arising from a sale price the plaintiff alleges was below market value.
Representation of telecom companies, automobile aftermarket companies, an executive office suite company, an investment bank, a debt collection company, an electronics company, a paper mill, several dotcoms, and various investment funds and management companies in their financial restructuring.
Developer - Successful Defense in Breach of Contract and Fraud Dispute
Successfully defended a developer against claims for breach of contract and fraud filed by the buyer of a 23-acre Staten Island waterfront property who alleged our client and an affiliated engineering firm failed to reveal problems with a seawall that protected the property.
Toll Brothers - Zoning Analysis
Representing Toll Brothers in connection with the zoning analysis of various New York City properties and development sites.
Hotel Financings - Real Estate and Investment Management Firm
Represented a prominent real estate and investment management firm on two senior mortgage loan financings aggregating $57.5M, and secured by full service hotels in East Rutherford and Edison, New Jersey, including issues attendant to implementation of a multi-million dollar property improvement plan.
RXR Realty - 237 Park Avenue Acquisition
Representation of RXR Realty in its joint venture acquisition of 237 Park Avenue, a 1.2 million-square-foot office building located in the heart of the Grand Central District, between 45th and 46th Streets.
Local New Jersey and New York Real Estate Counsel
Represent a nationally known moving equipment and storage rental company, as local New Jersey and New York real estate counsel, in connection with various financing transactions secured by properties in New York and New Jersey.
$27M Sale of a Ground Lease
Represention of a privately-held real estate holding and property management company (as seller) on a $27M sale of a ground lease of a high-rise residential rental building in Manhattan, which also contains certain commercial space.
Lighthouse Opportunity Fund - $100M Mortgage Financing
Representation of New Jersey-based real estate investment company, the Orbach Group's Lighthouse Opportunity Fund, in a $100M financing deal as part of the fund's $214M acquisition of a 30-building apartment portfolio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Commercial Bank - Financing
Representation of a commercial bank in a $65 million acquisition and capital improvement loan to finance the acquisition and improvement of 14 multi-family properties in Houston, Texas.
Commercial Bank - Financing
Representation of a commercial bank in a $24.5 million acquisition and capital improvement loan to finance the acquisition and improvement of an office building in Nashville, Tennessee.
Real Estate Litigation - Breach of Debt Obligations and Fraudulent Conveyance
Representation of real estate developers in litigation with a former investor alleged to have induced our clients into arranging and guaranteeing a loan based on false financial statements. After defaulting on the loan, the investor is alleged to have fraudulently transferred assets in an attempt to avoid liability. This litigation was ultimately settled on favorable terms to our client and voluntarily dismissed.
Title Insurance Underwriter and Agent - Summary Judgment Dismissing All Claims
Obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims against a title insurance underwriter and its agent following a coverage dispute arising out of a tax sale certificate that was not properly redeemed and discharged at the time of closing in accordance with the statute that governs redemptions after tax foreclosure proceedings have been commenced. The plaintiff in the action alleged that the title insurance underwriter and agent failed to advise its closing counsel how to comply with a statute designed to prevent "heir hunters" from preying upon parties vulnerable to foreclosure in the tumultuous period following the death of a predecessor owner, as occurred here.
Landlords and Managing Agents - Dismissal of Hurricane Sandy Class Action
Representing three defendant/owner-landlords and five defendant managing agents of rental properties, located in downtown Manhattan, in a putative bi-lateral class action brought by three plaintiffs seeking rent reimbursement for loss of electricity and other services during Hurricane Sandy. Plaintiffs purported to represent a class of all similarly situated tenants in the State of New York against our clients, who were sued individually and as named representatives for a putative defendant class of all similarly situated landlords and managing agents in the State of New York. We successfully obtained dismissal of the complaint on a pre-class certification motion for summary judgment made prior to any discovery, asserting that the class claims as pled failed to satisfy the statutory requisites of a class action.
CPCR - Domino Sugar Redevelopment - Zoning and Land Use
Representation of CPCR, an affiliate of the Community Preservation Corporation, in the development of the sprawling 11.5-acre waterfront complex in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that was formerly home to Domino Sugar. We advised CPCR on the site's rezoning, which will result in one of the largest residential redevelopment projects in the city.
Real Estate Developer - 1.5 Million Square-Foot Mixed-Use Project
Representation of an institutional real estate developer and owner in connection with the development of more than 1.5 million square feet of multifamily and commercial property on the west side of Manhattan; including negotiations with various government entities regarding the transfer of a significant amount of air rights to allow for the development.
Woolworth Building Owners - Condominium Conversion and Sale
Represented the owners of the iconic Woolworth Building – a joint venture between Cammeby's International and The Witkoff Group – in the conversion of the building's top 30 floors to a condominium unit, and the $68 million sale of the unit to Alchemy Properties.
Lightstone Group - Bronx Movie Theater Acquisition
Represented the Lightstone Group in the $30 million acquisition of the Whitestone Cinemas multiplex in the Bronx, New York. The sale is the second largest so far this year in the Bronx, according to data from Real Capital Analytics, and the fifth-largest sale in the borough since 2008.
Insurance Company - Mortgage Financings
Representation of a major U.S. insurance company in numerous mortgage loans on various commercial properties in Manhattan, Westchester and Long Island.
Toll Brothers - Joint Venture Development of Brooklyn Bridge Park
We are representing Toll Brothers City Living, the urban development division of Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE: TOL), in its joint venture with Starwood Capital Group to develop a 550,000-square-foot luxury hotel and residential complex at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The new mixed-use community is slated to feature a 200-room "1 Hotel" as well as 159 waterfront residences. Ground-breaking for the project is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2013.
RXR Realty – Office and Retail Leasing Matters
Representation of RXR Realty, one of the largest real estate operating and investment companies in the New York tri-state area, in office and retail leasing at the 2.3 million square-foot Starrett-Lehigh building, one of Manhattan's ten largest office buildings.
PCCP Capital – $65M Mortgage Financing
We represented real estate private equity firm PCCP Capital in the origination of a $65M loan used for the acquisition and repositioning of Cassa Hotel, a 165-room luxury hotel property in New York City.
First Lien Lender - Property Owner Bankruptcy
Herrick represented the first lien lender on a $20 million loan secured by a nearly completed, uninhabited 46 unit condominium project. The lender was in the process of foreclosing on the property when the property owner filed a chapter 11 case. Working collaboratively with the mezzanine lender to whom the membership interests of the property owner were pledged, Herrick successfully maintained the receiver in place and forced the debtor to transfer the property to the lender under a chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
Major Developer - Hotel Acquisition Litigation
Representation of a contract buyer of a Florida hotel in an action for specific performance with an abatement. The seller of the hotel is seeking to declare a forfeiture of our client's deposit, and we are counter claiming to force the sale of the hotel to him.
Tricham Housing Associates - Sale
Representation of Tricham in the sale of a 179-unit affordable housing complex located in East Harlem, which was known for many years as Tricham Houses and was renamed East River Apartments by the buyer.
RXR Realty - Closure Certification
Representation of RXR Realty in connection with obtaining a closure certification under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and state hazardous waste management regulations from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for successfully decommissioning and remediating a facility where hazardous waste had been generated and abandoned by a former tenant.
Registration of Real Estate Fund Managers
Comprehensive regulatory advice to a platform of real estate advisory entities with respect to registration obligations and related compliance issues under the new Dodd-Frank requirements for investment advisers.
Pension Fund - Mortgage Financings
Representation of a New York State pension fund in multiple commercial mortgage loans, including the financing of the fee and leasehold positions in two Manhattan Garment District office buildings.
Representation of a group of five property owners in connection with a three-block rezoning with inclusionary housing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Sherwood Equities - High Line Acquisitions and Developments
Represented Sherwood Equities in connection with the acquisition of development sites at 508 West 20th Street and 360 Tenth Avenue, near the High Line Park. We also assisted Sherwood with the acquisition and sale of a significant amount of development rights; and the financing and development of the sites.
Real Estate Investor - Note Acquisition
Representation of a real estate investor in connection with the acquisition of encumbering a distressed note purchase encumbering a parking facility in Nashville, Tennessee.
New York Developer - Brownfield Redevelopment
Representation of a New York developer in redeveloping a large Brownfield site in the Bronx and negotiating the relevant transactions documents, including financing, joint venture and purchase option documents. Complex redevelopment issues made use of our government relations, land use and environmental departments.
Finance Company - Ponzi Scheme Foreclosure
Representation of a finance company in its foreclosure of a commercial property placed in receivership due to the collapse of an alleged Ponzi scheme by the ownership entity.
Anglo Irish Bank - 225 Rector Street
We helped Anglo Irish Bank Corporation in a complex foreclosure against a developer who became emblematic of the dramatic fall of some high-profile dealmakers during the New York City housing bust.
Planet Hollywood - New Restaurant Leases
Representation of Planet Hollywood International, Inc. in connection with the negotiation of leases for new restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and Boca Raton.
Sabet Group - Condo Development Purchase
Representation of Sabet Group in the acquisition of numerous New York City apartment buildings, including the $8.5 million purchase of the stalled Hudson Blue condominium development in New York City's West Village.
The Hewitt School - Bond Financing
Representation of The Hewitt School in connection with the replacement of a letter of credit provided to the school as credit enhancement to bonds issued by the New York City Industrial Development Agency.
Aristone Realty Capital - Syndication Investment
Representation of Aristone Realty Capital in connection with a syndicated investment in debt secured by a distressed condominium development in New York City, and further financing to complete the project.
Land Owner - NYC Boutique Hotel Development
Representation of a land owner in connection with the development of a boutique hotel in New York City's meatpacking district. Our work includes the negotiation of financing, joint ventures, air rights transfers, hotel franchise and management agreements, and construction contracts for the planned 130,000 square foot hotel.
Garrison Special Opportunities Fund - Loan Acquisition
Representation of Garrison Special Opportunities Fund LP in the acquisition from a large investment bank of senior mezzanine and first mortgage loans encumbering a property on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Our work included negotiating financing for the loans with a European bank, and handling the restructure of a junior mezzanine loan, a senior mezzanine loan and a mortgage loan with the owner.
WNET - World Wide Plaza Lease
Representation of public television network WNET on a 15-year, 95,000 square-foot headquarters lease at World Wide Plaza in Midtown Manhattan.
Title Insurance Company - Class Action Defense
Representation of a title insurance company in a class action alleging overcharges on premiums for policies sold to consumers in New Jersey. We settled—on terms favorable to our client—early enough in negotiations to minimize our client's legal fees.
New World Acquisitions - Settlement Agreement
Representation of New World Acquisitions in the negotiation and documentation of the terms on which they and their venture partner would enter into a reciprocal support and plan settlement agreement with other third parties in the bankruptcy of Fremont General Corporation.
Major Bank - Private Banking Transaction
Representation of a major bank in a private banking transaction in which the bank made two $25 million loans to an individual and certain entities he controls. The first was secured by a pledge of membership interest in three entities that own properties in Brooklyn. The second was secured by mortgages on certain real property
Condominium Developer - Appeal Victory
Representation of a condominium developer in overcoming an appeal in a case involving their ownership of an historic Ethiopian synagogue in Harlem. Our client purchased the property in reliance on two court orders approving the sale. A faction of the congregation challenged it, however, claiming that the sellers had neither the permission nor the authority to sell the synagogue. After litigation in both federal and state courts, a trial court granted summary judgment to the developer, finding they were a bona fide purchaser for value and the record owner. The congregation appealed, but the First Department unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decision.
REIT - Office Building Settlement
Representation of a major, publicly-owned REIT in obtaining a favorable settlement in a multi-million dollar litigation related to cleaning and maintenance services at four large office buildings in New York City.
Loan Servicer - Hotel Receiver Appointment
Representation of special servicer in procuring appointment of a receiver on behalf of a securitization trust for an operating hotel in the New York metropolitan area. The receiver received broad powers under the order that Herrick crafted. The order empowered the receiver to act in the owner's stead in making decisions for the hotel reserved to the owner under the hotel management agreement. Even rarer, the receiver order empowered the receiver to sell the property prior to completion of the foreclosure under specified parameters.
Institutional Lender - Stay Relief and Foreclosure
Representation of an institutional lender in obtaining relief from the automatic stay in bankruptcy over the objection of a borrower claiming a right to purchase the property at a discount to the total debt. After stay relief was granted and a foreclosure sale scheduled, the borrower obtained an injunction against the sale, using cash collateral without consent to obtain a bond. We removed the case to bankruptcy court, obtained forfeiture of the bond and dissolution of the injunction, completed the foreclosure sale, quashed the borrower's effort to depose the federal agency that had sold the loan to our client and obtained dismissal of the injunction action with prejudice.
MF Global - Corporate Headquarters Lease
Representation of MF Global Inc. in connection with the negotiation of its new 62,000 square foot New York headquarters lease at the Park Avenue Plaza (55 East 52nd Street).
Landmark Issues - Former Bank Branch Owner
Representation of the owners of a former bank branch in their attempts to lease the interior landmark space to a major national drugstore chain. Our attorneys and urban planning professionals worked with the chain and its architects in adjusting its national store design guidelines to meet with standards set by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Title Insurance Agency - Frivolous Claim Defense
Representation of a title insurance agency in a suit brought by a property seller. We won summary judgment and a dismissal of all claims. The court also ruled that the plaintiff had committed fraud in connection with the transaction, and imposed sanctions against him and his counsel, including attorney's fees, for frivolous litigation.
Emmes Asset Management - Investment Adviser Agreement
Representation of Emmes Asset Management Company LLC, a registered investment adviser, in its investment adviser agreement with a state pension fund allocating several hundred million dollars to investments in real estate opportunities.
Sabet Group - Acquisition of Ten Manhattan Properties
We helped Sabet Group simultaneously acquire ten Manhattan apartment buildings known as the Norman Portfolio. During the final stage of the acquisition bid for the portfolio, we learned the other final bidder wanted the development rights appurtenant to three of the properties. We negotiated with the bidder to drop their final bid, in exchange for the sale of the development rights at the same time we acquired the portfolio for Sabet Group. We closed the entire deal approximately one week after Sabet won the bid.
Litigation Victory - Clear Channel v. Times Square
Representation of Clear Channel Spectacolor in its successful effort to prevent its landlord from terminating its lease because of its late renewal. The court ruled that the delay was inadvertent, that Clear Channel would suffer a significant forfeiture if not permitted to renew and that Clear Channel had engendered substantial good will by leasing its display space to iconic advertisers such as Hershey’s.
Developer - 270 Unit Condominium Project
Representation of a developer in the structuring and financing of a 270 unit ground lease condominium project in Battery Park City in Manhattan. The transaction involved a complex corporate structure with two tiers of preferred equity, a mezzanine loan, construction loans, senior secured debt and the need to comply with the laws governing condominiums.
Real Estate Brokerage - Employment Dispute
Representation of a real estate brokerage in an action by a former employee for age discrimination and breach of oral contract promising severance. The Court dismissed the breach of contract claim, finding the oral contract too vague to be enforceable.
Youngwoo - AIG Headquarters Acquisition
Representation of Youngwoo & Associates in acquiring the AIG headquarters building at 70 Pine Street and an adjacent building in Manhattan. A joint venture that included investors in Korea funded the $150 million purchase price, which established a new floor for commercial property values downtown.
Quik Park - Garage Acquisition and Financing
Representation of Rafael Llopiz of Quik Park, one of New York's leading parking garage operators, in acquiring and financing the garage condominium unit in the 40 Mercer Street Condominium--a luxury condominium designed by Jean Nouvel, a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Title Insurance Company - Agent’s Fraud Imputed to Lender
Representation of a title insurance company against a lender whose agent committed a fraud that caused the loss of the insured mortgage. Our client successfully argued that since the agent acted on behalf of the bank, the fraud could be attributed to the bank and therefore fell under the policy’s exclusion for “acts of the insured.” The court’s ruling will have ramifications in the title insurance and mortgage lending industry since many sub-prime lenders relied upon unscrupulous agents to close their loans, and to the extent any frauds committed by those agents lead to a title loss, the lenders cannot look to the title insurers for indemnification.
Major Publicly-Owned REIT - Settlement
Representation of a major, publicly-owned REIT in reaching a favorable settlement with a prospective 400,000 square foot tenant of a proposed major office building, arising from the REIT's decision to suspend development due to condition of the local real estate market.
Apartment Corporation - Second Avenue Subway
Representation of a major apartment corporation in negotiating a complex transaction involving the work to the building necessitated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's condemnation of portions of the apartment corporation's property in anticipation of their construction of the Second Avenue subway.
Real Estate Company - Workout
Representation of a major real estate owner-operator in work-out negotiations involving a series of construction loans with their first mortgage lender as well as several mezzanine lenders. This negotiation involves complicated inter-creditor issues, partnership funding issues and attorney general matters. It also requires attention to tax and 421(a) and other land use concerns.
Real Estate Company - Membership Interest Acquisition
Representation of a subsidiary of a major real estate developer in acquiring a minority interest in a limited liability company that owns and operates an underdeveloped property. The acquisition gives our client control over all decisions relating to the development of the property. Our client intends to redevelop the property in phases as moderate-income rental housing.
Weston United Community Renewal - Pro Bono
Pro bono representation of not-for-profit Weston United Community Renewal. Weston United uses its owned and leased real estate to provide shelters, work-programs and low-income housing for more than 1000 homeless and mentally- and physically-challenged individuals in New York City.
Instinet Incorporated - Manhattan Office Lease
Representation of financial services company Instinet in connection with a lease for the company's new corporate headquarters at 1095 Avenue of the Americas – one of the largest leases of new space in 2009.
Appellate Victory for Special Servicer
Representation of a special servicer in a suit against a borrower and three individual guarantors after the borrower procured subordinate financing in violation of a non-recourse carve-out provision. Our client was the special servicer for the lender. In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Appellate Division enforced the non-recourse carve-out provision and imputed personal liability to the borrower and guarantors. It concluded that the disputed clause fixes liability rather than damages and, therefore, does not constitute an unenforceable penalty as the borrower had argued. The Appellate Division also held that the borrower's efforts to “cure” the triggering event did not vitiate personal liability. As a result, the lender properly obtained a $5 million+ deficiency judgment against the borrower and guarantors.
Pension Fund - Mortgage Financing
Representation of a New York state pension fund in a multi-million dollar mortgage financing of 625 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
U.S. Commercial Bank - Mortgage Financing
Representation of a major U.S commercial bank in a mortgage loan transaction involving the acquisition and rehabilitation of a supportive housing complex for disabled individuals in Brooklyn.
Kushner Companies – 666 Fifth Avenue Condominium Conversion
We represented an affiliate of the Kushner Companies in the conversion of 666 Fifth Avenue to two condominium units – one mixed office/retail, and one retail. The conversion was the first step in a larger transaction involving the contribution of the $525 million retail condo unit to a joint venture between Kushner Companies, the Carlyle Group and Crown Acquisitions. We helped negotiate the condominium declaration and bylaws between the joint venture partners, and between them and the existing lender, the mortgage loan's main servicer, and new lenders providing financing for the retail unit.
Part of the Solution - Building Acquisition
Pro bono representation of Part of the Solution ("POTS") in the acquisition of a building adjacent to their Bronx headquarters. We helped negotiate the contract for purchase and the mortgage financing, which was provided by a not-for-profit entity specializing in loans to comparable borrowers.
JP Morgan Chase - Fraud Litigation Victory
Represented JP Morgan Chase in a suit brought by a borrower's principal and guarantors alleging that our client had impermissibly drawn down on a letter of credit provided as a security for a loan on a piece of property in Harlem. Herrick won summary judgment and the borrower appealed. The First Department affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the complaint. The decision clears the way for the ultimate foreclosure of the property.
National Black Theatre - Real Estate Litigation Victory
Representation of the National Black Theatre in winning summary judgment against its partner Nubian properties in a real estate breach-of-contract suit involving National Black Theatre's landmark headquarters at the corner of 125th Street and 5th Avenue in Harlem, also known as "National Black Theatre Way."
Real Estate Development Company - Land Purchase Dispute
Representation of real estate development company in an appeal arising from its $3 million purchase and development of 7.5 acres of land from Hebrew Huntington Congregation. A faction of the congregation challenged the court's order that permitted our client to purchase the land under the Religious Corporations Law. The Second Department upheld the order and dismissed the appeal as moot, recognizing that our client was a bona fide good faith purchaser.
Las Vegas Conference Center Real Estate Investors - Arbitration Victory
Representation of one of three investor groups in an existing five million square foot conference and exhibit center in Las Vegas in a seven-week, three-panel arbitration over each investor group's rights and ownership in the project. The panel found that all parties to the transaction, except Herrick's clients, had engaged in wrongful conduct. The conference center, at its completion, will cost more than $1 billion to build and is planned to expand to 12 million square feet.
Real Estate Company - Management Agreement Litigation
Representation of a real estate services company in a $20 million lawsuit brought by former customers. The former customers, owners of two large NYC office buildings, claimed that our client, which managed the buildings, had committed numerous acts of wrongdoing over several years, including breaching the contracts, fraud, and breaching fiduciary duties. The customers sought to recover all the fees they’d paid our client over the years under New York’s “faithless servant” doctrine. The District Court granted our summary judgment motion, dismissing all of the higher-damage tort and equity claims, and we then settled the remaining breach of contract claim. The former customers lost their appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, bringing the case to a successful conclusion for our client.
Samsung Corporation - Real Estate Development
Representation of Samsung Corporation of Korea, in connection with a mixed-use real estate development in the New York region. We worked closely with Samsung’s executive and due diligence team in negotiating the purchase and key documents, completing the due diligence and locating a local developer partner in the U.S.
Major Bank - Branch Leases
Representation of a major U.S. bank in its retail branch leases throughout New York and New Jersey.
342 East 72nd Street Corporation - Second Avenue Subway Entrance Relocation
Representation of 342 East 72nd Street Corporation in fighting the relocation of a new subway entrance. The original plans called for the entrance to be embedded in the basement of a building at the corner of 72nd Street and Second Avenue, but the MTA announced a new plan to move the entrance to the middle of the block on 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues—directly in front of residential buildings. Herrick is helping the local building owners fight this plan.
Developer - Zoning and Landmark for SoHo Site
Representation of a developer in obtaining special permit zoning approvals from the City Planning Commission for a new residential development at Wooster and Broome Streets in SoHo, Manhattan.
Investment Bank - Ritz Carlton Resort Condominiums
Representation of an investment bank in senior construction financings of resort condominium projects branded by Ritz Carlton in Maui, Hawaii, Rancho Mirage, Philadelphia, and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Investment Bank - Resort Financings
Representation of an investment bank in the pre-development financing of resort hotel projects in Rancho Mirage California, Bermuda and Rose Island, Bahamas.
Developer - $120 Million Condominium Business
Representation of a developer in creating a condominium regime on a commercial property in The Bronx, New York, to facilitate future leasing and potential sales. We are also advising the developer on the project’s associated applications to the New York Attorney General.
Real Estate Developer - $200 Million Condo Conversion JV
Representation of developer in a joint venture with an asset management company and a financial services firm in a condominium conversion and a $200 million offering of an occupied 117-unit rental building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
BRT Realty Trust - Tennessee and Florida Residential Developments
Representation of BRT Realty Trust, a publicly traded REIT, in the financing and refinancing of a chain of residential developments in Tennessee and Florida owned and operated by Steven Green. The series of transactions is worth several hundred million dollars. Herrick has represented the Gould family and its related entities for over 50 years.
Real Estate Company - Development Rights Acquisition
Representation of a real estate company in its negotiations to acquire a million square feet of development rights from the New York City Housing Authority. This project would also include the redevelopment of the 145,000 square-foot Beacon High School.
2000 - Present
Real Estate Developer - Oceana, Brighton Beach Condominiums
Representation of a real estate developer in obtaining New York City Planning Commission approval to construct the first major large scale residential development in Brooklyn in over 30 years. The project consists of more than 900 condominium units on the boardwalk at Oceana, Brighton Beach in Brooklyn.
Westbrook Partners, The Witkoff Group and Stellar Management - 405 Park Avenue
Representation of Westbrook Partners, The Witkoff Group and Stellar Management in the $205 million acquisition of 405 Park Avenue in Manhattan, and partnership interests in two Maryland Limited Partnerships that control an office building in Baltimore. We fired through the legal review and diligence of over 100 leases and prepared 30 lease abstracts in 24 hours, and completed the total legal diligence in just three days.
Reuters - North American Headquarters
Representation of Reuters in connection with the development, construction and leasing of 3 Times Square, an 855,000 square foot office tower in Times Square, New York.
Sunnyside Jewish Center - BSA Decision
Representation of Sunnyside Jewish Center in obtaining a zoning variance from the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals to convert and expand a location to which it is relocating into a synagogue.
Meecorp Capital Markets LLC - Building Acquisition
Representation of an affiliate of Meecorp in the acquisition of 1401 Feehanville Drive, Mount Prospect, IL, a single tenant office building occupied by ITT Educational Services. Financing was provided by Harris Bank, which we recommended to our client.
Commercial Real Estate Owner - Insurance Dispute
Representation of a commercial real estate client in connection with coverage for an injury to a contractor’s employee. The owner did not have enough insurance to cover its exposure to the injury, so we arranged a letter of credit to cover the uninsured balance and then helped settle the matter within the insurance limit, releasing the LOC without any draw down.
Curtiss-Wright - Leases
Representation of Curtiss-Wright Corporation in lease negotiations with an affiliate of Lincoln Properties for Curtiss Wright’s new corporate headquarters in Parsippany, NJ. We also represented Curtiss Wright in negotiating a lease assignment to JH Cohn for its existing premises.
Clean Harbors - Settlement of Superfund Liability
Representation of Clean Harbors in resolving a five-year dispute over the payment of response costs for cleaning up a superfund site in New Jersey. The settlement effectively removes one of the more serious environmental liabilities from our client’s books and narrows the scope of an earlier bankruptcy court order as to Clean Harbors’ assumption of environmental liabilities.
Rosen Partners - Hotel Financing
Representation of Rosen Partners LLC and their partners, Jack, Larry, Michael and Jason Pomeranc of The Thompson Hotel Group, in a $37 million mortgage loan from EuroHypo AG, New York Branch. The proceeds were used to refinance a construction loan on 6 Columbus, an 88-room boutique hotel located at 6 Columbus Circle in Manhattan. We assisted our client in all aspects of the project's development, including construction, interim and permanent financing, litigation with various contractors, and the implementation of a hotel management agreement.
Real Estate Joint Venture - $65 Million Long Island Acquisition
Representation of a joint venture between two major real estate companies in its $65 million acquisition and financing of a Long Island, New York office building. We structured the transaction as a purchase by tenants-in-common in order to take advantage of tenancy-in-common 1031 tax rules.
Real Estate Company - Massive Residential Portfolio Acquisition and Financing
Representation of a major real estate investment and service company in its acquisition and financing of a five-state, 14-property portfolio of residential rental and condominium apartment complexes involving complex real estate, zoning, tax, insurance, litigation and corporate structuring issues. The portfolio was financed through 14 first mortgage loans and 12 mezzanine loans, culminating in a four-day closing.
Commercial Bank - $61 Million Financing
Representation of a commercial bank in connection with a $60.7 million ground lease financing and an $11 million letter of credit The borrower plans to use the funds to rehabilitate a Madison Avenue commercial property.
Developer - Hudson River Development Dispute
Representation of a developer in a dispute over a purchase agreement to jointly develop property on the cliffs overlooking the Hudson River in Union City, New Jersey. The co-developer sued the developer, our client, for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, alleging, among other things, that the developer breached the purchase agreement. The court agreed with our argument that the developer indisputably complied with all terms of the purchase agreement and thus, the suit was frivolous. The court dismissed the co-developer's complaint with prejudice and sanctioned them and their counsel by awarding the developer its legal fees and costs in making its motion to dismiss.
Boutique Hotel Group - Land Use Approvals
Representation of a luxury boutique hotel group in obtaining land use approvals for the construction of a hotel on New York's Lower East Side, and regulatory approval for a hotel on Thompson Street, Manhattan.
Marathon Real Estate Opportunity Fund - Sophisticated Transactions
Representation of Marathon Real Estate Opportunity Fund in connection with a number of extremely sophisticated transactions including domestic and international joint ventures and strategic partnerships, acquisition of hotel properties, construction and development of Marriott branded hotels, Florida condominiums and documiniums, acquisition of office complexes in Paris, and the acquisition of one of the largest NYC parking owner/operators.
Title Insurer - Victory in Litigation Against the U.S. Government
Representation of an insured real property owner in defending against a large and complicated lawsuit by the U.S. Government over the purchase of a piece of real estate from the government. The case dragged on for three years before the insurer brought us in, and we won it on a motion for summary judgment.
Silverleaf Capital Group - European Real Estate Fund Formation
Representation of Silverleaf Capital Group in forming a Malta based private equity fund to invest in real estate development projects in Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. We worked with the fund's management and other service providers to structure the fund and draft offering documents and related agreements, and to customize the fund's structure to meet investor demands.
Real Estate Management Company - Repair and Restoration Dispute
Representation of a Manhattan real estate management company in a long-running dispute with a neighbor over the repair and restoration of a chimney. Immediately following a half-day bench trial, the justice ruled from the bench in favor of our client in the full amount claimed plus interest and attorneys' fees.
Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. - Eminent Domain Dispute
Representation of Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. in the Township of Logan, NJ, in its effort to remove an extensive area of its waterfront property from the township's redevelopment plan. The plan posed a threat of eminent domain proceedings by a third party. The owner is no longer burdened by that threat and can now sell or develop this property.
Harrison Eagle/Promonta Realty - Condemnation Dispute
Representation of Harrison Eagle LLP and Promonta Realty Corp. in obtaining reversal and remand of a trial court's condemnation judgment against them. Our clients own property in the town of Harrison, NJ. In 1997, the town designated an area in Harrison, including our clients' properties, as "in need of redevelopment," and in 2006 the redevelopment agency sued to condemn them. In 2007, the trial court ruled that our clients' defenses in the condemnation action were time-barred because they had not filed a timely action in lieu of prerogative writs under New Jersey Court Rule 4:69-6 (which generally requires that such an action be filed within 45 days of the governmental action being challenged) after the Town's governing body had designated their properties for redevelopment in 1997. In February 2008, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, reversed and remanded, ruling that our clients had been deprived of constitutionally adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard regarding the blight designation, and should therefore be entitled to assert the invalidity of the town's 1997 blight determination as a defense to the agency's condemnation action.
R.I. Island House LLC v. North Town Phase II Houses, Inc. - Mitchell Lama Contract Dispute
Representation of a major developer in enforcing a $100 million contract to sell a Mitchell Lama project on Roosevelt Island, New York. The trial court dismissed our complaint, but the Second Department, relying on our legal arguments, reversed the lower court and permitted the claim for specific performance to move forward. (R.I. Island House LLC v. North Town Phase II Houses, Inc. (2nd Dep't, May 2008)).
Real Estate Technology Company - Employment Issues
Representation of a company specializing in data and analytics in the residential real estate industry in a lawsuit by a former employee claiming wrongful discharge on the basis of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. We also represent the company in all aspects of its employment disputes, including contracts and risk management.
Loan Servicer - Complicated Foreclosure
Representation of a loan servicer for a holder of a defaulted mortgage loan, in pursuing foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan. We negotiated a sale of the loan contingent on foreclosure, but on the eve of the sale, the borrower filed for bankruptcy. We moved for stay relief and the borrower objected and sought to cure the default, which would have imposed a 40-year maturity. We negotiated a discounted payoff with a waiver of future borrower cure rights for a greater price than would have been received under the foreclosure contingent loan sale and persuaded the loan buyer to terminate the agreement.
Asset Manager - Multifamily Property Foreclosure
Representation of the asset manager for an investment bank in foreclosing on, and taking possession of, a multifamily 208-unit apartment complex encumbered by a deed of trust that our client obtained at a HUD auction sale of distressed debt. We obtained possession in less than 120 days, an extremely fast result in these cases.
Waterfront Property Owner - Generating Facility Litigation
Representation of the owner of a waterfront property in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, along with other Greenspoint/Williamsburg property owners, the City of NY and local community groups, in a successful New York State Department Sitting Board case against Transgas Energy's proposed generating facility on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Real Estate Planning and Development Company - Green Building Rezoning
Representation of a real estate planning and development company in rezoning one side of a stretch of East 124th Street in Harlem, New York, to permit construction of a 180+ unit residential building that meets LEED construction standards. 20% of the building's apartments are affordable for low income residents.
Asset Manager - Apartment Complex Reorganization
Representation of the asset manager for an investment bank in obtaining confirmation of a plan of reorganization jointly filed by our client, as secured creditor, and the debtor, resolving a case involving competing plans of reorganization. The confirmed plan provides for the debtor to repay 25% more than it had sought to pay, and at a higher interest rate over a shorter period.
Real Estate Developer - Inclusionary Housing
Representation of a real estate developer in negotiating an inclusionary contract with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development that permits the developer to construct a 25-unit affordable housing project and sell inclusionary zoning development rights.
Private Equity Fund - Sub-Prime Fund
Representation of a private equity fund in the formation of, and initial investment in, an international opportunity fund that will purchase troubled residential home mortgages, including sub-prime residential home mortgages, and work with each individual borrower to modify the terms so that they are affordable. The fund will then package or securitize the performing mortgages. The operations for this fund may very well be the first large scale private sector cure to the sub-prime debacle and reflects the private sector response advocated by the Chairwoman of the FDIC.
Real Estate Management Company - Tax Protection Dispute
Representation of a real estate management company in defending against a multi-million dollar claim that it breached a tax protection agreement with a property owner that contributed an office building to the partnership. The property owner claimed that the tax protection agreement was triggered by the real estate company's merger with another company.
Developer - $105 Million Office Building Conversion
Representation of a developer in the acquisition and financing of a commercial building in Chelsea, Manhattan, and its conversion to a mixed-use retail/residential building, the sale of the commercial unit, and the condominium offering of the residential units.
Marathon Quik Park - Joint Venture
Representation of Marathon Quik Park, one of New York's leading parking operators, in connection with a joint venture with a major rental apartment developer for the construction of a mixed-use garage and residential development in New York's garment district.
Joint Venture Principal - Resort Condo Acquisition
Representation of one principal of a joint venture in connection with the venture’s acquisition from another of its principals of a resort condominium in Deer Valley, Utah. In connection with the acquisition and future development of the resort, the joint venture also obtained up to $212 million in construction financing.
Developer - Complicated Loan Acquisition
Representation of a major New York developer in its acquisition of a senior mezzanine loan and a junior mezzanine loan secured by pledges of the direct and indirect equity interests in the owner of a Manhattan commercial building. The transaction also involved negotiating an intercreditor agreement with the existing mortgage lender, amending the existing mortgage loan and mezzanine loans, and negotiating a related joint venture agreement.
Fast Food Chain Franchisee - Restaurant Sales
Representation of one of the largest franchisees of a well-known international fast food chain in its real estate, employment, corporate, litigation and insurance matters, including the sale of numerous New York metropolitan area locations.
Major National Mortgage Acquirer - Foreclosure
Representation of a major national mortgage acquirer in its foreclosure on a mortgage loan made to the owner of a Chicago apartment complex, and in its enforcement of a lien on personal property. The borrower contested our lien and we used a sophisticated argument to win the case on a motion for summary judgment.
Investor Group - Acquisition
Representation of an investor group in its acquisition of QuikPark, New York City's fifth largest parking garage portfolio.
Artimus Construction - Acquisition/Sale
Representation of Artimus Construction in the acquisition of vacant land from a Harlem church for the development of 161 condominium units and a for-profit parking garage in exchange for building and selling back to the church a sanctuary and income producing apartments.
AEW Capital Management, L.P. - Refinance
Representation of AEW Capital Management, L.P. in an multi-million dollar Fannie Mae mortgage refinancing of a mortgage loan for The Brookside—a 149-unit senior housing campus consisting of 130 assisted living units and 19 Alzheimer's/memory care units in Freehold, NJ. We produced a legal opinion required by Fannie Mae regarding licensing, permits and special zoning specific to the senior housing project in a short timeframe.
Tenant Garage Operator - Summary Judgment
Representation of a tenant garage operator in an action commenced by a landlord in Supreme Court, New York County that alleged that the tenant was negligent in the garage's maintenance and, as a result, it had to be renovated. The action was dismissed upon the court's granting of the tenant's summary judgment motion.
Lightstone Group - Shopping Center Finance
Representation of the Lightstone Group in an almost $58 million acquisition and construction loan for a shopping center development adjacent to a Prime Outlets center in Williamsburg, VA.
Garrison Special Opportunities Fund - Mezzanine Loan Purchase
Representation of Garrison Special Opportunities Fund in their purchase of a $31.5 million mezzanine loan from a large investment bank. The loan is cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted by 100% of the membership interests in four mortgage borrowers, each owning a commercial office building in Reston, VA.
Lincoln Square Synagogue - Property and Development Rights Exchange
Representation of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in connection with an exchange of property and development rights that enabled the development of the largest synagogue in Manhattan since the 1920's. Our work on this matter helped the deals' brokers to be named "The Year's Most Ingenious Brokers" by REBNY.
Iqbal v. Five M. LLC - Finger Building Dispute
Representation of Iqbal LLC in a hard-fought and much-publicized battle between developers over the controversial "Finger Building" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Herrick won a decisive victory, forcing the defendants to reduce the size of their proposed building by six stories in height -- a major victory that tipped the balance in that litigation. (Iqbal v. Five M. LLC (Slip Op. Kings Co. 2007))
Creative Kids Enrichment, LLC v. Yorktown Office Warehouse, LLC - Lease Dispute
Representation of a commercial tenant in an action against its landlord seeking damages for the landlord’s failure to comply with a lease provision requiring completion of the building by a date certain. Herrick successfully prosecuted the litigation, and defended and argued an appeal, with the client ultimately winning both that appeal and the trial seeking lost profits and other extensive damages. (Creative Kids Enrichment, LLC v. Yorktown Office Warehouse, LLC, 838 N.Y.S.2d 149 (2nd Dep’t 2007))
RM 14 FK Corp. v. Bank One Trust Company - K-Mart Mortgage Dispute Appeal
Representation of a title insurer in its appeal of a trial court’s decision permitting a litigant to proceed with its claim seeking to void $30 million in mortgages, held by Merrill Lynch, encumbering 14 K-Mart stores throughout the US. The Appellate Division unanimously reversed the lower court, granting summary judgment for our client. (RM 14 FK Corp. v. Bank One Trust Company, 831 N.Y.S.2d 120 (1st Dept. 2007))
Hersha Hospitality Trust - Holiday Inn Express
Representation of Hersha Hospitality Trust in connection with a ground lease and mezzanine financing for a Holiday Inn Express to be located on West 29th Street in Manhattan, and operated in a joint venture with hotel developer, Sam Chang.
Shoe Company - Expansion
Representation of a major U.S. men’s shoe company in its expansion into high-end shopping centers throughout the country.
Commercial Bank - Cross-Border Mortgage Dispute
Representation of a commercial bank in connection with a claim by a French entity that it held a commercial mortgage that was senior to our client's $23 million mortgage on a Manhattan hotel. The trial court entered a $242 million judgment of foreclosure in favor of the French entity which, if executed, would have extinguished our client's mortgage lien. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court's decision and vacated the foreclosure judgment. We subsequently helped resolve the dispute with our client receiving payment in full.
Institutional Lender - Not-For-Profit School Financing
Representation of an institutional lender in term, construction and revolving credit facilities to a not-for-profit school for the arts. The facilities are secured by prime and collateral mortgages on properties in California and New York.
Developer - Purchaser Formation and Financing
Representation of a developer in forming and capitalizing a purchaser, and in the $60 million acquisition and leasehold financing of a master lease of the retail space at 1657 Broadway, Manhattan, including rights of first refusal for the fee interest.
Commercial Bank - New Markets Tax Credit Financing
Representation of a commercial bank in connection with a New Markets Tax Credit financing arrangement under the New Markets Tax Credits Program authorized by the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000. The bank made a term loan to and an equity investment in, an SPV, which used the proceeds to make an equity investment in a "community development entity" ("CDE"). The CDE then made a loan to, and an equity investment in, a "qualified active low income community business." The business used the proceeds of the loan to acquire and develop property at 126th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.
Major Developer - Condo Dispute
Representation of a successor-sponsor in an appeal from a trial court's refusal to designate the roof of a parking garage unit as a common element under the Condominium Act and governing condominium documents. The condominium argued that the roof, which supported the cooperative corporation's landscaped garden, was entirely the responsibility of the garage owner, and the trial court agreed. The Appellate Division reversed the lower court and granted summary judgment to the developer.
Real Estate Board of New York - Mitchell-Lama Litigation
Representation of the Real Estate Board of New York in its successful lawsuit against the New York City Council to overturn Local Law 79. The law required owners of Mitchell-Lama housing and housing subsidized by certain federal programs to give a right of first refusal to purchase their projects to tenants, pursuant to an ambiguous and burdensome process. The Court found that the law was preempted by federal and state housing laws, and enjoined the City from enforcing it.
Loan Servicer - Nursing Home Sale
Representation of a servicer for a holder of a defaulted mortgage loan in orchestrating the sale of a nursing home facility in bankruptcy after existing management refused to continue managing the facility. After the sale, the Chapter 11 trustee moved to compel our client to pay all unpaid post-trustee appointment administrative claims. The bankruptcy court in Indianapolis agreed with our argument that the financing stipulation we negotiated for our client with the trustee precluded the trustee's motion, saving substantial out-of-pocket costs.
Asset Manager - Senior Living Facility Foreclosure
Representation of an asset manager for an investment bank in foreclosing on, and taking possession of, a senior living facility encumbered by a deed of trust that our client obtained at a HUD auction sale of distressed debt. We obtained possession in less than sixty days, an extremely fast result in these cases.
Marathon/Reckson Executive Joint Venture - SL Green/Reckson Merger
Representation of a joint venture between Marathon Real Estate Opportunity Fund and senior Reckson executives in six separate transactions in the multi-billion dollar merger between SL Green and Reckson Associates Realty Corp., including an asset acquisition, the formation of a joint venture, two acquisition financings, an asset sale, and a mezzanine financing.
East Asian Government - Acquisition
Representation of the government of an East Asian nation in the acquisition of its main headquarters in New York, including a cultural center.
Youngwoo & Associates - Condo Development With In-Apartment Parking
Representation of Youngwoo & Associates LLC in developing a unique residential condominium building in New York's West Chelsea neighborhood, which features full-floor units with a parking facility for a car at each level. We advised on the land acquisition, construction financing and zoning issues.
Youngwoo & Associates - Art Gallery Condo Development
Representation of Youngwoo & Associates LLC in developing a 16-story condominium in New York's West Chelsea neighborhood. The building is designed to be an art gallery, and our work included loan and air rights acquisition and construction loan financing.
Title Insurer - Frivolous Claim Defense
Defended a title insurer in an action by a property owner seeking title insurance coverage. The court found the owner's damages to be attributable to its own actions, and impressed sanctions against the owner and its counsel, which included attorneys' fees, for prosecuting frivolous litigation.
New Jersey Developer - Mixed-Use Development
Representation of the owner of a 67-acre development site in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. The development is projected to include single-family homes, townhouses, condominium units, apartments and mixed-use retail.
Bergman Realty - Office Acquisition
Representation of Bergman Realty, one of New Jersey's leading real estate companies, in the acquisition of a lender's 80% interest in an office building complex totaling 167,000 square feet in Whippany, NJ. The buildings are valued at $25 million.
Wachovia Bank - Contaminated Site Acquisition
Representation of Wachovia Bank in its purchase of property on Heller Parkway in Newark from a major oil company. The site is a former gas station and required an extensive environmental analysis by the bank's environmental consultant and Herrick.
M&T Bank - Technology Center Refinancing
Representation of M&T Bank in a multi-million dollar loan to two affiliate tenants in common to refinance a technology center, in Clifton, NJ, and to provide a line of credit for potential construction of tenant improvements.
Commercial Bank - Credit Facility
Representation of a leading commercial bank as the sole lender in a senior secured term credit facility to an investment manager of three real estate opportunity funds. The transaction required amending a previous facility to coordinate the payments, conditions and covenants of the two facilities.
World-Wide Group - Acquisition/Financing/Lease
Representation of World-Wide Group in the acquisition and financing of 209-217 East 63rd Street in New York City from Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital ("MEETH"). The hospital was subdivided into separate tax lots, and World Wide purchased the MEETH annex on 63rd Street and Third Avenue. The acquisition was financed by a $36 million mortgage loan from Helaba. Concurrent with the acquisition, we represented World Wide in a lease with The New York City School Construction Authority, which was then assigned to the Board of Education of the City of New York. The property will be developed by World-Wide as a temporary facility for the public schools that will be demolished and rebuilt by World-Wide in their ongoing project on 57th Street.
Euristates, Inc. - Romanian Investment
Representation of Euristates, Inc., the New York office of a French investment fund, in acquiring a majority stake in a Romanian investment company. This representation entailed performing due diligence on the assets of the Romanian company, and negotiating the transaction in Romania.
Condominium Developer - Construction Financing
Representation of one of Florida’s largest condominium developers in a $300 million construction loan facility for eight condominium projects together with a corporate restructuring and a simultaneous $90 million buyout of a major joint venture partner.
Urgo Hotels - Residence Inn - Inner Harbor Sale
Representation of Urgo Hotels, a global specialist in developing and managing hospitality properties, in connection with its sale of the Residence Inn-Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. We also represented Urgo in the sale of the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington, D.C.
Euristates - Boston Development Joint Venture
Representation of Euristates, Inc. in connection with its joint venture with a Boston developer for construction of a residential condominium complex. We also represented the joint venture in connection with construction financing for the project.
New York Yankees - New Stadium Financing
Representation of the Yankees in the issuance of $960 million of municipal tax-free and taxable bonds by the New York City Industrial Development Agency, which will finance the lease of the site and construction of a new, state-of-the-art stadium. We leveraged the firm's broad expertise in real estate, construction, corporate and tax disciplines to complete this innovative financing structure.
Life Insurance Company - Acquisition
Representation of one of the largest life insurers in the world in its $130 million acquisition of 28 CVS drug stores in connection with 1031 exchanges.
World-Wide Group - Condo Construction Financing
Representation of World-Wide Group in a $180 million construction loan and mezzanine financing by Helaba and a major international bank for World Wide's construction of a high-rise condominium on East 74th Street and Second Avenue. We also represented World Wide in its acquisition of six neighboring properties and adjoining development rights to create the assemblage, which also included inclusionary housing and 421-a credits.
Investment Bank - Costa Rica Resort
Representation of a large investment bank in connection with debt and equity investments made with respect to a resort, including golf course, to be constructed on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The Witkoff Group - Random House HQ
Representation of The Witkoff Group in its purchase of the Random House headquarters at 1745 Broadway and in the closing of $340 million in loans.
WP Carey - Brownfield Grant and Remediation Financing
Representation of WP Carey, a real estate finance company, in obtaining a brownfield grant from the State of Ohio to develop a former industrial site in Cincinnati. The sale of the site was conditioned upon obtaining a site-wide "no further action letter" which Herrick helped secure, along with a covenant not to sue from the Environmental Protection Agency of the State of Ohio (OEPA)—all of this in spite of difficult new conditions discovered after the initial site assessment.
Title Insurer - Mortgage Fraud Litigation
Representation of an insured lender in litigating the validity and enforceability of a multi-million dollar mortgage lien that was alleged to have been forged. Herrick overcame the fraud allegation and succeeded in enforcing the mortgage.
Developer - Discrimination Claim
Representation of a real estate developer and general contractor in an action by a minority subcontractor pursuing multi-million dollar discrimination and breach of contract claims. All claims were dismissed after a two week jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mezzanine Lender - Term Sheet Breach
Representation of a mezzanine lender in an action in New York State Supreme Court against a borrower for breach of a term sheet. The court granted our motion for summary judgment and awarded damages.
Commercial Bank - New Markets Tax Credit Financing
Representation of a commercial bank in connection with a New Markets Tax Credit financing arrangement. The bank made a term loan to an SPV, which used the proceeds to make an equity investment in a "community development entity," ("CDE"), which in turn made loans to a "qualified active low income community business" to acquire and rehabilitate a 30,000 square foot building in The Bronx, New York.
Rockwood Realty Associates - Sale to DTZ Holdings
Representation of Rockwood Realty Associates in the sale of 50% of its equity interests to DTZ Holdings plc, a British public company, in a transaction that formed a global joint venture providing real estate brokerage and capital markets services.
Cooperative Apartment Building - Fair Housing Act Litigation
Representation of a Manhattan co-op in defending against allegations that the co-op discriminated in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). A disabled resident of the building sued to have speed bumps removed from co-op parking lot. The court dismissed the suit on our motion for summary judgment, holding that the resident could not establish a violation of the FHA, New York's or New York City's civil rights statutes.
Wachovia - Northeast Brokerage Center
Representation of Wachovia in the development of its Northeast Brokerage Center. This complicated lease consisted of approximately 400,000 square feet, including adding a floor to the 375 Park Avenue building which required approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Nathan Berman/Downtown Holdings - Financing
Representation of a joint venture in securing $265.5 million in Liberty Bonds and mezzanine financing to repay existing debt and to convert to residential use the top 41 floors of 20 Exchange Place, an 800,000 square foot, 57-story landmark building in the Financial District. This transaction was designated as one of the Most Ingenious Deals of the Year in 2006 by the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mezzanine Lenders - $25 Million Facility
Representation of a pair of mezzanine lenders in a $25.0 million secured agented mezzanine facility to a Texas developer. Proceeds of loans were applied to acquire and develop land in Horseshoe Bay, Lano, and Burnet, Texas.
The Dermot Company - Mixed Use Conversion
Representation of The Dermot Company Inc. and its joint venture partners in connection with the construction management agreement for the conversion and renovation of a 413,000 square-foot property from commercial/office to mixed-use commercial, residential and retail.
Concord Associates - Empire Acquisition
Representation of Concord Associates, L.P. in its announced merger agreement and subsequent termination with Empire Resorts, Inc. involving the issuance of approximately 40% of the outstanding common stock of NASDAQ-listed Empire Resorts, Inc., in exchange for real property on the site of the Grossinger's Hotel and the Concord Hotel in the Catskill mountain region of New York.
Real Estate Joint Venture - $315 Million Long Island Portfolio Acquisition
Representation of a joint venture between two major real estate companies in its $315 million acquisition and financing of a 43-property portfolio of office and commercial buildings in Long Island, New York. We structured the transaction as a purchase by tenants-in-common in order to take advantage of tenancy-in-common 1031 tax rules.
1998 - 2005
Community Preservation Corporation - Parkchester Condominium
Representation of a joint venture between affiliates of The Community Preservation Corporation, Morton Olshan of Mall Properties Inc., and Jeremiah O'Connor of The O'Connor Group, in the complete renovation and rehabilitation of the 12,271 unit/171 building Parkchester condominium in the Bronx, New York, including the acquisition and financing of 6,361 unsold residential condominium units, 500,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and five parking garages. Our work included government relations, land use, real estate and tax advice. The project required the cooperation of our clients, utility companies, state and city politicians, religious leaders and local residents, and included the passage of special legislation.
Real Estate Company - DHD Windows & Doors Leveraged Buyout
Representation of a privately held real estate company in a leveraged buyout of the exclusive distributor in the Northeastern United States of one of the country’s largest window and door manufacturers, including negotiation of the acquisition financing and the acquisition of real property for its new corporate headquarters.
Title Insurance Company - Fraud Action
Representation of a title insurance company in obtaining a $1.4 million judgment and attachment of the defendants' bank accounts in a fraud action.
Developer - Construction Litigation
Representation of a developer in a multiparty litigation involving alleged construction defects resulting from the conversion of a 17-story refrigerated building into a condominium property. Herrick replaced prior counsel, and was able to quickly settle lawsuits that had been pending in both federal and state court in New York for over a year.
Real Estate Developer - Mixed Use Conversion
Successful representation of a developer in litigation over its right to convert a building it purchased from office/retail use to mixed office/retail and residential use.
General Contractor - Lien Foreclosure
Representation of a general contractor in a lien foreclosure action against the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the owner of 2 Broadway, New York, the MTA's headquarters. After a trial on the merits, the New York State Supreme Court awarded our client damages in excess of $1 million.
Mizuho Corporate Bank - $1 Billion Mortgage Refinance
Representation of Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., largest bank in Japan, in a complex refinancing of approximately $1 billion in mortgage debt encumbering 650 Madison Avenue and 150 East 42nd Street (the Mobil Building) in New York, and 20 North Clark Street in Chicago.
Brooklyn Property Owners - Rezoning
Representation of several property owners in assuring that New York City's extensive rezoning of Williamsburg/Greenspoint maximized the value of their real property.
Private Bank - Credit Facility For Real Estate Family
Representation of a major private bank in connection with a $200 million revolving credit loan and letter of credit facility for an entity owned by members of a prominent New York real estate family. The facility is secured by pledges of equity and economic interests with respect to nine major Manhattan office buildings, as well as a collectively assigned note and mortgage with respect to one of the properties.
HQ Global Workplaces - Loan Restructurings
Representation of HQ Global Workplaces, then the leading executive office suite company in the world, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings including DIP financing and successfully restructuring the company.
Title Insurer/Secured Creditor - Lien Priority Dispute
Representation of a title insurance company which was a secured creditor in a lien priority dispute with another creditor. After the properties securing the debt were sold, the bankruptcy court authorized payment of our client's claim, dismissing the competing secured creditor's claim. In re Litas International, Inc., 2004 WL 1488114, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12151 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).
Hard Money Lender - Loan Default
Representation of a lender in collecting on a defaulted loan made to former Penthouse publisher Robert Guccione and his companies. Over a five-year period, the lender foreclosed on four properties in New York and New Jersey and realized additional funds from the sale of Guccione's world-class art collection. Ultimately, the client collected over $35 million on the loan and was substantially paid in full.
Charitable Organization - Residential Development
Representation of a charitable organization that combats poverty in obtaining approval from the New York City Landmarks Commission to build a 515-unit residential development in the Sea View Hospital Historic District, as well as zoning approvals form the New York City Planning Commission, and environmental consents from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Reckson Strategic Venture Partners - Student Housing
Representation of Reckson Strategic Venture Partners, LLC in connection with the spin-off of its student housing business into, and $220 million initial public offering by, American Campus Communities, Inc. We also represented RSVP in connection with its acquisition of 100% of the equity interests in a preeminent real estate development company that develops "oasis" providing food, fuel and rest facilities along major highways.
Lightstone Group - Shopping Center Acquisition
Representation of the Lightstone Group in connection with the acquisition of six retail shopping centers in five states. We also advised Lightstone on the financing of the acquisition.
Title Insurance Companies - Class Action Defense
Representation of two title insurance companies in two class actions alleging overcharges on premiums for policies sold to consumers in New York. After extensive litigation, we settled on terms favorable to our clients.
Major Developer - Strict Foreclosure
Representation of a purchaser at a foreclosure sale to remove retail leasehold interests through a strict foreclosure proceeding. The interests were extinguished in less than 120 days and the property was developed into a successful condominium in mid-town Manhattan.
Real Estate Developer - Historic Harlem Development
Representation of a developer in obtaining a zoning variance from the New York City Board of Standards & Appeals to permit the construction of a 95-unit residential building, the first private residential construction in Harlem in over 40 years.
Subsidized Housing Project Sponsor - Market Rate Conversion
Representation of a sponsor in settling a litigation involving the sponsor's effort to convert one of New York City's largest Mitchell-Lama subsidized housing projects (some 1,200 units on Manhattan's Upper East Side) to market rate housing. The settlement involved the creation of entirely new subsidy programs by the city and by the sponsor, and an approximately $550 million condominium conversion.
Home Owners - Ground Lease Disputes
Representation of approximately 75 owners of homes at a lakefront community subject to ground leases. After protracted litigation in both the trial and appellate courts, the homeowners obtained substantial legal relief which, among other things, resulted in judicial recognition that the ground lessees were entitled to the protections of the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act, thus preventing their eviction (and the loss of their homes), except for cause expressly included in the Act.
Gartner v. Lowe - Dispute Over Contract of Sale
Representation of the seller of a building off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in defending an action for specific performance of the contract of sale. After winning at trial, Herrick also defended and argued the appeal, with the First Department unanimously upholding the trial court decision. (Gartner v. Lowe, 749 N.Y.S.2d 134 (1st Dept. 2002))
Japanese Company - Mortgage Restructuring and Real Estate Acquisitions in Asia
Representation of a Japanese company in negotiations held in Tokyo with UFJ Bank to restructure $30 million in mortgage debt encumbering property in Tokyo. We then represented a Japanese joint venture involving the company in its purchase and mixed-use development of a property in the Kakinokizaka district of Tokyo and in the purchase of property on Yao Yai Island near Phuket, Thailand.
Ward v. Helmsley - Employment/Real Estate Litigation
Representation of the former COO of Helmsley Enterprises in a suit against Leona Helmsley related to an improper firing, breach of an agreement to sell 60 coop apartment units, and breach of a confidentiality agreement. This litigation received intensive publicity, with a front-page article in The Wall Street Journal, and articles in the New York Post and New York Daily News. Lead counsel Ray Hannigan was interviewed on Fox News and was a frequent "Boldface Name" in the New York Times. See Boldface Names, The New York Times (July 24, 2002).
HQ Global Workplaces - Formation
Representation of HQ Global Workplaces, a flexible office suite company, in its formation by an alliance between Reckson Realty Associates Corp., Frontline Capital Group and affiliates of Halpern Realty. HQ Global Workplaces grew from six executive office centers to one of the largest flexible executive office suite companies in the world.
Real Estate Developer/Investor - Won Dismissal of Suit
Representation of a real estate developer/investor that proposed to invest in a debtor's Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, in a lawsuit arising out of the bankruptcy court's choice of a different plan. Ginsberg v. Schron, 288 A.D.2d 146, 732 N.Y.S.2d 858 (1st Dep't 2001).
Nihon Sangyo Kabushiki Kaisha v. Nakahara - Empire State Building Battle
Representation of Hideki Yokoi, a famous Japanese billionaire, in the celebrated battle for control of the Empire State Building. The tycoon sued his daughter, Kiiko Nakahara, and her husband, accusing the couple of improperly taking ownership and control of nine chateaux in France, four castles in Great Britain, Oheka Castle on Long Island, and the Empire State Building. The case was the subject of a front-page expose in The Wall Street Journal and is chronicled extensively in Mitchell Pacelle's book, Empire; A Tale Of Obsession, Betrayal And The Battle For An American Icon, Wiley, 2001.
Real Estate Developer - Industrial Site Acquisition
Representation of a developer in its purchase of a massive former aircraft manufacturing site and related personal property in North Haven, Connecticut. We also advised the developer in related equipment and ground leases with the seller to provide for the seller’s phased withdrawal.
In Re 455 CPW Associates - Mortgage/Mechanic’s Lien Priority Dispute
Representation of a title insurance company in its defense of a mortgage lender from Section 22 claims made by a mechanic lienor, in Bankruptcy Court, asserting that its lien took priority over an earlier filed mortgage. The Bankruptcy Court ruled in our client’s favor and both the District Court and the Second Circuit affirmed. (In Re 455 CPW Associates; Herbert Construction v. The Greater New York Savings Bank, 192 B.R. 85 (Bank. S.D.N.Y. 1996), aff. 2000 U.S. App. Lexis 23470 (2d Cir. 2000))
Hotel des Artistes, Inc. v. Cafe des Artistes, Inc.
Representation of the Hotel des Artistes in TTAB cancellation proceedings, which resulted in the Hotel des Artistes recovering the famous Cafe des Artistes trademark registrations. Hotel des Artistes, Inc. v. Cafe des Artistes, Inc. (TTAB 1999)
Nakahara v. Bal - Dismissal of RICO Action
Obtaining the dismissal of a RICO "slap suit" brought by Kiiko Nakahara and her husband, John Paul Renoir, against the defendant as part of their effort to force an end to worldwide litigation against the couple over the ownership of nine chateaux in France, four castles in England, Oheka Castle on Long Island and the Empire State Building in New York. (Nakahara v. Bal, 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis (S.D.N.Y. 1998))
Private Equity Fund - Environmental Fund
Representation of a private equity fund in its formation of National Resources, a $100 million equity fund to acquire, remediate and dispose of environmentally troubled real estate.