acquisitions & sales: news
Failed Debt Deal Not Just Business As Usual for CRE
November 23, 2011 -- GlobeSt.com
Dennis Russo says the failure of the so-called Congressional super-committee to act on a tax plan creates uncertainty for the economy and, by extension, the commercial real estate market. Dennis says uncertainty is even worse than bad news, and the committee's deadlock adds to the recent uncertainty over whether Congress would raise the debt ceiling or possibly default on our national debt, and adds to the upcoming uncertainty of which party will control the White House and Congress.
Virtus Real Estate poised to amass $500 million fund
September 28, 2011 -- Austin Business Journal
Belinda Schwartz says that, with some caveats, this can be a good time to launch a commercial real estate fund. In this story, which describes how a Texas-based private equity real estate company is launching a fund that will look to buy commercial real estate properties, including those used for student housing, senior housing, medical offices and self-storage facilities. Belinda outlines the necessary elements for success. Included among them, she says, are an appropriate time horizon, the ability and willingness to hold property for some period of time rather than flip them, good management teams to oversee any properties acquired, some tolerance of risk, and the patience to buy property at a favorable price.
Mortgage Note on Upper West Side Apartment Buildings Sells for 7.8M
August 4, 2011 -- Citybiz Real Estate
Our representation of a European bank at a foreclosure sale of a defaulted mortgage note is mentioned. John St. Jeanos represented the bank, which sold the note for $7.8 million. The note was related to two adjacent 20-unit apartment buildings on the Upper West Side.
The Debt Deal Viewed Through Real Estate’s Prism
August 3, 2011 -- GlobeSt.com
Dennis Russo opines that the cuts in government spending that the Republicans demanded to pass a debt ceiling increase will slow economic activity. Dennis says that for overall economic activity to remain unchanged in the face of a diminution in government spending, the private sector will have to spend as much as the government cuts -- a prospect he views as unlikely in this economic climate.
AIG Office Downtown Is Resold
June 24, 2011 -- Wall Street Journal
Herrick is not mentioned in this Wall Street Journal story, but our client Nathan Berman -- with fellow Herrick client Ronny Bruckner a co-principal in Metro Loft -- is quoted regarding their longstanding desire to own the Art Deco tower at 70 Pine Street, which Metro Loft bought Thursday from Kumho Investment Bank of South Korea. The story notes that Berman and Bruckner intend to convert the former headquarters of the insurance company AIG to residential rental units, with marketing efforts slated to begin in the fall of 2012. The Wall Street Journal story noted that there is a trend for developers to convert downtown office buildings into residential space, with demand for living quarters downtown on the rise.
Metro Loft for $205M
June 23, 2011 -- NY Post
Our client, Yaron Bruckner is mentioned in connection with his joint venture acquisition of 70 Pine Street, a 66-story residential tower in New York City's Financial District. Herrick represented Mr. Bruckner in his joint venture with Metro Loft Management, which plans on converting the landmarked former AIG headquarters building into residential condominiums.
It's the High Line Again for Sherwood
April 13, 2011 -- New York Observer
Sherwood Equities, our client, and their acquisition of a stalled development site located at 508 West 20th Street, a deal we handled for them, is noted in the New York Observer article "It's the High Line Again for Sherwood."
March 15, 2011 -- Real Estate Bisnow
Herrick, Feinstein's office condo seminar is featured in this item, which includes photos of the panelists and information on why more developers are converting office buildings to commercial condos and why more business owners are buying their spaces instead of renting. The coverage quotes Douglas Heller on the process by which rental office may be converted to office condos and on the market for such properties.
Where's The Capital?
January 2011 -- Real Estate Forum
Funds formed to acquire distressed assets have in some cases been forced to return capital to investors or deploy the money in questionable deals, Neil Shapiro says. Meanwhile, he adds, pensions funds and other investors in such funds are declining to commit money until deals are actually in place. The one bright spot in the real estate finance landscape, he says, is in stable, income-producing property.
Anglo Irish Bank to Auction 232 Manhattan Apartments in Foreclosure Sale
November 17, 2010 -- Bloomberg News
Christopher Sullivan notes that 232 unsold condo units, a garage and other commercial space were to be auctioned as a block, in an attempt for our client Anglo Irish to recover as much of the $135 million that the borrower, who defaulted on the loan, owed the bank. Selling the property in bulk -- as opposed to piecemeal -- tends to bring not only a higher price but also the possibility of a sophisticated developer who can finish the project. (The sale, the following day, went for $82.75 million).
Small Business Bill, Accounting Change Could Pack Wallop
September 27, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
Howard Peskoe explains why pending legislation, designed to spur lending to small businesses, probably will not tend to cause those businesses to buy commercial property, rather than lease. But the bill, in combination with proposed changes to the accounting rule FASB 13, might do so, he says, because the changes would require businesses to include lease payments as debt on their balance sheets, possibly leading some to buy instead of lease.
Condos still hot in Chelsea
September 15, 2010 -- Real Estate Weekly
Scott Mollen, who acted as receiver, and Jack Sheridan, who represented the seller, are mentioned in a story that notes the sale of 559 West 23rd Street, a High Line development site.
Will Mark-to-Market Finally Push Distress?
June 22, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
The market for distressed commercial real estate and distressed debt secured by real property is so thin that investors who intended to pursue such deals are dropping out, Gary Eisenberg says. Additionally, the distressed properties and notes that are trading are trading at relatively high prices, he says.
If Nancy Reagan Gave Real Estate Advice
June 17, 2010 -- Real Estate Bisnow
Gary Eisenberg's presentation -- and the fact that Herrick hosted the event -- are noted in a story about buying distressed commercial real estate. One of the speakers advised that at today's prices for distressed commercial properties, prospective buyers should "just say no," and Gary advised attendees to pay attention to warning signs, review documents and communications, verify purported defaults and conduct proper searches.
In Distressed Buys, Look Before You Leap
June 16, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
Gary Eisenberg is quoted on how to avoid legal pitfalls when buying a loan-to-own note, in this story, which covered a Herrick-hosted seminar on buying distressed commercial real estate.
Tax deals return to bite owners
May 17, 2010 -- Crain's New York Business
Commercial property owners who engaged in 1031 exchange transactions as a means of lessening or deferring taxes may find themselves paying higher taxes than they anticipated, Michael Kessel says. The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts is likely to increase the capital gains rate from its current 15 percent, which is the lowest in decades.
When Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney? This is one specialist to have on your team.
April 14, 2010 -- Medical Office Today
Neil Shapiro, who represents doctors and medical practices as well as property owners looking to lease space to them, is quoted in this weekly e-newsletter. He opines that smaller medical practices and those without commercial real estate experience or professional management should call on commercial real estate attorneys early in the process of leasing or buying space, expanding the practice or anything else that would involve real estate.
Ranking New York’s top legal wranglers
April 1, 2010 -- The Real Deal
This article, which names the top New York City commercial real estate practices among law firms, notes Sheldon Chanales' representation of a consortium of Youngwoo & Associates and Kumbo Investment Bank in the acquisition of AIG's headquarters at 70 Pine Street in lower Manhattan. The 1.4 million-square-foot deal was listed as one of the top deals in the city in 2009.
New Financial Order
March 2, 2010 -- NYinc
Loan workouts and extensions are the order of the day, Dennis Russo says in this story that analyzes commercial real estate investment sales, equity waiting to be deployed and commercial mortgage backed securities about to mature. The Treasury Department and IRS have adopted rules that pressure special servicers of loans, who are guided by numerical calculations, not empathy, Russo says.
Medical office condos take a hit from real estate slide
February 15, 2010 -- American Medical News
Neil Shapiro says that based on market conditions, doctors and medical groups that own medical office condominiums should wait to sell them if they are financially able to do so. This story notes that Neil is the chair of Herrick's health care practice group.
The Industry Could Get Boost from SBA Proposals
February 10, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
The Obama Administration's plan to urge community banks to lend to small businesses might benefit the commercial real estate industry, but only indirectly, Howard Peskoe says. SBA loans to entrepreneurs help businesses get started and expand, and that increased economic activity leads to additional sale or leasing of office, warehouse and retail space, he says. But he does not anticipate that the Administration's initiative will increase the number of direct loans from community banks to real estate developers and investors.
Industry Welcomes Unemployment Drop with Open Arms
February 5, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
A drop in unemployment rates augers well for the commercial real estate market in New York and other office-heavy primary markets around the country, Benjamin Kursman says. Continued improvement in the employment outlook, coupled with absorption of sublease space and fewer corporate tenants looking to sublease their space, should stablize rent prices, which, in turn, makes commercial properties more valuable, he says.
Community Banks May Be Next in Line for TARP Funds
December 23, 2009 -- GlobeSt.com
Howard Peskoe says a plan that the Treasury Department is considering -- which would require Congressional legislation and would allow small regional and community banks to borrow at favorable rates, with the intention that the money be loaned to small businesses -- can not harm the commercial real estate finance market. Howard casts doubt, however, whether the plan will work or represent a boon to real estate lending.
The Fed Eases Out of Rescue Programs
December 18, 2009 -- GlobeSt.com
Liquidity in the commercial real estate market is more of a priority than minimizing the federal deficit, Sheldon Chanales says in an article about whether the Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into mortgage-backed securities and similar debt.
Lenders get more help with "extending and pretending" commercial mortgages
November 1, 2009 -- The Real Deal
Some lenders are extending maturity dates on commercial real estate loans and others are requiring that the borrowers put up more equity, Paul Shapses says. This story notes that new tax rules are giving lenders pause about revealing current values of outstanding debt and that, in turn, is causing them to consider extending the maturities.
Real Estate Community Greets Growth with Caution
October 29, 2009 -- GlobeSt.com
Dennis Russo says that growth in the GDP and the likely official end of the recession are good signs for the commercial real estate market. He cautions, however, that the market lags the larger economy and that lenders and developers must regain confidence before they regain their appetite to do deals.
Quality Rules in Bigger Deals
October 23, 2009 -- Real Estate New York
Banks are assuming that office rents will decrease as they decide how to underwrite loans, as opposed to assuming automatic escalations as they did in past years, Jeffrey Kaufman says. He notes that some of his clients are sprucing up Class B properties, choosing to improve their portfolios incrementally, rather than going for "the big kill," so they can ride out the current doldrums.
Deals, No; Workouts, Yes
October 23, 2009 -- Real Estate New York
Neil Shapiro acknowledges concern over the length of time between Lehman's filing for bankruptcy protection and no substantial increase in availability of financing.
2009 Women of Influence
September-October -- Real Estate New York
Belinda Schwartz are named to the magazine's 2009 list of the most influential women in New York real estate.
Capmark highlights woes of commercial real estate
October 13, 2009 -- Reuters
In a story about how Capmark Financial Group's likely demise highlights challenges facing the troubled market for retail and office buildings, Stephen Selbst disputes the notion that commercial real estate woes will not affect the broader economy. He equates the relationship between commercial real estate and the larger economy with the subprime market's woes and the economy, and notes that optimists' predictions that the subprime issues were contained and wouldn't be contageous proved incorrect.
Some developers use downturn to plot comeback
May 29, 2009 -- The Real Deal
Slowdowns in the commercial real estate market generally represent an ideal time for property owners to apply for special permitting -- zoning and otherwise -- that will make their portfolios more valuable when the markets heat up again, Mitchell Korbey says.
A Nice, Staid Corner of Real Estate: Medical Offices
January 28, 2009 -- New York Times
Neil Shapiro, who heads our health care finance practice and routinely represents buyers and sellers of medical office buildings, says the sales-investment market for that product is far healthier than for other kinds of commercial real estate. Investors, lenders, developers and tenants perceive healthy leverage in medical office buildings, which results in better deal flow in that market, he says.
Retail condos lose their luster: The coming deluge
January 12 - 18, 2009 -- Crain's New York Business
Neil Shapiro notes that Herrick has initiated four deals in as many months involving landlords and developers who are reluctantly selling retail condos because their banks and mezz lenders are pressuring them to raise capital.
CRE Clarifies Its Fed Request
December 23, 2008 -- GlobeSt.com
Elizabeth Holtzman analyzes the obstacles that commercial real estate entities might face -- and how they might overcome them -- as they seek federal rescue money to prop up their flagging industry.
Deutsche Bank slashes price tag for two Macklowe buildings
December 9, 2008 -- The Real Deal,com
Dennis Russo opines that Deutsche Bank cut the asking price on two buildings from Harry Macklowe's troubled portfolio because no large tenant is on the hook and none seems to be on the horizon.
Big Surprise, Recession Official
December 2, 2008 -- GlobeSt.com
John St. Jeanos says the official proclamation that we have been in recession for a year will do little to affect liquidity in the commercial real estate market because that announcement merely makes official what people in the industry have known for some time. Predictions of recession or a real-time sense of recession would hurt liquidity, but a statement of the obvious does not, he says.
Meltdown far from over, new mortgage crisis looms
November 27, 2008 -- The Associated Press
Scott Tross predicts that mortgage woes will spread from the residential market to commercial, and that all parties in commercial mortgages will feel the pain.
2008 Women of Influence
November 2008 -- Real Estate New York
Belinda Schwartz are profiled as women of influence in the New York real estate world.
No real spark from Macklowe resales
October 2008 -- The Real Deal
Dennis Russo is quoted about whether the sale of some of Harry Macklowe's office portfolio helped set -- or at least identify -- the market for office product in Manhattan.
Oil money props up slowing hotel sales
September 1, 2008 -- The Real Deal
Paul Shapses is quoted in this story on the dynamics in the hotel development market, noting that although the market has slowed, foreign interests continue to invest.
2008 All Stars
July 23, 2008 -- Real Estate Weekly
Neil Shapiro is featured in the Real Estate Weekly 2008 All Stars -- a special section that the publication says is to "recognize the creme de la creme of the real estate industry." Real Estate Weekly notes that Neil focuses his practice on "sophisticated financings, joint ventures, sales, acquisitions, development and leasing."
Herrick advises Quiet Flight in Sale of Retail Operations to Billabong International
June 12, 2008 -- Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Herrick, Feinstein LLP advised renowned surf shop chain Quiet Flight in the sale of its retail operations to Australia-based Billabong International Limited. Quiet Flight is a leading U.S. east coast retailer and the operator of 13 stores, including the flagship Billabong and Element retail stores in New York, and has been one of Billabong Group’s key retail partners in the U.S.
Realty Law Digest
January 9, 2008 -- New York Law Journal
Ben Kursman is quoted on the perils of using email exchanges to form a contract to purchase real estate.
Credit Downturn Hits the Malls
December 26, 2007 -- The Wall Street Journal
Dennis Russo is quoted in this article on how sellers of commercial real estate have difficulty lowering prices on properties because they have not accepted shifts in the market that dictate doing so.
Building Prices Poised For a Drop-Off
September 2007 -- The Real Deal
Scott Tross is quoted analyzing how the subprime default threat was spreading and would likely threaten commercial real estate deals -- or at least prices for the deals -- in New York City.
Extell Buys Chelsea Garage, Flea Market Site
July 3, 2007 -- The Real Deal
This story notes that Extell Development Company bought 112-118 West 25th Street in New York City -- a deal on which Herrick represented the buyer.
REBNY's Win in Mitchell Lama Case Regarding Local Law 79
April 30, 2007 -- therealdeal.com's webcast
Scott Mollen is the subject of this webcast interview, in which he describes his successful representation of REBNY as it sought to strike Local Law 79 as it related to Mitchell Lama housing. Mollen also opined on why striking the law was a just outcome and will enable additional affordable housing development.
Checking In With Sam Chang
December 2006 -- The Real Deal
Dennis Russo is quoted regarding the methods and success of hotel developer Sam Chang.