Acquisitions, Dispositions and Joint Ventures
Our Real Estate Group covers all facets of single-asset and portfolio commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, from pre-contract analysis and transaction structuring (including ownership entity formation) and due diligence, to closing and post-closing follow-through. We handle transactions involving all asset classes, including office, retail, industrial, multifamily, hospitality, land and mixed-use projects. Our attorneys have extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and documenting property acquisitions, dispositions and joint venture transactions of all types and sizes. We also represent clients in joint venture arrangements, including the structuring and negotiation of operating agreements and partnership agreements, asset management agreements, property management agreements, development agreements, and related matters.
Our attorneys advise clients on commercial, industrial and retail leasing matters for both landlords and tenants. Among the clients we represent are urban office and retail developers, pension funds, insurance companies, retailers, property managers and REITs, as well as owners of several Manhattan office buildings. Our experience includes negotiating most types of operating leases, build-to-suit leases, ground leases and subleases for freestanding and pad sites, and related easement agreements. In addition, our multi-disciplinary approach to business makes us well-suited to counsel our clients on complex leasing disputes, if needed.
The attorneys in our Real Estate Group are highly skilled in the creation, negotiation and operation of ground leases for office buildings, hotels, triple-net leases and development sites in New York and throughout the country. With the perspective gained from representing both owners and developers we are able to help clients make the most of the advantages of a ground lease.
Condominiums and Cooperatives
Our Real Estate Group includes attorneys with broad capabilities in condominium and cooperative law and conversions. We represent developers, owners, unit owner associations, operators, licensors and lenders, helping them realize new projects from the ground up, as well as handling acquisitions, dispositions and conversions of condominium and cooperative properties. Many of our projects have involved multiple commercial, residential and hotel aspects within the same property.
Construction and Development
Be it a zoning analysis to determine a property’s suitability for development, the negotiation of a construction management agreement, or the administration of an insurance claim, our Construction and Development attorneys assist clients from before the first shovel hits the ground through project close-out and beyond. We regularly handle a broad range of projects, spanning large mixed-use public-private partnerships and hospital expansions to leasehold renovations and adjacent construction issues. Our attorneys have represented all members of the construction and development team: owners and developers, lenders and borrowers, landlords and tenants, and contractors and design professionals. This experience has afforded us with an in-depth understanding of how a project comes together and insight into the varying interests and goals of each team member, enabling us to leverage that practical understanding to achieve a successful project for our client.
Our attorneys have helped clients form all types of private investment funds, including hedge funds, venture capital funds, private equity funds and other alternative investment vehicles. We represent managers of all fund sizes and investment strategies, and work on the formation of both onshore and offshore investment vehicles.
Hotels and Hospitality
Our attorneys counsel and represent clients involved in all aspects of the hotel and hospitality industry—owners, potential owners, asset managers, developers, operators, franchisers, franchisees, financial institutions and lenders. Our project experience includes hotel and resort acquisition, sales, development, management and operations, equity and debt capital structures, joint ventures and other ownership entity formation. Working with other practice groups within MSF, we also provide related business, tax and operating representation.
Land Use and Zoning
MSF is one of a small number of firms in New York City with a zoning and land use practice. We have had many years of experience in dealing with the use and development of land in the city. Lawyers in the firm have represented clients in obtaining discretionary approvals from the City Planning Commission (approvals for development projects in all five boroughs), as well as obtaining approvals from the Board of Standards and Appeals and Landmarks Preservation Commission. We also deal with other city agencies, such as the Departments of Buildings, Finance, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Citywide Administrative Services and Environmental Protection. In addition, we have interacted with the Public Design Commission, Economic Development Corporation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority. We advise clients on the potential use and development of real estate, and represent them in transfers of development rights, negotiation and drafting of easements and licenses and revocable consents from the city.
Real Estate Finance
Our Real Estate Group is composed of attorneys with a thorough understanding of all types of financing vehicles and a broad range of complex, high profile lending experience. Our attorneys actively work to structure complex real estate loans to meet our clients’ goals, and are well versed in senior and junior mortgage loans, bridge loans, construction loans, mezzanine loans, collateral financing, and preferred equity. We represent institutional lenders, hard money financiers and private equity firms in loans for a wide array of property types, including retail, residential and commercial condominiums, cooperatives to office, multifamily rental, industrial, and hotel projects. We counsel our clients through the entire process of structuring, negotiating and documenting each loan. Our attorneys also have substantial experience in negotiating and drafting co-lender, inter-creditor and participation agreements, and work closely with other lenders and investors in structuring agreements to best protect our clients.
Real Estate Litigation
Working with MSF’s renowned Litigation Group, our Real Estate attorneys represent diverse clients in complex disputes involving real property in state, federal and bankruptcy courts, as well as in arbitration and other proceedings in New York and throughout the United States. Possessing a deep knowledge of all aspects of the real estate industry, our attorneys work hand in hand with our skilled and experienced litigators to perform a wide variety of real estate-related litigation, arbitration and mediation services. By working closely on litigation matters, our Real Estate attorneys regularly assist our clients in drafting transactional documents with an eye to avoiding possible litigation pitfalls.
Distressed Real Estate, Workouts, Recapitalizations and Restructurings
Our experienced Real Estate attorneys represent real estate investors, institutions and lenders in the acquisition and disposition of distressed debt and assets, workouts, recapitalizations and restructurings and in the servicing, management and financing of nonperforming loans, sub-performing loans and REO property. Our attorneys are prepared to advise clients currently dealing with or contemplating loan workouts and/or recapitalizations, as well as clients who may be interested in acquiring or investing in distressed assets or loans encumbering such assets. Our team has a long track record of negotiating successful solutions to help our clients achieve their goals.
Their work spans all asset classes in virtually all U.S. jurisdictions, ranging from the simplest to the most creative transaction structures, involving every level of the capital stack, and encompassing great complexity.
Our attorneys function as an integrated team. We have not only bench strength, but also significant depth and breadth of experience. Recognizing that real estate issues often require expertise in many other areas of the law, Meister Seelig & Fein builds cross-disciplinary teams according to each client’s needs. The team works effectively and efficiently across jurisdictions and practice areas drawing upon expertise in specialty areas such as tax, litigation and corporate law. Our lawyers bring concrete and cost-effective advice for any issue facing our clients.
We strive to provide the highest level of legal service while maintaining a practical approach to closing each deal. Our attorneys view each client as a strategic partner, and act accordingly, serving as trusted legal and business advisors to ensure state-of-the-market deal execution.
The Firm’s Real Estate Group is active in the following areas: