Key Industry

Real Estate

Private sector commercial real estate investors must address increasingly complex issues involved in real estate transactions of all types, especially as more complicated structures are employed and new laws and regulations are enacted. At the same time, cultural, educational and other nonprofit organizations, are placing greater emphasis on their real estate holdings and are finding that they need as much guidance as their private sector counterparts to manage and develop their holdings.

Working closely with owners, tenants, lenders and brokers to quickly respond to the changes in the local and national real estate markets, Patterson Belknap's real estate attorneys structure and close a wide variety of deals. We advise clients on the negotiation of a wide variety of real estate-related contracts; the acquisition and sale of properties for development; the structuring of leases for office, industrial and retail properties nationwide; and the closing of construction, permanent and mezzanine loans.

Our Real Estate practice is recognized in Chambers USA. The guide notes that "leasing is widely regarded as the strength of this 'fair-minded, engaged and cordial' group, and its proficiency is exemplified by its presence on several of New York's largest office leasing deals..." and that "Patterson Belknap's real estate team inspires 'the utmost confidence' in its clients." The guide further offers a client's quote: "The diligent and respected lawyers in this group pay great attention to detail and are always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done." Our practice is recognized nationally by the U.S. News / Best Lawyers survey of "Best Law Firms," and also ranked in the top tier in New York.

Solid Advice from the Ground Up

Our focus on innovative solutions to real estate issues, our relationships with our clients and understanding of their businesses and needs, and the establishment of internal systems to increase efficiency all help our clients get the deal done. Our real estate group has recently negotiated the following select transactions:

Acquisitions and Sales

  • Represented a major hospital system in the sale of five buildings at 30 Morningside Drive in New York City
  • Represented the seller of a landmarked building at 281 Park Avenue South.
  • Represented the seller in connection with the sale of a building located at 311 West 43rd Street.
  • Represented an investment company in the sale of 576 Fifth Avenue, a 72,000 square foot boutique multi-tenant office building leasehold on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented the purchasers and sellers of midtown Manhattan office buildings.
  • Represented affiliates of a New York real estate management firm in connection with the sale of The Craftsman Building, 6 East 39th Street.
  • Represented private investors in the sale of air rights to a key parcel in a high profile midtown luxury assemblage.
  • Represented an investment bank in acquisitions of retail properties.
  • Represented several families selling a development site at Hudson and Renwick Streets to a prominent residential developer.


  • Represented a major New York medical center in its lease of 448,819 square feet at 150 East 42nd Street, named Manhattan's third most valuable office lease of 2014 by The Real Deal magazine.
  • Represented the building owner and majority-owner and controlling shareholder in the master lease of the retail space at 650 Fifth Avenue. The lease of 30,000 square feet was recognized with the Real Estate Deal of the Year Awards’ 2014 Robert T. Lawrence Award.
  • Represented the building landlord in the leasing of one of the world’s largest H&M stores, a 57,000 square foot complex located at Fifth Avenue and 48th Street.
  • Represented the management of an iconic New York City building in a complex transaction and landmark lease of 1 million square feet.
  • On behalf of a global law firm, we closed a 188,000 square foot lease at 250 West 55th Street.
  • Represented an independent Episcopal day school in Manhattan in net leasing an existing building at which a new high school was established and in refinancing their existing debt. We are also counsel to several other religious day schools and provided ongoing real estate advice to them in a variety of matters.
  • Represented a New York City-based real estate developer and operator in its leases with tenants, including major law firms, at The New York Times' building at 620 Eighth Avenue.
  • Advised an international law firm in its lease at Worldwide Plaza at 825 Eight Avenue (600,000 square feet).
  • Represented a large international bank in its leasing of 210,000 square feet at 1251 Avenue of the Americas.
  • Represented a global law firm in its lease for 460,000 square feet at the World Financial Center.
  • Represented the building owner in connection with a real estate investment and development company's signing of a 75-year ground lease for 545 Madison Avenue and its plan to redevelop the entire building (17-story, 140,000 square feet and 100% vacant).
  • Represented a major hedge fund in its lease of more than 60,000 square feet in midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company in its long-term lease of 200,000 square foot office building.
  • Represented a major financial information publisher in its leasing of office space throughout the United States.

Development and Construction

  • Represented a New York City hotel developer with a long-term ground lease of a prime development site near Times Square and also negotiated a hotel management agreement with an international boutique hotel brand.
  • Represented a major non-profit organization in connection with design and construction contracts for various projects at a national sports center in New York.
  • Represented the developer of a condominium project located on a pier in the Hudson River in connection with its design and construction contracts, construction, mezzanine and take-out loans.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in connection with procurement of build-to-suit building to serve as its U.S. headquarters.
  • Represented several museums in the redevelopment and expansion of their existing buildings.


  • Represented the owners of a Manhattan building in a $55 million first mortgage loan.
  • Represented portfolio lenders in construction and term loans for office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings and industrial properties across the U.S.
  • Represented several well-known families in connection with an $80 million permanent financing of a property.
  • Represented the owner of 555 Madison Avenue in obtaining a first mortgage loan from a major life insurance Company.
  • Represented a large international bank in a loan secured by a mortgage on industrial property.
  • Represented an offshore investor in its mezzanine loan to the owner of 48 Wall Street.
  • One of our partners was appointed by a state court judge to serve as the temporary receiver in the mortgage foreclosure of an office building in Manhattan, which needed to be completed and leased.

Partnerships and Joint Ventures

  • Represented a major foreign investor in its joint venture negotiations in the development of a luxury condominium building in lower Manhattan.
  • Advised the limited partners of a national real estate development company on their buyout and future participation rights.
  • Represented the sponsor in the negotiation of limited liability company agreements with initial co-investors for the acquisition of six shopping centers in Pennsylvania, followed by the syndication of interests.
  • Represented a major insurance company and its local joint venture partner in the purchase of three office buildings in Minneapolis, and the assumption of the existing indebtedness held by a conduit lender.
  • Represented a major insurance company in an equity investment in a real estate investment fund.