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Practice Overview
Practices

Ground Leases

Our Real Estate lawyers are highly skilled in the creation, negotiation and operation of ground leases for properties throughout the U.S. with an emphasis on Manhattan office buildings, hotels and development sites.

We are among New York’s leading attorneys when it comes to negotiating ground lease transactions and their complex provisions involving, among other items, subordination, and ground rent reset provisions. We know the trends on transferability and how construction risk is handled. We have been involved in numerous major ground rent revaluation arbitrations. We are able to leverage our extensive experience and that of our expert consultants to negotiate effective rent revaluation clauses and obtain cost-efficient settlement agreements of existing provisions, thereby avoiding protracted and costly arbitrations.

We have drafted or enforced ground leases for numerous high-profile properties, including:

  • Lever House at 390 Park Avenue
  • One Penn Plaza
  • The Surrey Hotel
  • 111 Wall Street
  • 430 Park Avenue
  • 120 Broadway

We represented the fee owner in the creation of a condominium of the leasehold estate to an affiliate of Cornell University which resulted in the leading New York City Department of Finance ruling permitting the non-profit ground lessee to obtain real property tax benefits. We now also represent not for profits in creating leasehold condominiums.

  • Olshan represented the owner of properties in Brooklyn under long term ground leases in combining the parcels and in converting the owner’s interest from a fee estate subject to a ground lease to ownership of condominium units to be constructed, which will consist of three separate condominium buildings, with office, residential (both market and affordable) retail, a cultural center and a new public school. The approximately one million-square-foot development is scheduled to finish in 2025. 
  • Olshan represented the purchaser of the iconic Mobil Building at 150 East 42nd Street, including securing a $700 million loan from Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings to complete their acquisition of the leasehold position. The deal included a 99-year ground lease extension with the land owner, purchasing the existing leasehold from Hiro Real Estate, and creating a sub-leasehold condominium to accommodate Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Several Olshan practice groups represented the buyers in the transaction: Tax & Planning, Real Estate and Corporate/Securities.
  • Represented joint ventures led by Kaufman Organization in connection with the execution of  99-year ground leases on four New York City office buildings from Extell Development in a deal valued at approximately $135 million and the subsequent recapitalization and financing upon completion of the lease up. The properties are located at 119-125 West 24th Street; 13-15 West 27th Street; 19-21 West 24th Street; and 45-47 West 27th Street.
  • Represented the Korein Family in connection with a new ground lease with Vornado Realty Trust to take over the ground lessee position at the Swiss Center at 608 Fifth Avenue from RFR Holdings. The new lease will run through April 30, 2026. This transaction follows a successful ground rent re-set arbitration by the Koreins co-counseled by Sam Ross against RFR.
  • Represented the ground lessor of the Surrey Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side on the modification of its ground lease to update the ground lease to comply with modern financing techniques and to extend the term. The amendment also covered issues regarding the renovation of the hotel.
  • Represented the fee owner in an innovative ground lease condominium to an affiliate of Cornell University permitting the non-profit ground lessee to obtain real property tax benefits. Subsequently represented a major New York hospital in forming two leasehold condominiums.
  • Represented fee owner in negotiation of the ground lease of the Lever Building, 390 Park Avenue in New York City, with RFR Holding as the ground lessee and the subsequent sandwich lease adverse to Brookfield.
  • Represented the ground lessor in plans to redevelop 430 West 15th Street into a modern office building.
  • Handled ground lease to developer with construction supervision at Crowne Plaza Hotel Times Square.
  • Handled ground lease to developer with supervision of construction for hotel development at West 50th Street and 8th Avenue.
  • Negotiated the development ground lease on behalf of ground lessor of the Viceroy Hotel at 120 West 57th Street.

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