Real Estate

  • September 2, 2014

    S&P Escapes False Ratings Suit Over SIV's 2007 Implosion

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit brought by German lender IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and others for allegedly giving falsely positive ratings to a structured investment vehicle filled with residential mortgage-backed securities, calling the suit time-barred.

  • September 2, 2014

    Skanska, Forest City Trade Suits Over Brooklyn Modular Site

    Forest City Ratner Cos. LLC, the initial developer of Brooklyn’s $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards, and global construction firm Skanska USA Building Inc. traded lawsuits in New York court Tuesday, a week after Skanska halted work on a modular residential building due to a dispute with the developer.

  • September 2, 2014

    Real Estate Co. CEO Accuses Creditor Of 'Loaning To Own'

    The CEO of Variant Holding Co. LLC said late Friday that the commercial real estate company’s Chapter 11 filing the day before was on the eve of a planned foreclosure sale commenced by major lender Beach Point Capital Management LP, which the chief executive accuses of having a “loan-to-own” strategy.

  • September 2, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Trevi Retail, Meraas Holding, Sitt

    Trevi Retail has reportedly bought four Manhattan buildings for nearly $100 million, while Meraas Holding is said to be in discussions to borrow as much as $4 billion and Sitt Asset Management has reportedly bought two SoHo properties for $30 million.

  • September 2, 2014

    Dunhill Can Pursue Damages In $6M Hail Insurance Lawsuit

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday refused to rule that Dunhill Partners Inc. can't recover damages in a $6.2 million dispute with State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. over coverage for hail damage to properties that Dunhill manages, finding that Texas law doesn't support the insurer's position.

  • September 2, 2014

    FHFA Floats Tighter Regs For Funding From Home Loan Banks

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed a rule Tuesday excluding “captive” insurers and otherwise tightening eligibility for Federal Home Loan Bank membership, saying its proposed tweaks would limit risk and ensure members remain committed to providing housing finance.

  • September 2, 2014

    Class Cert. Denied In Collapsed $2.5B Hedge Fund Row

    A Texas federal judge refused to certify a putative class accusing Perot Investments Inc. directors of lying about risky commercial mortgage-backed securities behind the collapse of $2.5 billion hedge fund Parkcentral Global LP, ruling in an opinion unsealed Tuesday that the class isn’t numerous enough.

  • September 2, 2014

    Calif. Retroactively Extends Mortgage Debt Tax Relief

    California’s Franchise Tax Board on Tuesday released a notice saying taxpayers are allowed to immediately exclude from their taxable income certain home mortgage debt that their lender has forgiven during the year 2013.

  • September 2, 2014

    Jersey City Labor Reg Harms Nonunion Contractors, Suit Says

    A New Jersey contractor advocacy group sued Jersey City in federal court Friday over an ordinance requiring project labor agreements on private construction projects, claiming it puts nonunion contractors at a disadvantage and unfairly penalizes them by withholding tax abatement if they don't comply.

  • September 2, 2014

    10th Circ. Frees Excess Insurer From $4M Construction Deal

    The Tenth Circuit ruled Tuesday that National Union Fire Insurance Co. doesn’t have to reimburse Scottsdale Insurance Co. for any of the $4.35 million Scottsdale paid to cover the settlement of claims against their common insured general contractor, finding Scottsdale didn’t prove National’s excess coverage was exhausted.

  • September 2, 2014

    Perkins Coie Helps Miami InterContinental Land $115M Loan

    The owner of the downtown Miami InterContinental Hotel announced Tuesday that it has closed on a 10-year, $115 million limited recourse loan with the help of a team from Perkins Coie LLP.

  • September 2, 2014

    Enviros, Pa. Township Want Sunoco Pipeline Denial To Stand

    Environmental groups and a suburban Pennsylvania municipality told the state’s Public Utilities Commission on Friday that two administrative law judges ruled correctly when they concluded a natural gas pipeline proposed by a Sunoco Inc. subsidiary could not bypass local zoning controls in more than 30 municipalities.

  • September 2, 2014

    Landfill Owner Fights DEP's Bid To Boot Atty In Property Row

    A landfill owner claiming the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection illegally conspired to disrupt its operations and seize control of the property fired back Tuesday against an attempt to disqualify its attorney, disputing privilege assertions over a government email that the lawyer allegedly mishandled.

  • September 2, 2014

    Dow Lohnes Can't Ditch Al Jazeera's Malpractice Suit

    A Maryland federal judge on Tuesday blocked Dow Lohnes PLLC's attempt to dismiss Al Jazeera International's malpractice claims stemming from a billing dispute over an office project, saying the law firm failed to prove the case should not go forward.

  • September 2, 2014

    High Court Decision Time-Bars $388M MBS Suit, Judge Rules

    Citigroup Inc. and other banks won an effective end Friday to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s claims that their sale of $388 million in bad MBS helped ruin Colonial Bank, when a New York federal judge ruled that a recent Supreme Court decision meant the case was filed too late.

  • September 2, 2014

    Starwood Inks Deal For 2 More Luxury China Hotels

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday that it has inked a deal with a Chinese development company to bring Starwood's luxury flags to two new hotel and resort projects in the region, continuing the brisk pace of its expansion-through-branding agreements.

  • September 2, 2014

    Brigade-GIC JV Puts $247M Into Indian Residential Projects

    Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Ltd. and Indian property developer Brigade Group are investing 15 billion Indian rupees ($247 million) in residential properties in southern India, the companies said Monday.

  • September 2, 2014

    Travelers Gets $117M In Sale Of NYC Office Tower Stake

    Insurance company The Travelers Cos. has sold its 49 percent stake in the 26-story office building at 77 Water St. in Manhattan for $117.6 million, according to property records made public Tuesday.

  • September 2, 2014

    Pa. Developers Hit Township With Water Fees Class Action

    A group of Pennsylvania developers have hit Manheim Township and its municipal authority with a class action in state court, alleging that the Lancaster County municipality imposed excessive “water-tapping fees” for connections to its municipal water system.

  • September 2, 2014

    RE Moguls On The Move

    It may have been the dog days of summer, but August saw several significant changes in real estate management, as Town Residential continued to reshuffle its roster and replacements were selected for the heads of Skanska USA and New York's Regional Plan Association.

Expert Analysis

  • Avoiding And Defending Florida License Tax Audits

    Nathan A. Adams IV

    The Florida Legislature added "licenses" to "leases" and "rentals" of real property as subject to Florida's commercial rental tax in 1986, ostensibly to close a loophole enabling parties to characterize their leases as licenses to avoid taxation. But the Department of Revenue has come to interpret the license tax expansively — to the detriment of hotels and restaurants, say Nate Adams and Jim Ervin of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Breaking Down The Collapse Doctrine In Wash.

    Michael V. Silvestro

    It is too early to tell which approach Washington will adopt regarding the collapse doctrine, but whatever conclusion the Washington Supreme Court reaches it likely won't be unanimous — prior cases suggest the state could require an actual collapse, says Michael Silvestro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

    Steven J. Badger

    New York's scope of appraisal after a recent change in state insurance law appears to support an appraisal process even broader than Texas' after that state's high court decided State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson, says Steven Badger of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Noteworthy Changes To The Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act

    Laura Amato

    A series of discrete amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act — now renamed the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act — should promote better uniformity across secured lending and bankruptcy practices and provide better guidance to both courts and litigants about how avoidance actions should be adjudicated, say Jonathan Korman and Laura Amato of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Even A Tax Authority May Sometimes Have To Pay

    Vicki R. Harding

    For jurisdictions where the tax authority first “forecloses” on property in satisfaction of outstanding property taxes and then resells the property, there is a clear risk that the authority could be forced to pay “market value” less the amount of the delinquent property taxes, particularly if the property owner subsequently files for bankruptcy, says Vicki Harding of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Tax-Free REIT Spinoffs Could Be The Next Big Thing

    Thomas A. Humphreys

    Windstream Holdings Inc.’s recent tax-free real estate investment trust spinoff highlights an intriguing option for U.S. corporations — particularly those in the technology, telecommunications or utility sector — as the IRS continues to expand the range of “real estate” assets that can be held by an REIT, say Thomas Humphreys and Matthew Lau of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • The Elusive At-Risk Element Of EB-5

    Mona Shah

    Although EB-5 regulations address the “at-risk” requirement of the immigrant investor program, neither the statute nor the existing body of EB-5 case precedents specifies precisely what the degree of risk must be, say Mona Shah and Yi Song of Mona Shah & Associates.

  • Texas' Progressive Claims Syndrome Is Treatable

    Lindsey P. Bruning

    The recent case of USAA Texas Lloyd’s Co. v. Menchaca exemplifies a prevalent concern in Texas first-party property insurance claims today — the “Progressive Claim Syndrome” — as well as its most effective treatment, says Lindsey Bruning of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.