3 Law Firms Guide $27M Manhattan Property Deal

By Andrew McIntyre
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Law360 (September 23, 2020, 5:46 PM EDT) -- Pillsbury and Kramer Levin helped a GDS Development-Klovern AB joint venture with its purchase of a property on 10th Avenue in Manhattan as well as development rights at a location nearby for $26.7 million, Herrick Feinstein, counsel to seller the Wainland family, exclusively told Law360 on Wednesday.

The deal is for the fee title to 116 10th Ave. and for unused development rights at nearby 453 W. 17th St. The 10th Avenue property is a nightclub that had to close when the pandemic hit, and the 17th Street property has a four-story building built in 1950, according to StreetEasy.

The properties are in Chelsea between West 17th and West 18th Streets, a block from the Hudson River. The closest subway station is Eighth Avenue-14th Street, a stop on the A, C, E and L lines.

The parties had been in the process of putting together the development rights deal for several years, and it wasn't yet wrapped up when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the law firm told Law360 on Wednesday. When the pandemic then caused the nightclub at 116 10th Ave., Avenue, to shut down, the companies added that property to their deal.

"It was seamless — all [parties] worked collaboratively toward the common goal of closing," Herrick Feinstein LLP's Michael Smith told Law360 on Wednesday.

Klovern and GDS know one another well.

The companies also jointly own 417 Park Ave. in New York and earlier this year reached a deal to refinance that property in a $100 million bond refinancing deal, according to a media report in June.

And Klovern has been active on the sell side, offloading a portfolio of office and logistics properties for 2.61 billion Swedish krona ($290.1 million) last fall.

Klovern reported 1.649 billion krona in income in the first half of 2020, a decline from 1.817 billion krona during the same period a year earlier.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the already noticeable slackening of the economy and it will probably have major negative effects on both the global and the Swedish economy," the company said in a statement in July accompanying its latest round of financial results. "It can already be expected that there will be considerably higher unemployment than normal and a markedly lower activity in the economy at least in 2020 and probably a major part of 2021."

Contact information for the seller was not immediately available on Wednesday. Representatives at GDS Development and Klovern AB couldn't be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

The seller is represented by Michael Smith, Mitch Korbey and Travis Allen of Herrick Feinstein LLP.

Andrew Weiner of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Sheila Pozon of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP worked on the buy side of the deal as transactional and zoning counsel, respectively.

--Editing by Steven Edelstone.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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