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Team Opportunities

Real Estate Associate, Rochester  More

Real Estate Associate, Buffalo  More

Real Estate Associate, Washington, DC  More

In The News

Phillips Lytle LLP Advises on Bank of China Building Purchase in NYC  More

Phillips Lytle LLP Among Team to Develop Reuse Strategies for East Side Project  More

John A. Pappano Named 2014 Top Real Estate Lawyer by BTI Consulting Group  More

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Press Releases

Phillips Lytle LLP Receives A National First-Tier Ranking for Its Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Practice on U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2015 “Best Law Firms” List  More

Phillips Lytle LLP Receives A National First-Tier Ranking for Its Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Practice on U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2015 “Best Law Firms” List  More

Phillips Lytle LLP Earns “Top Listed” Ranking in New York State in Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants on The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 List  More

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Speaking Engagements

“What You Need to do to Prepare for U.S. Tenants,” L’Institut Canadien’s Advanced Conference, June 2012  More

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“The Rule Against Perpetuities,” Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, Law Journal Newsletters, September 2012  More

“Green Leasing for Retail Landlord and Tenant Perspectives - Parts 1 and 2,” ICSC Retail Law Strategist, March 2011  More

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Real Estate

At Phillips Lytle, we have more than a century and a half of real estate experience. As a full-service Real Estate Practice, we represent sellers, buyers, developers, contractors, brokers, landlords, tenants, lenders and borrowers. Our highly capable attorneys and paralegals handle virtually every kind of real property-related matter. Our Real Estate attorneys possess a sound knowledge of real estate laws and have the responsiveness, expertise and experience to move projects to a successful conclusion quickly and cost-effectively, while still maintaining uncompromising standards in the protection of our clients.

Phillips Lytle has a comprehensive Real Estate Practice that includes:

  • Commercial leases
  • Commercial property sales and acquisitions
  • Community association representation (covenant/restriction interpretation and enforcement, assessment collection and lien foreclosures)
  • Community association development encompasses planned unit developments, condominiums, homeowners’ associations and timeshares – including filings with the New York State Department of Law and all other aspects of public offerings
  • Development syndications, partnerships and joint ventures
  • Easements and rights-of-way
  • Eminent domain
  • Environmental matters
  • Equity financing
  • General contractors’, architects’ and construction managers’ agreements
  • In rem tax foreclosures
  • Land Use and Zoning
  • Mechanics’ liens
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Real property assessment tax challenges (we also represent municipalities defending assessment challenges)
  • Residential mortgages, sales, acquisitions and leases
  • Secured lending
  • Taxable and tax-exempt bond financings
  • Telecommunications
  • Title examinations
  • Title insurance
  • Workouts

Phillips Lytle stresses an interdisciplinary approach to matters in these areas, and will assemble project-specific teams to meet the particular needs of each client and matter. We will draw on the expertise of professionals from our Banking, Environmental, Corporate, Tax, Bankruptcy and Litigation Practice Areas, as needed.

We have nationally recognized experience across a number of areas, including those involving institutional lenders, corporations, REITs, private developers, public utilities, municipalities, individuals and others in connection with large and small commercial, industrial, retail and residential projects. Our practice also includes statewide high-volume, high-technology representation in the telecommunications, residential lending and foreclosure areas, and nationwide multi-location retail leasing.

In the Buffalo area, we have represented lenders and developers in nearly every recent major development project that has occurred downtown or on the waterfront. We created the first vertical planned unit development in New York State, the first cooperative leasehold marina in Western New York, and one of the first timeshare projects in New York State. We also maintain an agency or examining counsel relationship with several national title insurance companies.

In the New York City metropolitan area, we have represented numerous sellers, purchasers, landlords and tenants in a wide variety of projects ranging from boutique shops in Greenwich Village to the sale and leaseback of a mixed-use office, banking, retail and special-purpose facility in midtown – the largest-single real estate transaction in New York City in 2009. Our experience also includes representing a private individual purchasing and restoring a single-family residence on Central Park West, a multi-national corporation restoring a landmark corporate headquarters, and a state agency converting an historic theater into a mixed-use entertainment, retail, office and residential property.

Our Banking & Financial Services Practice includes all types of commercial and residential lending, such as construction, permanent, multi-family mortgage, warehouse, leasehold mortgage lending and lending that involves the SBA, NYSBDC, Industrial Development Agencies and other quasi-governmental agencies.

Our attorneys have worked with, and provided successful representation to, more than two dozen financial institutions including:

  • Bank of Akron
  • Bank of America, N.A.
  • Bank of Bermuda
  • Bank of Castile
  • Bank of China
  • Bank Hapoalim
  • Bank Leumi
  • Berkshire Bank
  • Citibank, N.A.
  • Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh
  • Evans National Bank
  • First Niagara Bank
  • Five Star Bank
  • GE Capital Corporation
  • Growth Capital Corporation
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • KeyBank
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada
  • Northwest Savings Bank
  • Ocean Capital
  • Patriot Bank
  • PNC Bank, N.A.
  • RBS Citizens, N.A.
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc.
  • Stearns Bank N.A.
  • Swedbank
  • S & T Bank
  • TD Banknorth, N.A.
  • The Upstate National Bank

We have nationally recognized experience representing large corporations, REITs, private developers, public utilities, municipalities, individuals and others in connection with large and small commercial, industrial, retail and residential projects.

Our attorneys are experienced in structuring, negotiating and closing complex financing transactions on behalf of borrowers and lenders. Their work includes:

  • Real estate lending
  • Loan restructurings
  • Construction loans
  • Revolving and term credit facilities
  • Mortgage warehouse lending
  • Asset-based loans
  • Acquisition loans
  • Syndicated transactions
  • Trade finance
  • Public and private debt offerings
  • Tax credit finance
  • Tax-exempt and taxable industrial revenue bonds
  • Participations 

Lending and Development

Our experience includes:

  • Representing a developer in connection with the acquisition, rezoning and construction of condominiums in Manhattan
  • Representing a developer in connection with the $120 million bond refinancing of a development in Soho
  • Representing a lender in a loan for a new age-restricted cooperative conversion construction project involving deed restrictions and PILOT benefits
  • Representing a major money center bank in a syndicated credit for a $420 million construction loan with mezzanine financing and senior and junior lenders
  • Representing a major bank in a syndicated construction loan of $45 million involving industrial development agency financial assistance and Brownfield Tax Credits
  • Representing a lender in connection with a $125 million hotel acquisition and reconstruction in California
  • Representing a lender in connection with construction financing of a mixed-use development project in New York
  • Representing a lender in connection with an $11 million construction loan for the acquisition and development of high-end condominiums in Gramercy Park
  • Representing the ground lessor with respect to the $400 million development of a Battery Park City site. Our work included handling the review and negotiation of the construction documents on behalf of the land owner.
  • Representing the anchor tenant and lender in the construction of a Fifth Avenue ground floor retail space. This matter required extensive negotiations with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) to obtain approval for our client’s planned construction, as well as accommodating the MTA’s easement through portions of the premises.
  • Representing an industrial development agency in connection with the $1 billion redevelopment of Glen Cove Creek
  • Representing the Harlem Community Development Corporation as the fee owner in the redevelopment of the historic Victoria Theatre on 125th Street in Harlem. The engagement involves complete responsibility for all legal aspects of the project including ground lease documentation, purchase and sale documentation, condominium conversion and commercial leasing.
  • Completing a complex ground lease for a major bank that involved a leasehold mortgage loan to finance the construction of a golf course
  • Drafting, negotiating and revising a ground lease for a major midtown office building in Rockefeller Center
  • Handling an IDA transaction involving the largest office building in Nassau County

Commercial Leasing

Our Real Estate attorneys engage in a wide variety of commercial leasing matters – for companies large and small – including the review, drafting and negotiation of all types of leases such as industrial, retail and office leases, as well as ground and other triple net leases. Whether a client is a landlord or a tenant, Phillips Lytle has the experience and expertise to identify the critical lease issues, and to promptly and cost-effectively bring the matter to a successful conclusion. 

Commercial Sales and Acquisitions

We represent buyers and sellers from all types of commercial real property and, when necessary, work closely with the firm’s environmental lawyers to identify and quantify environmental risks. Our Real Estate attorneys are fully equipped to prepare and negotiate purchase and sale agreements, review and advise on title and zoning issues, and advise on Tenants-In-Common (TIC) transactions and 1031 tax-deferred exchanges – in return protecting our clients when moving matters to expeditious closings.

Easements and Rights-of-Way

We continually review, draft and negotiate all types of easements and rights-of-way, on behalf of either the grantee of the easement rights or the owner of the real property. Our practice includes access easements, utility rights-of-way, municipal easements, avigation easements, air rights, easements of light and air and reciprocal easement agreements. 

Land Use & Zoning

Phillips Lytle has one of the leading Land Use & Zoning Practices in New York State – appearing before hundreds of land use planning and zoning agencies across the state, and having participated in some important land use litigation. We regularly assist a variety of clients, from local business owners and developers to FORTUNE 500 companies, with site plan reviews; special, restricted and conditional use permits; area and use variances; rezonings; and cluster and planned unit developments. We expedite complex and controversial development matters involving numerous permits or approvals in front of many regulatory agencies and significant community opposition.

Our approach emphasizes:

  • An integrated team that coordinates the roles and responsibilities of the client, consultants, contractors and other professionals
  • Development of pre-application project implementation plans to establish
    clear and concise responsibilities and timelines
  • Cooperative outreach to all parties involved, including interested local, state and federal agencies
  • Simultaneous review and processing of applications by various regulatory authorities
  • Coordination and outreach within the community to open lines of communication, and minimize neighborhood opposition

We also have extensive experience in coordinating zoning reviews and Environmental Impact Reviews pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, cultural resource reviews in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, and wetland permitting in consultation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Secured Financing

Our attorneys have decades of experience in structuring, negotiating and closing mortgage transactions on behalf of lenders, property owners and developers. We are highly skilled in handling transactions involving construction loans, permanent loans, multi-family and low-income housing transactions. We also specialize in all types of tax-exempt and taxable industrial revenue bonds, the sale and hypothecation of timeshare loans and mortgage warehouse lending, and the workout and restructuring of all types of real estate loans. We provide expert, cost-effective and creative legal solutions for our clients’ financing transactions – from the initial structuring of a deal through closing. 


Our telecommunications attorneys have significant experience in representing some of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, regional telecommunications service providers, large and small telecommunications site owners and managers, as well as lenders and investors across the United States. Our representation includes transactional and litigation matters, such as land use & zoning matters for wireless telecommunications carriers, tower owners and developers. We handle matters with respect to site leasing across the U.S. for property owners, managers and carriers; interconnection contracts for local exchange carriers; custom network service agreements for business customers; negotiation of private and municipal cable television franchises; access and service agreements; pole attachment matters; and cable piracy and franchise disputes for cable operators. In addition, our team is involved with acquisitions, IPOs, lender financing and venture capital funding. We also represent telecommunications clients before various federal and New York State courts.

Title Insurance

Title Insurance is an indispensable component in the closing of real estate sales, acquisitions and mortgage financings – especially in multi-site transactions. We maintain agency or examining counsel relationships with several national title insurance companies to facilitate the timely closing of these transactions for our clients. Our expertise in examining titles, reviewing title searches and title insurance reports, reviewing surveys, and identifying and solving title problems is unmatched.

Community Association Representation

Phillips Lytle represents developers, homeowners and condominium associations in a variety of projects, including matters relating to both residential and commercial property, office buildings, medical facilities, marinas, campgrounds, timeshares and planned unit developments.

Landlord/Tenant Disputes

We represent both landlords and tenants in eviction and other proceedings involving compliance with monetary and non-monetary lease provisions.

Mortgage Foreclosure

Our attorneys represent institutional and private lenders in commercial mortgage foreclosures. We are highly experienced in quickly controlling and preserving income streams from commercial properties owned by defaulting mortgagors. We also work with our clients to explore and implement favorable workouts whenever possible.

Tax Assessment Challenges, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Proceedings

Our Real Estate Litigation attorneys represent both real property owners and municipalities in litigation involving the determination of the fair market value of real property for ad valorem tax purposes and eminent domain and condemnation proceedings. We have represented a diverse group of clients in real property valuation litigation, including owners of large industrial properties, commercial properties, apartment buildings, parking garages and individual residences.

In Rem Tax Foreclosures

Our In Rem Tax Lien Enforcement Group represents governmental taxing authorities, and national syndicates and purchasers of tax liens, in foreclosing liens throughout New York State where we are one of the largest providers of this service.


We represent industrial and commercial clients in public and private nuisance claims.

Albert M. Mercury

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