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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

When people think of buying or selling real estate in New York City, they may think of existing houses, co-ops and condos in Staten Island and the other boroughs.

In a New York or New Jersey residential real estate transaction, the property owner is selling the property to a buyer who has likely fallen in love with the place. It could be the price, neighborhood, location, or any combination of factors that drew the buyer to offer to buy the premises. Or the buyer may be a real estate investor. Often, the seller is or was residing in the premises, while other times the buyer will be the first person to purchase a newly-constructed home or unit.
But regardless of whether you’re considering buying a home, co-op or condo– or even leasing a New York City apartment– at one time your dream residence didn’t exist beyond an architect’s blueprint. Construction contracts and attorneys are part of what brings it all to life.

The Manhattan skyline is in a constant state flux with new skyscrapers rising all the time.  New York City commercial real estate attorneys help developer clients navigate buying the land, the renovation and or construction of the project, financing and mortgage issues and more. While the project may generally run smoothly, problems could arise it anytime.

Take the lawsuit over 1 Seaport in Manhattan. According to the contractor-plaintiff’s suit against the project developer, the 58-story Manhattan condo tower “is leaning north by about 3 inches because the skyscrapers foundation is defective” allegedly due to the developer “cutting corners” to save costs.

The suit alleges that prior to the plaintiff being hired to oversee the project, the developer chose a cheaper alternative of “soil improvement” rather than recommendations in a “2014 geotechnical report to drive piles deep into the properties foundation”. The plaintiff-contractor allegedly poured a concrete matt slab on top of the improved soil foundation but, as the tower construction work proceeded, subcontractors allegedly reported “structural issues and unusual settlement” of the building which it said presented concerns for “the safety of workers, the public in adjoining property, and ultimately, the building occupants”.

The developer is vigorously defending what it claims is a “defamatory” lawsuit and alleges the contractor is desperately trying to divert attention from “the fact it defaulted on yet another New York City project”. Countersuits for damages and for defamation are expected. A new general contractor is on the project.

While allegedly unsafe “leaning towers” are not typically a construction issue that makes headlines, commercial real estate law in a city like New York is a complicated arena.

If you need assistance with a commercial real estate matter in New York or New Jersey, Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we represent clients in both states in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate law.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.