Think Real Estate, Winter 2015


Welcome to this issue of Think Real Estate, a resource for timely legal analysis of issues affecting the real estate industry and your business' bottom line. Our real estate lawyers represent clients in areas critical to the real estate industry and are engaged in every facet of buying, selling, developing, operating, leasing, capitalizing and financing real estate for operators, investors and users for both U.S. and foreign companies. For more information about our people and capabilities, visit our Real Estate Practice Group page.

Does Preparatory Site Work, Such as Clearing or Grading, Constitute Commencement of Construction for Purposes of Lien Priority?

From a construction lender's perspective, intuition would say that a subcontractor's lien rights would never take priority over those of the lender unless and until general construction on a project site had visibly begun. This is because, until the Great Recession, for purposes of determining when a mechanic's lien attaches and priority can be established, the majority of jurisdictions had interpreted their respective statutory definition of the "date of commencement" to be the date when materials are, or labor is, first provided by a contractor or subcontractor for the visible improvement of the subject property.

Stuyvesant Town (Mezz vs Senior Debt, Part II) - A Case to Watch

A high profile dispute between the senior mortgage lender consisting of four securitization trusts and their special servicer, CWCapital Asset Management LLC, on one hand and on the other, the assignees of certain junior mezzanine lenders who financed the 2006 acquisition of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village will be played out in the New York Supreme Court as a result of a January 12, 2015 federal court decision granting plaintiffs' motion to remand the Action to state court for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

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