Michael Werner represents owners, developers, funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other financial institutions in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions.
Mike has worked on many of the industry’s highest-profile transactions. Clients seek his innovative representation in the acquisition, development, and disposition of office, hotel, retail, and multifamily properties; joint ventures; commercial mortgage, mezzanine, and construction financings; preferred equity investments and debt restructurings; ground leases; and commercial space leasing.
Mike is actively involved in real estate industry current affairs and is regularly asked to speak on industry topics. Most recently, he moderated the panel “Betting on New York: Where and How to Approach 2022 Development Locations” at Bisnow’s NYC State of the Market. In 2019, Mike moderated the Expanding The Footprint For Life Science Real Estate in NYC Panel at the Symposium for Life Science Real Estate Development in New York City. He also appeared as a panelist at the 2018 CREtech New York Venture Conference titled, “Tech Savvy Landlords” and discussed “Breaking Down NYC’s Mega Deals” at the Realshare: New York Growth State of Mind conference. He has lectured at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Mike is recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Real Estate section, where clients note that his “ability to help solve issues and get to the finish line make him invaluable to our firm.” He is also recognized by Legal 500 in Real Estate, and Crain’s New York Business named him a 2021 Notable in Real Estate, which honors individuals with a major impact on the New York City real estate industry.
Dedicated to a sense of collaboration and inclusivity regarding the next generation of our colleagues, Michael is a member of our Attorney Development Committee.
Work highlights include:
- Google in its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Chelsea Market in New York City, the second largest price ever paid for the purchase of a single building in the U.S.; its US$1.8 billion acquisition of 111 Eighth Avenue, which at the time was the largest ever U.S. real estate purchase by a tenant; its US$600 million acquisition of the historic Milk Building in Chelsea; its 250,000-square-foot lease at Pier 57; its 280,000-square-foot lease at 315 Hudson Street and 180,000-square-foot lease at 345 Hudson Street; its 200,000-square-foot lease at 85 Tenth Avenue; and numerous related matters at the above-described properties and throughout New York City
- Amazon in its US$1.15 billion acquisition of the Lord & Taylor building from WeWork and its redevelopment of the landmark 11-story, 660,000-square-foot building, which is located at 424 Fifth Avenue in New York City
- Netflix in its acquisition of an approximately 300-acre site in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for the development of a large-scale studio production campus
- BlackRock, as tenant, in its 850,000-square-foot lease for its planned headquarters relocation to 50 Hudson Yards in New York City. This was the largest office lease in Manhattan in 2017.
- RFR in its sale of 345 Park Avenue to Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment management firm, which plans to convert a portion of the building into a lab space for the life sciences industry; its US$273 million sale of 275 Madison Avenue, a 329,000-square-foot landmark office building in Midtown Manhattan; its US$360 construction financing for the development of a luxury residential condominium tower at 150 East 53rd Street (f/k/a 610 Lexington Avenue); its US$245 million refinancing of 350 Madison Avenue, a 400,000-square-foot office building located near Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal; its multiple refinancings of 285 Madison Avenue, a 26-story, 510,000-square-foot building located between East 40th and East 41st Streets; its acquisition, and US$157 million structured financing, of 325 Ninth Avenue in Seattle, Washington, which is known as the Amazon at Apollo, a 12-story creative office building; and its US$105 million refinancing from Goldman Sachs of 90 Fifth Avenue in New York City.
- Taconic Partners and Nuveen in their US$230 million acquisition and financing of a portion of ABC’s former campus located at 125 West End Avenue, 320 West 66th Street, and Lot 61 in New York City from Silverstein Properties.
- Global Holdings in its US$565 million acquisition and financing of Nomad Tower (a/k/a 1250 Broadway); its US$415 million acquisition and financing of Washington Harbour in Washington, D.C.; its US$380 million acquisition and financing of the Instrata Nomad, a luxury apartment building located at 10 East 29th Street in Manhattan; its acquisition of 424 Bedford Avenue, a luxury apartment building located in Williamsburg, New York; its US$280 million construction financing for the development of a luxury residential condominium tower at 50 UN Plaza; its joint venture and US$153 million construction financing for the development of a luxury residential condominium tower at 180 East 88th Street; and its refinancings of office towers located at 875 Third Avenue, 99 Park Avenue, 410 Park Avenue, and 125 Park Avenue in Manhattan.
- Tishman Speyer in its US$438 million acquisition of a full city block stretching from West 34th Street to West 35th Streets and from 10th Avenue to Hudson Park Boulevard where Tishman Speyer is constructing the Bjarke-Ingels designed “The Spiral”; and its US$380 million construction financing for its Studio Gang designed luxury residential development located at 11 Hoyt Street in downtown Brooklyn.
- Taconic Partners and Nuveen Real Estate in connection with their US$600 million recapitalization for 125 West End Avenue in New York City. As part of the recapitalization, LaSalle Investment Management, on behalf of its underlying limited partner, joined as equity partner, and funds managed by Apollo Global Management and Oaktree. Management provided $393 million in construction financing for the project
- A joint venture led by Taconic Partners and including BFC Partners, L+M, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group in connection with its US$260 million construction loan for the development of 202 Broome Street, a mixed-use retail, office, and residential building located in the Essex Crossing development.
- Queens Park Realty in its sale to A&E Real Estate Holdings of the residential apartment building portfolio known as “The Rego Park 18” located at 98-11 Queens Boulevard and 64-33 98th Street in Rego Park, Queens.
- GFP Real Estate in its US$470 million structured financing for the acquisition and redevelopment of 100 Pearl Street (f/k/a 7 Hanover Square), a 970,000-square-foot building that is anchored by NY Legal Aid Society and NYC Health + Hospitals
- RXR Realty in connection with its US$175 million construction financing for 475 Clermont Avenue (810 Fulton Street), a 12-story, 400,000-square-foot mixed-use structure with 363 residential units.
- Macklowe Properties in its sale of the General Motors building to Boston Properties for US$2.8 billion, the largest price ever paid for the purchase of a single building in U.S. history; sale of three additional New York office towers to Boston Properties located at 540 Madison Avenue, 125 West 55th Street, and 2 Grand Central Tower; acquisition and financing of the Drake Hotel and other assemblage parcels located at 432 Park Avenue in New York City and subsequent sale of the development site to CIM Group; US$330 million construction loan for an office building at 510 Madison Avenue in New York City; and its construction financings of luxury condominiums located at 737 Park Avenue and 150 East 72nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
- Carlyle Group, as landlord, in connection with multiple leases at 650 Madison Avenue, a trophy office tower in the Plaza District, including the extension and expansion of its lease to Ralph Lauren, which facilitated the ultimate sale of the building to Vornado Realty Trust, Oxford Properties Group, Crown Acquisitions, and Highgate Hotels in 2013.
- 21st Century Fox and News Corp. in their non-binding agreement with Silverstein Properties to locate each company’s corporate headquarters (approximately 1.4 million square feet in the aggregate) at a new building to be developed by Silverstein Properties at 2 World Trade Center. 21st Century Fox and News Corp., which ultimately decided not to consummate the transaction, would have anchored a state-of-the art tower designed by Bjarke-Ingels Group (BIG) to house studios, newsrooms, and teams from across both companies’ businesses.
- Naftali Group and Access Industries in connection with their US$102 million acquisition, joint venture and financing of 470 Kent Avenue, a development site on the Williamsburg East River waterfront.
- MetLife, as landlord, in connection with leases at 85 Broad Street in downtown Manhattan to The Nielsen Group and Oppenheimer & Co. for an aggregate 385,000 square feet to anchor the repositioning of that asset following Goldman Sachs vacating the building in 2010.
- Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in its US$340 million sale of the iconic Watchtower building located at 25/30 Columbus Heights in Brooklyn, New York to CIM Group, Kushner Companies, and LIVWRK.
- Brookfield in its US$200 million acquisition of One North End Avenue (the headquarters building for New York Mercantile Exchange) in downtown Manhattan. As part of the acquisition, Brookfield leased back to NYMEX 450,000 square feet of office, trading floor and support space with provisions for NYMEX’s consolidation into the lower 222,000 square feet of the building.
- Apollo Global Management, as tenant, in its approximately 200,000-square-foot lease at 9 West 57th street, which is its global headquarters.
- ThreeSixty Group, as tenant, in connection with its 20,000-square-foot lease at 30 Rockefeller Center from Tishman Speyer for the iconic toy store FAO Schwarz.
- Gotham Organization in connection with its acquisition and joint venture for its proposed ten-acre redevelopment of the Christian Cultural Center in East New York, which will include 2,100 affordable apartments, senior housing, retail space, and more than two acres of public space; and its agreement to enter into a ground lease for the development of a residential project located at 60 Norfolk Street in New York City.
- Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management Group, as tenant, in its renewal and expansion of over 110,000 square feet at 399 Park Avenue, a first-class office building located in Midtown Manhattan.
- Beacon Capital Partners, as landlord, in its 71,000 square feet renewal and expansion of Barneys New York’s headquarters lease at 575 Fifth Avenue, a first-class office building located in Midtown Manhattan.
- Vornado Realty Trust in its US$260 million sale of the Beverly Connection shopping center located in Los Angeles to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation; its US$48.3 million sale of the South Hills shopping center located in Poughkeepsie, New York to DLC Management Corporation; and its US$31.2 million sale of 99-01 Queens Boulevard to Blumenfeld Development Corp.
- Host Hotels & Resorts in its 20-year master lease with Vornado Realty Trust for the retail portion of the New York Marriott Marquis (which allowed Vornado to redevelop the retail and signage components of the hotel), its acquisition of fee title to the property from Empire State Development pursuant to Host’s exercise of its purchase option under its ground lease, and ultimately, its US$442 million sale of the retail and theater condominium units of the property to Vornado.
- Imperial Companies in its US$104 million construction financing for a mixed-use luxury residential tower at 509 West 38th Street that will feature both market rate and affordable units.
- SL Green Realty Corp. in its sale of condominium units located at 180 Broadway and 33 Beekman to Pace University, to be used as student housing.
- Con Edison in connection with its US$150 million sale to Walentas of the development site known as The River Street Assemblages located on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, New York; and its US$50 million sale of 500 Kent Avenue, a 2.65-acre development site located on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, New York.
- Criterion Real Estate Capital in its US$75 million acquisition and subsequent US$105 million sale of 627 Greenwich Street, a former factory building located in Manhattan’s West Village that is being converted into condominiums.
- At Home Group and Jacks Family Restaurants in connection with multiple portfolio sale-leasebacks of their respective real estate assets throughout the U.S.