Matthew Leeds is a partner in the Real Estate Transactions and Cooperative and Condominium Housing practice groups of Ganfer & Shore. Mr. Leeds handles all types of sophisticated real estate transactions, including particular exposure to matters relating to condominiums and cooperatives.

Mr. Leeds frequently works in the growing area of commercial condominiums, as well as leasehold commercial condominiums. Many of his matters relate to the takeover by lenders or investors of unfinished developments or of “unsold” units, and the methods of completing the offering, including analysis and structures recognizing issues of sponsor liability. Mr. Leeds frequently acts as counsel, or as special counsel, to some of America’s largest law firms, for sophisticated real estate owners, including public REITS and major real estate owners and developers.

In addition, Mr. Leeds regularly represents purchasers, sellers and owners of commercial and residential properties, developers and sponsors of offering plans, condominium associations, and cooperative apartment corporations, investors, lenders, and management.

EDUCATION

  • New York University School of Law (LL.M., 1983)
  • State University of New York at Buffalo Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence (J.D., 1977)
  • New York University (University College) (A.B., 1974)
  • REPRESENTATIVE TRANSACTIONS
  • Special counsel to public REITs, private commercial real estate owners, hospitality companies, major retailers, medical centers and not-for-profit entities on the conversions of existing commercial properties to commercial condominiums, and on the creation of commercial leasehold condominiums.
  • Counsel to New York City condominium associations and cooperative apartment corporations in all aspects of their operation and management, including contracting and corporate governance.
  • Counsel to developers of new construction mixed-use condominium offering plans in midtown Manhattan and in the outer boroughs, some with significant commercial and/or hotel components.
  • Special counsel to major lenders in construction loans for the development of new construction condominiums and in the conversion of existing rental properties to the condominium form of ownership.
  • Co-counsel to the real estate arm of an investment bank in a workout of a major residential leasehold condominium in downtown Manhattan, including representation of the offering through “sell-out” after the original developer was removed from management.
  • Special counsel to a public REIT in a co-development with another public real estate company of a major parcel, intended to be a residential tower in Manhattan, divided between a rental portion and “for-sale” residential condominium units.
  • Representation of cooperative apartment corporations in dealing with disruptive individual owners, including termination and ejectment in litigated terminations based on “objectionable conduct.”
  • Representation of a leasehold cooperative apartment building in the acquisition of fee title to the property.
  • Representation of government agencies and others in connection with programs providing for “affordable housing” within new construction condominiums.
  • Representation of the owner of the commercial unit (independent of the sponsor) in a large new construction mixed-use property in the division and sale of its commercial space to purchasers.
  • Frequent representation of investors in “unsold shares” and “unsold units,” including analysis, acquisition, offering and disposition.
  • Special co-counsel called in by a major law firm to assist with the creation of the condominium structure of a large commercial property on Long Island to be owned and used by hospital and commercial organizations.
  • Representation of a condominium association after the “turnover” of control to independent unit owners in disputes with the original sponsor over construction and mismanagement.
  • Counsel to “twin” luxury cooperative apartment corporations established on a “fee above a plane” over a six-story commercial structure.
  • Condominium counsel to the “Master Board” of an iconic landmark hotel-residential development in midtown Manhattan.
  • Cooperative and condominium counsel to a European pension fund that is funding the redevelopment and conversion of existing luxury residential properties in Manhattan to condominiums.

MEMBERSHIPS, PUBLICATIONS, TEACHING, ADMISSIONS

Mr. Leeds is a former chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Section and remains a member of the Executive Committee of that Section. He was also a long-time co-chair of that Section’s Condominiums and Cooperatives Committee and is active in many legal organizations.

Mr. Leeds is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and writes and lectures frequently on matters of real estate.

Mr. Leeds was a co-author of New York Practice Guide: Cooperatives and Condominiums, published by Matthew Bender in 1986. In 1999, he was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He has been consistently named in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Best Lawyers in New York” and “Super Lawyers.” Mr. Leeds is admitted to practice in New York.