Founded 40 years ago, Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. (R&E) is recognized for its in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the New York City real estate market. Clients have long relied on R&E’s unique ability to recognize and address all legal aspects of complex real estate projects. The firm’s level of legal acumen, combined with sound business sense, allows R+E to exceed clients’ expectations, however complex the case or transaction. The firm is extremely proud of the concrete examples of its work throughout New York.
Long term clients include The Durst Organization, for whom R + E put together a joint venture with the Bank of America to construct One Bryant Park as the Bank’s headquarters, contributing to the rebirth of the Times Square area. Another joint venture, typical of the high profile transactions handled by R+E, is the joint venture between Durst and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the construction and operation of the new One World Trade Center “Liberty Tower”. Over the last year lawyers at the firm closed over 1 billion of EB 5 financing for lenders.
In September 2015, the Real Deal, the New York real estate industry magazine, recognized the 72 real estate lawyer R+E as New York City’s largest real estate practice group, encompassing all aspects of real estate legal practice, representing clients in financing, development, leasing and related transactional work, litigation, zoning and land use as well as addressing related rent regulation and administrative law issues.
Because of its experience and sensitivity to the needs of clients in the real estate world, R+E remains the first choice of numerous prominent local, national and international developers, institutions and landlords in connection with their New York real estate legal work.
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Michael E. Lefkowitz is Managing Member of Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. and a Leader of the firm's Transactional Department. Over the past 20 years, Lefkowitz has been involved in many aspects of the firm's activities, including litigation, appeals and administrative law.
Lefkowitz specializes in representing clients in commercial real estate transactions. His focus for many years has been representing lenders and borrowers in completing financing transactions, and workouts of loans on troubled assets. Since joining Rosenberg & Estis, he has greatly expanded the firm's expertise in this sector. Lefkowitz has been working closely with lenders and borrowers on creative solutions to restructure loans and rework the debt on troubled real estate assets, often avoiding the lengthy and costly foreclosure and bankruptcy process.
Lefkowitz also represents commercial property owners, providing his legal expertise in all other aspects of real estate including leasing and purchase and sale transactions. He worked with the insurance market following the events of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Sandy assisting many insurance companies in assessing the loss measure of many downtown buildings including the World Trade Center Complex. He continues to represent insurers in connection with complex real estate valuations, soft cost claims and rental value losses.
Lefkowitz is also an active principal in a family owned real estate business. The company owns more than one million square feet of retail, office and industrial real estate throughout the U.S. Lefkowitz's experience with managing and developing his own properties has given him an understanding of all the issues concerning commercial real estate from a number of different perspectives. His broad skill set provides him with the knowledge of the numbers behind a deal, the real value of a project, and whether a transaction truly makes sense.
Lefkowitz received his bachelor's degree in policy studies from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in New York and Connecticut. He is a member of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management, Real Estate Advisory Board.
Selected Cases and Representations
Representative Insurance Adjustment/Consultant Assignments (retained by insurers)
- Silverstein, 9/11 claim
- Deutsche Bank, 9/11 claim
- Federal Realty, Santana Row, San Jose, CA, Fire Loss
- Related Company, AOL/TW Center, Fire Loss
- Macklowe Properties, 501 Madison Avenue, Fire Loss
- Hurricane Sandy World Trade Center and South Street Sea Port Claims
Recent (2013-2014) Representative Matters
- Preferred Equity investment in East End Hotel redevelopment
- $485M sale of two upper east side apartment buildings
- Sale of Highline area development site for record price per square foot
Year Joined Firm
Areas of Practice
- Transactional Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Leasing, Contracts, Financing
- Real Estate Development
- Mortgage Foreclosure/Workout
- Connecticut, 1989
- New York, 1990
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1990
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
- J.D. - 1989
- Syracuse University
- B.A. - 1986
- IMN-2nd Annual Real Estate General Counsel's Forum (Property Management, Leases & Lease Restructuring), September 10-11, 2012
- Law and the Financial Crisis Economic Regulation During Turbulent Times (Speaker), Syracuse University College of Law, Law Review Symposium
Honors and Awards
- Selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers, 2012 - Present
Real Estate in New York
733 Third Avenue, New York 10017