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The greatest value of an advisor is one who anticipates the bends in the road for you, and helps you navigate confidently around them.

  • Overview
  • Matters
  • Publications
  • Speaking
  • Affiliations

Kenneth Jacobs’ counsel is held in high regard. He is a widely recognized authority in Commercial Real Estate and Cooperative and Condominium law, and his intelligent approach to negotiations and conflict resolution adds value to every client relationship at the firm.

Mr. Jacobs maintains a sophisticated practice in commercial real estate, including office and retail leasing, financing, development, sales and acquisitions. He assists clients in structuring their investment and operating entities for maximum flexibility.  Based on the breadth of his background and experience, Mr. Jacobs is able to counsel developers and owners from both a legal and practical standpoint.

Mr. Jacobs is a known leader in condominium and cooperative law. In combination with his command of commercial real estate complexities, Mr. Jacobs possesses an astute understanding of the real-world issues that community associations and owners need to address on an ongoing basis, as well as the complex array of interests of all parties in condominium offerings. He drafts and structures offering plans, negotiates the terms of sale and purchase on behalf of Sponsors and tenant associations, facilitates the transition from Sponsor control to independent control of co-op and condo Boards, and assists newly established Boards in developing governance policies to protect the long-term interests of the association with confidence. Mr. Jacobs negotiates regularly on behalf of associations to obtain what was promised to the association in the offering plan, and on behalf of Sponsors to protect against unwarranted demands by owner groups.

  • Spearheaded the $600,000,000 refinancing of Co-opCity (Riverbay Corporation), with 15,000 units, and the $200,000,000 refinancing of Penn South (Mutual Redevelopment Corporation), with 3,000 units, with mortgage guarantees through HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). The Riverbay financing was the first private cooperative corporation to obtain HUD mortgage guarantees, and among the largest mortgages ever guaranteed by HUD. It required development  of new forms of documentation to coordinate the roles of HUD, New York State, New York City, and the underlying lender (each of whom had different levels of oversight over the cooperative), and modification of many other classic HUD loan documents to take into account the equity interests of the individual shareholders and the non-profit structure of cooperative ownership.
  • Represented landlord in 100,000 sf lease with leading national non-profit and facilitated exercise of option to create condominium and purchase commercial unit.
  • Converted the first cooperative corporation in New York State to condominium ownership outside of bankruptcy, unlocking millions of dollars in equity for owners and ultimately increasing property values at the building by tens of millions of dollars.
  • Negotiated the sale of 100% of the individual condominium units in an existing association to the developer of the Barclays Center at premium prices, while taking into account the timetable needed by each resident for relocation and tax protection.
  • Represents developers in acquiring, financing and converting commercial buildings to condominium ownership, including negotiation of acquisition and construction loans, air rights mergers, easement agreements and related licenses and reservations of rights.
  • Represented the interests of a large Manhattan co-op in rebuilding after a fire destroying half the building, including coordinating negotiations and communications among the insurer, shareholders,  the adjuster, architect, contractor, management and the other involved professionals.
  • Simultaneously negotiated settlements with developer on behalf of two adjacent Tarrytown condominium associations to obtain compensation for construction defects, and with both the Sponsor and neighboring condominium associations to rectify the consequences of the developer’s recording wildly incorrect boundaries between the associations that had resulted in loss of control over vital common elements.

Mr. Jacobs frequently contributes to trade publications dealing with the cooperative and condominium community in such areas as enforcement of association rights, indemnification of officers and directors, environmental regulation, subleasing, and current topical issues.  He has been cited frequently in media and print, such as The New York TimesThe Cooperator, and Habitat Magazine, in connection with his work.

  • “Fine Alert!”  Habitat Magazine, April 2018.
  • “Who Pays for Repairs?” Habitat Magazine, February 2018.
  • “Best Practices After Fire.” Habitat Magazine ( December 2017).
  • “How to Propose a “No Smoking” Amendment to Your Co-op or Condo Association” MRM (September 2016).
  • “Airbnb – Legality, Detection and Enforcement,” MRM (August 2016).
  • “Enforce a Smoking Ban.” Habitat Magazine (November 2015).
  • “Navigating the Transition to Independent Owner Control,” By Katie Robinson, featured.  Community Associations Institute, Hudson Valley Chapter (Issue 1 2015).
  • “War of the Worlds: Collecting Condo Arrears when the Bank Looms.”  Community Associations Institute, Hudson Valley Chapter (Issue 3 2014).
  • “Keep Detailed Records”, The Habitat Attorney Survey 2012, Habitat Magazine (November 2012).
  • “First Department Overrules Decision on Claims Against Condo/Co-op Directors”, New York Real Estate Law Reporter (Vol. 28, No. 11 September 2012).
  • “Home Away from Home,” Habitat Magazine Podcast (July 25, 2012).
  • “Board Confidentiality,” Habitat Magazine Podcast (June 24, 2011).
  • CAI Newsletter, “Association Help Now.”
  • Real Estate Law Reporter (should your co-op be a condo).
  • Contributor, Emanuel Harper’s Shopping Center and Store Leases.

  • CLE – Top Ten Issues for Commercial Borrowers
  • CLE –  Due Diligence in Residential Real Estate Transactions
  • Speaker – Dealing with Smoke Issues in your Condominium and Cooperative
  • Speaker – Hidden Issues in Management Agreements
  • Speaker – Insurance Issues for Adjoining Property Owners
  • Panelist – Dealing with Air BnB Problems, Cooperator Expo 2017
  • Panelist – Documenting and Proving violations of House Rules, Cooperator Expo 2017

  • Board of Directors, Big Apple Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, a national educational and advocacy organization representing the interest of community associations
  • Legislative Action Committee of NY chapters of Community Associations Institute.
  • Member and speaker, Hudson Valley Chapter of Community Associations Institute
  • Active member Co-op/Condo Committee of the New York State Bar Association
  • Served on Joint New York State and City Bar Committees dealing with the ongoing review of NY State's Condominium Act as well as revisions to the form of proprietary lease
  • Active member of the Building and Realty Institute

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