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Brian S. Lichter
Partner

Mr. Lichter is a partner in Davis Polk’s Real Estate Group. His practice includes the representation of owners, developers, funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other financial institutions in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions, concentrating in the acquisition and disposition of office, retail and multifamily properties, joint ventures, commercial mortgage, mezzanine and construction financings, preferred equity investments and debt restructurings.

Work Highlights

Recent representations include:

  • Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group in their $1.5 billion construction financing from a bank syndicate led by Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch for the development of the one million square foot destination retail project, The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, to be anchored by a flagship Neiman Marcus store, the first in New York City, and to include restaurants from chefs Thomas Keller, José Andrés and Costas Spiliadis and stores from numerous other high-end retailers. Hudson Yards is a 28-acre project that is expected to cost $20 billion and include more than 17 million square feet of office, retail and residential space
  • Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust in their $625 million mortgage and mezzanine CMBS refinancing of 85 Tenth Avenue in New York City from Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
  • RXR Realty in various transactions, including its acquisition of a 49% controlling interest of the leasehold estate in 5 Times Square in New York City from David Werner and partners, its related joint venture arrangement in connection therewith and the venture’s $1.36 billion mortgage and mezzanine refinancing of the building; its $223 million mortgage and mezzanine construction financing of the development of Garvies Point in Glen Cove, Long Island; its $157 million mortgage and mezzanine construction financing of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Long Island, North Hills; its preferred equity investment in 80 Broad Street in New York City and its related joint venture arrangement with NorthStar Realty Income Trust, Inc.; and its refinancing of a 28-building portfolio in Woodbury, Long Island
  • SL Green Realty Corp. in various transactions, including its $250 million refinancing of the Olivia at 315 West 33rd Street in New York City from Rothesay Life Plc, its sales of 248-252 Bedford Avenue in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY and of 140 and 150 Grand Street in White Plains, NY, and its acquisition of 102 Greene Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City
  • The Moinian Group in various transactions, including its $100 million CMBS refinancing of 60 Madison Avenue in New York City from Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch.
  • Moinian Limited, a British Virgin Islands company wholly owned by Joseph Moinian, founder and CEO of The Moinian Group, in its NIS1.4 billion ($361 million) bond issuance on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the largest such offering to date by a U.S. real estate investor
  • Slate Property Group in various transactions, including, as administrative member of its joint venture with GreenOak Real Estate, in the venture’s acquisition and construction financing from the Blackstone Group L.P. for the purchase of River Tower at 420 East 54th Street, a luxury residential building in the Sutton Place neighborhood of New York City and as administrative member of its joint venture with Meadow Partners, in the modification of its joint venture agreement with Meadow Partners and in the venture’s acquisition and construction financing from Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and its mezzanine financing from Winter Properties for the ground-up development of One Flatbush, a mixed-use project in Downtown Brooklyn.

Before joining Davis Polk, Mr. Lichter advised on numerous transactions, including:

  • RXR Realty in its acquisition and financing of various office buildings, including 450 Lexington Avenue, the Starrett-Lehigh Building at 601 West 26th Street and 1330 Avenue of the Americas in New York City and in its acquisition of the controlling interest, with an option to acquire the remaining interest, in the mixed-use property located at 620 Avenue of the Americas in New York City
  • SL Green Realty Corp. in its acquisition and construction financing of 180 Broadway and 33 Beekman Street in Lower Manhattan and 1552 Broadway in Times Square and in its sale of the Citibank tower at One Court Square in Long Island City
  • Normandy Real Estate Partners in its acquisition of 1370 Broadway and the related debt assumption and in its acquisition of 575 Lexington Avenue in New York City
  • Atlas Capital Group, Fortress Investment Group and Westbrook Partners in their acquisition of the St. John’s Center located at 555 Washington Street in New York City and the related mortgage financing provided by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs

  • The Moinian Group in its separate sales of interests in 3 Columbus Circle and 180 Maiden Lane in New York City to SL Green Realty Corp., and the related joint venture arrangements in which The Moinian Group and SL Green Realty Corp. will be joint venture partners in each of the buildings

  • Kushner Companies in its restructuring of the existing debt and a recapitalization by means of a joint venture with Vornado Realty Trust, with respect to the office building located at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City

  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. in the sale of a portfolio of buildings in Brooklyn, New York to a joint venture including Kushner Companies and RFR Realty

  • Tribeca Holdings in its acquisition of a leasehold interest in the retail space at 112 Greene Street in New York City (the Stella McCartney store) and the associated acquisition mortgage financing

  • The Whitney Museum of American Art in the sale and leaseback of brownstone properties adjacent to the landmark Breuer Building to raise funds for its new 136,000 square foot museum building designed by Renzo Piano, located in the Meatpacking District of New York City

  • The Brearley School in connection with its acquisition of the debt and the deed in lieu of foreclosure at 70-74 East End Avenue in New York City

Recognition

Mr. Lichter is recognized as a leading real estate lawyer in various industry publications:

  • Law360:
    • "MVP," 2016
    • "Rising Star," 2012
  • Chambers USA – Real Estate: New York, 2017
  • Legal 500 U.S.

Awards

  • In 2017, Mr. Lichter was awarded UJA-Federation of New York’s Larry A. Silverstein REX Award

Of Note

Memberships
  • Member, Real Estate Board of New York
  • Member, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity New York City
  • Member, UJA-Federation of New York’s Real Estate Council
  • Past Chair, UJA-Federation of New York’s Young Real Estate Executives (REX) Steering Committee
  • Chair, UJA-Federation of New York's Loan Fund Subcommittee
  • Next Generation Trustee, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2013-present
  • Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, 2011-2013
  • Associate, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, 2002-2011

Contact

  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY
    10017
    P: +1 212 450 4027
    F: +1 212 701 5027

Practice Focus

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • State of California

Education

  • B.A., Emory University, 1998
  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 2002