Portfolio sale of industrial real estate
Played a lead role in one of the largest portfolio sales of industrial real estate to be completed in New Jersey in several years as a member of the firm’s real estate team representing affiliated entities of Avidan Management LLC as the sellers of approximately 2.6 million square feet of office and warehouse space located in South Brunswick, Edison, Elizabeth and Bayonne. The high-value transaction, which closed in late August 2012, involved the acquisition of a nine-building portfolio of properties, including office, light industrial, cold storage and bulk distribution space, by Cohen Asset Management Inc., an industrial and commercial real estate investment firm. Mr. Fersko and his team negotiated five power purchase agreements covering over 6 MWs of solar production on behalf of Avidan, a leading solar developer in the New Jersey market who has worked closely with our real estate group on a number of alternative energy projects in the past. The deal was closed in 2012 and the project led to the team being named Finalists for the Industrial Deal of the Year by NAIOP New Jersey Chapter in 2013.
Counseled a joint venture between developer Jonathan Rose Companies and JP Morgan Chase on title and construction loan closings for a mixed use redevelopment project in South Orange, NJ. The project will consist of a 215 unit LEED certified apartment building, retail space and a 500+ space parking facility, a portion of which will be available for public use. The firm advised on the transfer of property to our client pursuant to a Redevelopment Agreement previously negotiated by our team, and also negotiated a $38,500,000 million construction mortgage loan for the project. The deal represents a major milestone for the project and a significant step forward for South Orange’s downtown redevelopment.
Des Champs Laboratories, Inc. v. Martin
— Was part of the team and provided real estate related support in the firm’s successful representation of plaintiff Des Champs Laboratories in Des Champs Laboratories, Inc. v. Martin
, 2012 N.J. Super. LEXIS 115 (App. Div. 2012), in which the Court struck down an unauthorized regulation of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) which threatened to significantly increase clean up obligations under the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) for businesses using very small amounts of hazardous substances. The case was argued in court by Daniel L. Schmutter, partner in the Litigation Department.
Acquisition — Lead a team of lawyers as real estate, land use and public finance counsel to private equity firm KTR Capital Partners in its 2011 acquisition of the iPort 12 International Trade and Logistics Center in Carteret, New Jersey. The 70 acre former brownfield site and prior municipal solid waste landfill was redeveloped in 2007. Representation addressed a broad range of issues including those related to right of access and title, the transfer of permits, and the transfer of access rights, a process which required extensive negotiations with multiple public and quasi-public entities. Mr. Fersko also negotiated and orchestrated the assignment, assumption and amendment of existing public financing through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) and the NJDEP, which was secured by Payments in Lieu of Taxes pursuant to a financial agreement under New Jersey’s long term tax exemption law. This process required approvals from the Borough of Carteret, the Carteret Redevelopment Agency, the EIT (subject to the Governor’s right of veto), and the Commissioner of the NJDEP. KTR’s acquisition of the 1.26 million square foot warehouse space included the negotiation of a short sale with the original developer’s lender and the assumption of public financing originally obtained to fund environmental remediation of the site.
Roof-mounted solar energy installation — Played a key role throughout the planning, financing and construction phases of one of the country’s largest roof-mounted solar energy installations with his representation of Avidan Energy Solutions in its development of a massive 4.26 megawatt solar energy system in Edison, NJ. Mr. Fersko spearheaded negotiation of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement, handled the review and negotiation of related warranties and agreements covering roof contracting and system services and maintenance, and coordinated real estate debt financing for the project. Representation also included oversight of an application for federal grant money, advising on the sale of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), and implementation of a power purchase agreement (PPA). The completed rooftop solar array, which covers 650,000 square feet and draws power from approximately 18,000 photovoltaic solar panels, was designed to generate enough solar power to meet approximately 50 percent of the facility’s 1 million kilowatt hour monthly energy needs, effectively reducing the building’s carbon footprint by half and significantly reducing tenants’ operating expenses by bringing down energy costs.