Archives: New York

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New York Clarifies “Emergency” and “Essential” Construction

Following Governor Cuomo’s order and the Empire State Development (ESD) guidance on March 27, 2020, which provided that all “non-essential construction” except “emergency construction” must shut down, this week the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings issued clarification about the terms “emergency” and “essential” construction (the “Bulletin”).… Continue Reading

New York Construction Building Owners Assume New Roles and Responsibilities in Wake of Construction Shutdowns

With many New York City construction projects deemed non-essential, owners find themselves with partially completed work coupled with legal obligations to maintain the safety of the property. The temporary shutdown shifts responsibilities (and liability) for maintaining the safety of the property and the public to the owner. From maintaining permits to weekly inspections and weather … Continue Reading

Government Approval: When It’s Not a Sure Bet

Excerpt of a contributed article published in the New York Law Journal on March 31, 2020. Last month’s court decision ordering the removal of potentially as many as 20 floors of a high-rise building (The Committee For Environmentally Sound Development v. Amsterdam Avenue Redevelopment Associates, Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., Index No. 157273/2019) shook the local … Continue Reading

Much of New York Construction is Now Also “on PAUSE”

Although Governor Cuomo put “New York State on PAUSE” a week ago, at that time, “construction” was not specifically exempted from his Executive Order and the Empire State Development’s (ESD) guidance on what businesses were subject to the 100 percent workforce reduction. Yet, pursuant to a further directive from the Governor, on March 27, 2020, … Continue Reading

The Federal Reserve’s Powers to Pave the Way for Continued Development and Construction Through COVID-19

As the Coronavirus has encapsulated the world, government go-aheads to construction firms are welcome relief to the industry. Lenders’ collective reaction to the current economic concerns is another matter. Future financing is always imperative to ensure ongoing construction as well as new projects. Government responses are changing by the day, but the Federal Reserve (the … Continue Reading

Caution When Approaching Artistry

A $6.75 million judgment was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, against a developer that whitewashed 45 spray-painted artworks on its site — several months before the demolition permits were issued. See Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., — F.3d —-2020 WL 826392 (February 20, 2020). The trial court had issued the … Continue Reading

Will Claims Against Closely-Held Condominium Developers Be Thwarted by New York’s Newly-Adopted Uniform Voidable Transactions Act?

Property development companies regularly create single-purpose entities (SPE) to acquire new real estate for development, construction or renovations. SPEs are often comprised of only a few members, and no assets beyond the property itself, and are considered “closely-held” companies. There has been a growing trend in New York construction defect lawsuits in which boards of … Continue Reading

NYC Amends Its Façade Inspection and Safety Program to Push Building Owners into Action

In the wake of the tragic death of architect Erica Tishman, who was killed by falling debris from a brick tower in midtown Manhattan in December 2019 , the New York Department of Buildings (DOB) amended its rules governing exterior wall inspections and repairs. The new rules went into effect on February 20, 2020. Known … Continue Reading

An Unfounded Lien: What’s an Owner to Do? And Can it Recover its Attorneys’ Fees?

A subcontractor has liened the property even though the owner has paid in full for its work. The general contractor has disappeared. What should an owner do next? And will its attorneys’ fees be recoverable? In New York, a mechanic’s lien, although filed in the county clerk’s office on the project owner’s land record, secures … Continue Reading

New York Requires Sexual Harassment Policies in Compliance with New Requirements to Be Distributed by Tuesday, October 9, 2018 (But Deadline Extended for Newly Mandated Training)

As we have written about previously, this past Spring the New York State Legislature and New York City Council adopted broad new requirements to combat workplace gender-based harassment. Adopted in April and May by the New York General Assembly and New York City Council, respectively, the sweeping sexual harassment laws represent a renewed and comprehensive … Continue Reading

Will Strict “No Damages for Delay” Clauses Be Outlawed on New York Public Construction Projects? Stay tuned.

For years, general contractors and trade contractors have faced very strict “no damages for delay” clauses on New York State construction projects. The tides are changing.  If signed into law, S. R. 06686, Reg. Sess. 2017-2018 (NY 2017) will require public entities to allow contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to recover for costs associated with project … Continue Reading

New York Paid Family Leave Obligations for Construction Employers

Effective January 1, 2018, employees of construction employers (supplies, architects, contractors, and others) working in New York State may be eligible for paid family leave. The NY Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”) is both broader than and more narrow than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The PFLL applies to all employees employed by private employers in the … Continue Reading
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