Michael C. Phillipou

Phillipou Michael

Michael Phillipou helps owners and users of real estate realize their transactional goals through smart deal structuring, creative problem solving, and careful execution. Michael's clients count on his ability to protect their interests while finding bridges over obstacles and driving consensus with counterparties. He practices in a broad set of real estate sub-specialties needed in the life cycle of a property, including construction, design, development, leasing, land use, acquisition, financing, and disposition.

Michael also advises clients on capital construction and expansion, P3, infrastructure, renovation, leasing, purchase and sale, joint venture, condominium and cooperative, and financing projects. Though it is not the entirety of his practice, he has developed a focus on cultural, educational, religious, and governmental and quasi-governmental organizations and the unique considerations that affect their transactions, including complex co-development deals with for-profit developers.


Representative Matters

Design and Construction

  • Represents Amtrak in connection with the construction of its new concrete casing and preserving its right-of-way for a future tunnel under the Hudson Yards development project on the West Side of Manhattan and the Moynihan Station development project. The projects involve drafting and negotiating complex agreements with several intertwined parties, obtaining necessary federal and local approvals, and ensuring compliance with procurement requirements
  • Represents the owner of a 600-plus facility hotel chain in negotiating a master architectural agreement with an internationally recognized design firm to implement a portfolio-wide refresh and revitalization, and create a new prototype facility for future construction
  • Represents a major New York college in connection with all real estate and capital construction needs, including the $100+ million redevelopment of a major campus building
  • Represents the Public Theater in several construction, design, and leasing transactions
  • Represents a nationwide healthcare facility owner and operator in the design and construction of more than 15 new and renovated skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout the country
  • Serves as general outside construction counsel to many institutions with expansive real property portfolios, regarding major renovation and capital construction projects, including the Archdiocese of New York and New York Law School
  • Represented the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) regarding various projects at the World Trade Center site, including deconstruction of the contaminated 130 Liberty Street building, and various design and construction matters related to the memorial and museum. The representation also included advising LMDC in its defense against multi-million-dollar litigation brought by its prime contractor. The provisions of the deconstruction contract were credited by the opinion of the Appellate Division in determining the issue
  • Represented several of the most recognizable tristate-area private schools and universities in major master plan and capital expansion and renovation projects, including related dispute resolution proceedings

Purchase and Sale

  • Represented the seller of an 80-plus-acre multi-building, multi-family property in Manhattan for a sale price in excess of $5 billion, widely reported to be the largest single-asset sale transaction in history
  • Represented the seller of a building comprising an entire city block in Manhattan in a sale to a joint venture for a sale price in excess of $850 million
  • Represented a national insurance company in a joint venture for the acquisition, construction, and development of three new city blocks in downtown Washington, DC – created by platforming over portions of I-395 – including drafting and negotiating documents with private parties, and municipal and federal government entities related to the development
  • Represented New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in the potential sale of the Willets Point Development site to a joint venture, including negotiating agreements for remediation, ground leasing, and development
  • Represented the owner of an entire city block in the Hudson Yards area in the sale of a non-majority interest to a private equity investor


  • Represented the tenant of a 100,000+ square foot premises in a Class A office building in a transaction that involved converting the lease to a leasehold condominium to preserve the benefit of the client’s real property tax exemption
  • Represented the owner of a 1.2 million square foot building in preparing a new form of office lease and negotiating leases with marquee tenants based on the newly adopted form
  • Represented the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation in the ground leasing of the six-plus-acre Admiral's Row and Sands Street sites to a private developer, including negotiating the terms of the supermarket lease for New York City's first Wegmans location
  • Represented New York Road Runners, Inc. (operators of the New York City Marathon) in leases for its new primary retail and race administration facility at New York's landmark Hearst Building and its headquarters 
  • Represented the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) in the leasing of several floors of a new headquarters located in the landmark Steinway Hall Building
  • Represented a national fashion chain in negotiating workouts for more than 15 retail and office leases in a wind-down of company operations


  • Represented commercial condominium unit owners in resolving disputes with condominium boards, including through formal dispute resolution proceedings




  • J.D. Boston College Law School 2004
    • Vice president, Domestic Violence Advocacy Project
  • B.A. cum laude University of Richmond 2001
    • Dean's List
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Philosophy National Honor Society

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey


  • Crain’s New York Business, Rising Star in Real Estate, 2019
  • Real Estate Weekly, Rising Star, 2019
  • Legal 500, Real Estate, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law, 2023 – 2024


Pro Bono

  • Represented a pro bono asylum applicant and achieved a grant of asylum at the interview phase and related applications and work authorizations
  • Represented the Wolf Conservation Center in connection with the design and construction of new educational and programmatic facilities


  • Annual speaker, New York Law School’s Rooftops Conference