Real Estate for Nonprofits

Drawing upon decades of experience, we assess our nonprofit clients' real estate needs, funding sources, government regulatory requirements, procurement and funding realities, and tax exemption considerations to formulate strategies that allow them to meet their real property needs and further their missions, while protecting their resources for years to come.

We represent cultural, educational, religious, and other charitable and community nonprofits in a wide range of matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, joint ventures, construction and real estate development projects, formation of leasehold condominiums, creation of charitable pledge agreements, and financing and funding, including grants and bonds. Whether it is advising a new not-for-profit on its first lease for office space or working with a university on a major capital project, we're honored to be a trusted advisor to our not-for-profit clients.

Our team works to build consensus among the parties to a not-for-profit transaction, educating the stakeholders on the not-for-profit's legal and timing requirements. This may include negotiating agreements with government entities, obtaining real property tax exemptions, and incorporating government funding requirements into development and construction agreements. We work with Venable's tax practice to help clients obtain federal income tax exemptions and minimize unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). We further advise on compliance with the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and New York Education Law, and attorney general or court oversight and approvals for certain transactions.


Representative Matters

  • Represents Jewish Home & Hospital Lifecare System (commonly referred to as the New Jewish Home) in master planning related to the replacement of a facility in Manhattan, including conveyance and leasing transactions and construction and design work
  • Represents the United States Tennis Association in connection with the renovation and expansion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, as well as various property acquisitions and dispositions
  • Represented Jazz at Lincoln Center in the $200 million design and construction of the jazz facility in the Deutsche Bank Center on Columbus Circle, located and funded through a public-private partnership that included a $34 million grant from New York City. The project also involved negotiation of a mixed-use condominium and obtaining construction financing
  • Represents Barnard College in the reconstruction and expansion of its principal science classroom and laboratory space (Altschul Hall) into the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center. The reimagined building will be devoted entirely to science, including R&D, laboratory, office, and teaching space, and will nearly double its current programmable space for science uses. Venable's representation includes negotiation of all principal design and construction agreements, pre-construction agreements, diligence and consultant agreements, swing space leasing, and coordination with funding and procurement requirements
  • Represented the Studio Museum in Harlem in the design, construction, and financing of a new 80,000 sq. ft., $175 million museum on West 125th Street, including the design and approvals process, real estate transactions with the City of New York, new markets tax credit, financing, and approvals from the New York State attorney general, Department of Education, and State court
  • Represents a New York not-for-profit chainable housing provider seeking to replace its aging facilities by engaging in a complex, multi-year exchange transaction with a commercial developer and related attorney general approvals
  • Represented Albright-Knox in work related to the extensive expansion and renovation of the Albright-Knox Gallery, one of the nation's first public art museums
  • Represents the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the administration of construction and design products
  • Represents the Archdiocese of New York with respect to the development, construction, and renovation of multiple facilities owned and operated by the Archdiocese and by several parishes within its network. The work spans marquee projects, such as the renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and routine design and construction contract negotiations
  • Represents the New York Shakespeare Festival/The Public Theater in various leasing and corporate governance matters
  • Represented Tides Center and other not-for-profits in the creation of a not-for-profit center in Lower Manhattan. Our services included negotiation of amendments to condominium documents, creation of a nonprofit unit owners' association, obtaining real property tax exemptions, preparation of design and construction contracts, and advice during construction
  • Represents a university in the negotiation of a long-term lease with development covenants with a leading entertainment company for a historic theater on the university’s campus (which is located in New York).  The transaction involves the creation of a condominium, negotiation of naming rights, redevelopment of the theater, and programs for internship and employment opportunities for the university’s students
  • Represented Queens Community House in connection with the renovation of its community center, which includes negotiating architect and contractor agreements for a multiphase renovation
  • Represents Asphalt Green in various operating agreements related to its community sports and fitness facilities in New York City, one of which is located within a city park, and one of which is part of a mixed-use condominium located in Battery Park City. The Battery Park location was financed by tax-exempt bonds, requiring us to negotiate a federal tax compliance agreement and issue related legal opinions to the Battery Park City Authority
  • Representing Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools in the negotiation of various construction and sublease agreements
  • Represents Mount Sinai Health System in campus planning and zoning approvals, including new and expanded hospital buildings, life sciences research labs, and clinical healthcare facilities