On Demand Audio

Ground Lease Negotiations in Public-Private Developments

(466 reviews)

Produced on October 30, 2017

Taught by
$ 89 Contract, Real Estate, and Administrative In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 6m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Contract Real Estate Administrative

Course Description

Many public-private development projects are structured through the use of a ground lease. Given the competing objectives of the parties and the long-term nature of the relationship, ground lease negotiations are typically fairly complex, and while negotiations may be lengthy, the parties can find great value in a ground lease through careful consideration of its key provisions. For the public sector party, a ground lease provides a mechanism to structure its involvement in both the project’s development and operational phases, the means to ensure that particular public interest objectives are achieved and the opportunity to realize longer-term economic value in the property once improved. For the private sector party, a ground lease allows for the opportunity to develop a project without carrying a significant upfront acquisition cost for the land, a means to access tax benefits in connection with the project and a structure that can adjust over time as the project enters different stages of its development and operations.     

This course, presented by Patrick O’Sullivan, Partner at Herrick Feinstein LLP, reviews the use of ground leases in the public-private development context and highlights how negotiation of its key provisions can facilitate the successful development of such projects.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the key terms to be negotiated in a ground lease involving a public-private development
  2. Discuss what the key challenges are in negotiating each of these terms
  3. Understand the objectives of the public sector and private sector in negotiating ground lease terms
  4. Review the ways that parties can craft provisions to align their interests and optimally allocate risks in these transactions     

Credit Information

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Patrick O'Sullivan

Herrick Feinstein LLP

Patrick O'Sullivan is a a Partner in the Real Estate Practice of Herrick Feinstein LLP's New York office. 

Mr. O'Sullivan’s practice spans a wide range of real estate matters, with a focus on development issues, including those that arise in connection with public-private transactions.

Mr. O'Sullivan joined the firm in 2017. He received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 2001 and an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1996. Prior to joining the firm, he spent several years at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and before that he served as Executive Vice President and Head of the Real Estate Transactions Group at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Prior to his position at NYCEDC, Mr. O'Sullivan advised on corporate and securities law matters in private practice.

During his time at NYCEDC, Mr. O'Sullivan worked with leading real estate developers and investors in successfully executing complex, large-scale development transactions. Mr. O'Sullivan led New York City's acquisition of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island from New York State, and subsequently oversaw the negotiations of two Brooklyn Bridge Park sites for development. He also directed the City's efforts to reach agreement with New York University that will lead to the development of a new applied sciences school in Downtown Brooklyn focused on creating technology to address challenges facing cities.

Mr. O'Sullivan is a member of the Bar in New York. He is also a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, Economic Development Committee; the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Housing and Urban Development Committee; and the Urban Land Institute.


David F.

Excellent survey class.

Ryanne S.

Excellent materials and very well organized.

Sabrina G.


Perry P.

The program exceeded my expectations. Very interesting, well-organized, and well-presented. Thanks!

Thomas B.

Informative and well presented. Thank you.

June C.


James D.

Good presentation

Bruce M.

Excellent program!

Mark W.

Really excellent presentation; I learned a great deal. Understandable and interesting. High marks

B.A. S.

Presenter made the topic of ground leases very understandable!

Gerald B.

Very good.

Kamran M.

highly informative presentation. Thank you.

Suzanne V.

Excellent presentation and course materials.

Stuart P.

Good info

John L.

Informative presentation.

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