Michael T. Carr is a Member at Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. with a practice extending through litigation strategy, leasing strategy and compliance issues. Carr regularly advises some of New York City’s largest landlords, developers and managers to address their ever-changing real estate operational needs. He remains at the forefront of legislative changes to ensure his clients’ interests are protected while operating within a challenging and increasingly regulatory legal landscape. Carr is leading the firm’s groundwork on Local Law 97, which has clearly become a top concern for both landlords and tenants. Some of his recent leadership in this area includes the publication of a 3-part Local Law 97 article series featured in Brick Underground’s new Boards & Buildings section, as well as the production of two episodes on the firm’s Inside R&E Podcast.
The dynamic and ever-evolving scope of Carr’s practice demonstrates his ability to guide clients through a range of real estate issues as they arise, most recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the commercial real estate sector endured extended lockdown periods as well as prolonged eviction moratoriums, Carr was instrumental in securing stabilized cashflow for his clients. His work at that time includes:
- Representation of major NYC developer/owner in multiple lease disputes as well as the re-writing of developer’s standard commercial lease language, implementing significant amendments and changes.
- Renegotiated of dozens of distressed leases with anchor tenants, including Taco Bell and Boston Market, during the covid 19 pandemic in order to stabilize landlord revenue stream during the lockdown.
- Negotiation of multiple access license agreements in connection with neighbors’ construction pursuant to RPL 881.
- Representation of major NYC developer/owner in securing summary judgment against restaurant tenant for breach of lease during the pandemic, including an award for damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Representation of a Bronx owner in securing summary judgment against guarantors of a storefront lease, including six figures of damages, payment and satisfaction on the judgment, as well as attorneys’ fees.
- Liquidation of client portfolio valued at approximately $15m across six different buildings on the Sunbelt.
From the start of his career, Carr has demonstrated strong business generation and a creative, cost-effective approach to litigation that sets him apart in the real estate sector. Carr's clients benefit from his non-traditional strategy of bringing cases to federal court, which has proven to be a swifter and more efficient manner of litigation. Some of Carr’s recent litigation victories include:
- Representation of an owner in drawing down on defaulting tenant’s letter of credit in order to satisfy more than $100k in unpaid rent arrears. This unique case also involved the total re-seizing of building control, successfully evicting the tenant who also acted as building manager.
- Representation of owner in the major redevelopment of six storefronts on 6th Avenue in Manhattan, a case which involved the creative leverage of unique lease defaults throughout eviction proceedings to vacate the entire storefront area for redevelopment.
Carr's practice has expanded from what was chiefly a residential landlord / tenant specialty, to consulting some of New York City's most prominent commercial owners, operators and developers facing business disputes, managerial needs, partnership litigation, corporate litigation and asset operation. Carr recently represented multiple condominium sponsors in connection with disputes with their respective condominium boards regarding sponsors’ rights. He is an active member of Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) New York, advising both its Codes and Regulations and Business & Marketing Strategy Committees.
Carr routinely advises a successful real estate startup on compliance and operational management, essentially functioning as the company’s in-house counsel. He recently represented this startup in connection with a breach of contract, winning close to $1M in damages on top of attorneys’ fees. Additionally, Carr represents large multi-generational families in real estate transactions, inner-family disputes and partnership disputes. He is currently representing a real estate family, with over $1B in real estate assets, in connection with a dispute over control and management of its portfolio.
Carr has successfully tried jury and non-jury cases, litigating cases in Federal District Court and in New York State trial and appellate courts. He has also represented clients before various New York City administrative agencies including, the Office of Administrative Trial and Hearings and the Environmental Control Board. Although he enjoys taking cases to trial, his first instinct is to find a weakness in the opposition's case in order to gain an advantage in settlement negotiations.
Before joining the firm, Carr was a sole practitioner in Brooklyn, New York, to which he still holds strong roots. During that time Carr represented many landlords, both big and small, and appeared personally in Kings County Housing Court on an almost daily basis, giving him an unparalleled understanding of the intricacies surrounding landlord / tenant law. These clients included many new investors to Brooklyn who have contributed to the borough's renaissance.
Areas Of Practice
- Commercial Lease Disputes
- Co-op / Condo Disputes
- Landlord / Tenant Disputes, including Yellowstone Injunctions
- Contract Disputes
- Acquisitions & Sales
- New York, 2011
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
- New Jersey, 2010
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 2010
- Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York
- J.D. - 2010
- Binghamton University
- B.A. - 2006
- 421-a Buildings: Wage Issues - Webinar & CLE Program, December 2022
- “Keeping & Growing Your Team: Retention & Talent Acquisition,” Bisnow’s New York Economic Forecast, Moderator, November 2022
- Leasing Basics: Term Sheet and Fundamental Considerations” (Emerging Leaders Webinar), Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), October 2022
- "Reasonable perspective on how to adapt the new paradigm with rental laws," Property Management Construction Real Estate Convention, Panelist, August 2019
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), Codes and Regulations, Legal Subcommittee Chair
- Kings County Housing Bar Association
- Brooklyn Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- National Eagle Scout Association (Eagle Scout Award, 2001)