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There's nothing like the real estate industry in New York. And for Sonia Bain, conquering its unique and exciting challenges every day is what gets her out of bed in the morning. Sonia is a transactional commercial real estate lawyer who represents developers, retail companies, hotel groups, landlords and tenants, and family offices with acquisitions, dispositions, development, ground and space leases, financing and leasing of numerous types of commercial real estate assets including mixed-use, residential, retail, hotel and industrial properties in New York City and also across the country. Clients engage Sonia for her killer legal prowess, but they value her for her thoughtful guidance, counsel and partnership. Often coming to her to think through strategies and help them make decisions that are best for their business, Sonia is there for her clients for more than just their real estate legal needs.

In addition to her legal and business advice, Sonia is also frequently sought-after as a speaker, moderator and panelist on topics relating to the real estate industry. Sonia is passionate about mentorship and especially active in mentoring women entering their careers in the real estate industry.  After holding many positions as an officer at the board level, Sonia is the current acting President of WX – New York Women Executives in Real Estate – which is an invite only membership of experienced women in the industry whose mission is to support and enhance the profile and success of women in the commercial real estate industry.  Sonia has been honored by various organizations for her excellence in real estate law. Notably, she has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© List for 2021, and received Connect Media – Commercial Real Estate’s inaugural Lawyers in Real Estate 2020 Award, as well as been recognized among the New York City real estate market’s most powerful women by Bisnow, acknowledged as one of the “Top Women in Real Estate” by New York’s Sokol Media, and named to the Crain’s New York Business “Notable Women in Law” list for 2019. 

Sonia is a natural team builder. She enjoys making introductions and connecting people in social as well as business settings. She excels at bringing together individuals from different focus areas with different skill sets and motivating them to feel vested not just in their specific roles but also in the client's end goal.

The bottom line - Sonia is there for her clients from the ground up.

Practices

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • The Best Lawyers in America©, New York Real Estate Law, 2021
    • Crain's New York Business "Notable Women in Law" 2019
    • Bisnow “New York Power Women” 2018 and 2019
    • Named one of the “Top Women in Real Estate” by New York’s Sokol Media
    • March of Dimes - Long Island Division - Honoree, 2011
    • Bisnow “New York Power Women” 2018 and 2019
    • Named one of the “Top Women in Real Estate” by New York’s Sokol Media
    • March of Dimes - Long Island Division - Honoree, 2011
    • March of Dimes - Long Island Division - Honoree, 2011
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Professional Affiliations

    • New York Bar Association
    • WX – New York Women Executives in Real Estate (Officer - President 2019-current; Vice President 2018 - 2019; WX Inc. Board Director - 2017-current; Co-chair of Mentoring Committee - 2016-current; WX Charitable Fund Board - Director)
    • WX – New York Women Executives in Real Estate (Officer - President 2019-current; Vice President 2018 - 2019; WX Inc. Board Director - 2017-current; Co-chair of Mentoring Committee - 2016-current; WX Charitable Fund Board - Director)
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Representative Experience

  • Counsel to national multi-family and mixed use developer for development of mixed use project that included negotiations with historical landmarked institution. The transaction involved the negotiation of the acquisition of parcels and excess development rights; subdivision of parcels; negotiation of construction and development agreements and addressing commercial condominium issues.
  • Counsel to a luxury New York City co-op corporation for the sale of excess development rights to a developer, which transaction involved a complex zoning lot and development agreement, construction license agreement, fee reimbursement and escrow agreements and all ancillary development agreements on behalf of the co-op corporation.
  • Counsel to a historical church in connection with negotiations and structuring of long term option agreement for the sale of excess development rights attributable to the church to a New York City developer.
  • Counsel to Sephora USA, Inc. in connection with leasing its 650,000 square foot distribution center.
  • Counsel to developer in ground lease and acquisition of multi-phase 700-room hotel and 195,000 square foot retail/entertainment center within 42nd Street Redevelopment project created by a public-benefit corporation of New York State. Lead counsel to nation’s largest national retailer in connection with all aspects of the acquisition, development and leasing of new stores and remodel and expansion of existing stores throughout New York City and State. 
  • Counsel to land owners in connection with their long term ground leases to developers for the development of large scale mixed use commercial project in the Hudson Yards district. 
  • Counsel to developer in acquisition and financing of $80MM assemblage of parcels in New York City with 1,000,000 square feet of leasing space.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest banks in the financing of a 55MW utility-scale solar facility (approximately $250MM in value) in New Mexico. The bank provided the construction financing and will provide the long-term financing. 
  • Counsel to national developer in the acquisition and financing of $131 million New York City residential tower, including conversion to residential condominium. 
  • Counsel to developer/purchaser in acquisitions, financing and joint venture of $86 million mixed-use building in New York City. 
  • Counsel to various retailers in connection with leasing and subleasing. 
  • Counsel to private equity group in their acquisition and financing of New York City hotel property. 
  • Acting as outside general counsel for a Manhattan coop board in connection with their acquisitions, sales and disposition of their real estate interest, including air-rights, retail unit and financing needs.

Publications

  • Co-author, "Negotiating and Exercising Rights of First Refusal, New York Law Journal," August 13, 2012
  • Co-author, "On the Path of Lease Resistance," New York Law Journal, November 21, 2011

Speaking Engagements

  • Climate Change: Impact and Responses for Real Estate Investors, Owners, and Tenants, New York Law School, September 22,2020
  • WX February Breakfast: Emerging Trends in Senior Housing Development, The Harvard Club, February 13, 2020
  • Welcome to the Land of Oz! Tax and Real Estate Issues raised by the New Opportunity Zone Tax Provisions added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, New York Law School, September 26, 2019
  • The Legal Executive Institute's Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law’s (TWLL) Ask-a-Mentor session, June 20, 2019
  • She Builds Brooklyn - Slaying Dragons in Brooklyn, Fordham University Real Estate Institute, May 17, 2019
  • Increasing Diversity at Law Firms: The Role We All Play, New York Women Diversity & Change Summit, May 8, 2019