Ruben Ravago is counsel in Nixon Peabody’s Real Estate and Community Development practice group, where he focuses on the representation of developers, nonprofits, investors, lenders, and government agencies involved with for-sale housing. Ruben also advises select cooperative and condominium board clients as special counsel, with an emphasis on corporate reorganizations or major redevelopment or infill initiatives.
I work with developers and commercial property owners in the acquisition, financing, disposition, development, leasing, and management of mixed-use properties, with an emphasis on for-sale residential projects. I also assist developers in establishing or investing in cooperative and condominium projects and nonprofits in establishing or acquiring leasehold condominiums.
Having a background in traditional real estate and real estate finance, with a coop/condo specialty, means that I also do a lot of peer review for lenders and investors looking to invest in complex condominium or cooperative projects.
I also assist nonprofits in the creation of leasehold condominiums, which enables them to get the benefit of an exemption from real estate taxes. Doing so results in a “win-win” situation, where the landlord to a nonprofit gets a financially stronger long-term tenant, and the nonprofit gets more resources to dedicate to their mission.
With any type of transaction, giving good strategic advice requires understanding both the applicable legal and regulatory backdrop, as well as the particular history and circumstances that give rise to a particular transaction or issue. Appreciating the whole picture helps maximize value for clients and identify a framework for successful negotiations.
While I think we will continue to see shifts in the market driven by legislative changes, material and labor costs, and views on the market cycle, I believe there will also continue to be a focus on affordable housing initiatives. The pandemic has highlighted the critical need for a sustainable inventory of housing for all New Yorkers. Getting viable projects off the ground will continue to require flexibility and innovation in sourcing, planning, and financing. Many clients have been waiting for the right opportunities to arise, and when they do, we will need to be ready to act quickly and effectively. I also look forward to helping both nonprofit and for-profit developers with new for-sale projects, including those focused on affordable and middle-market projects, which are necessary to grow viable and vibrant communities.
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
Occidental College, B.A.
This feature article on New York City’s first-ever Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperative dissolution and reconstitution to free-market status quotes Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader Erica Buckley and mentions Affordable Housing & Real Estate counsel Ruben Ravago, both of New York City, for advising West Village Houses.
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