Areas of Focus
“I pride myself on offering my clients efficient, responsive and affordable service and practical advice. My experience has taught that even the largest deals for the most sophisticated clients are best accomplished with a practical and reasonable approach.”
Donald Sonnenborn is co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. He advises major U.S. developers as well as landlords and lessees on office, commercial and retail properties, from acquisition, finance, management and leasing through disposition.
With clients that include some of the largest commercial landlords, property owners, best-known developers, national and international retailers, and financial services companies, Donald excels at negotiating large-scale leases for both landlords and tenants, helping his clients secure properties, manage risks and restructure troubled leases. He has handled many of New York City’s biggest leasing deals involving iconic office buildings and complexes such as Rockefeller Center, the MetLife Building, the Chrysler Center and many others. In addition, he has handled the lease-ups of major new developments including Hudson Yards and Jackson Park.
Donald is well versed in the unique issues involved in leasing to international tenants and those with sovereign immunity, and experienced in resolving the financial and corporate real estate collateral issues that arise in commercial and retail acquisitions and dispositions. Major developers also turn to him to represent them in forming joint ventures for the acquisition and development of real estate.
Practical and realistic in his approach, Donald applies his deep market knowledge, attention to detail, negotiating acumen, and common sense to ensure his clients have the information they need to close the best deals. From initial discussions through preparing and reviewing final legal documents, Donald helps his clients realize their objectives.
Represented a New York developer in the leasing up and re-positioning of its new development in Long Island City, Queens, including leases with 2 major department stores and a coworking space of more than 1 million square feet.
Negotiated for a New York City cultural landmark to lease 125,000 square feet plus expansion rights and right of first offer on additional floors to international law firm for its New York headquarters.
Negotiated on behalf of a New York City cultural landmark to lease space to a full-service accounting firm for its New York headquarters.
Negotiated for a real estate development company to lease approximately 190,000 square feet at a skyscraper on Manhattan's West Side to a global investment management firm.
Negotiated for a real estate development company to lease space to a nonprofit academic medical center as part of the hospital’s expansion to offer services throughout the NY Metro area.
Represented the owner of an iconic skyscraper to lease approximately 500,000 square feet to multiple tenants including a multinational real estate investment and development company and a global law firm.
Represented the owner of an iconic skyscraper for over 20 years in negotiating leases for approximately 400,000 square feet with multiple high profile tenants.
Negotiated for the owner of a commercial office tower for a lease of approximately 539,000 square feet to an American multinational consumer products company.
- Columbia Law School (J.D.)
- James Kent Scholar
- Columbia Business School (M.B.A.)
- Haverford College (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa)
- The Best Lawyers in America® 2018-2024, Real Estate Law
- BTI Consulting Group “Client Service All-Star Team” 2015
- The Legal 500 United States® 2014-2016, Real Estate
- New York Metro Super Lawyers® 2013-2014, Real Estate
- New York
Member, American Bar Association