Gibbons Advises NAIOP Award Winners On “Office/Mixed Use Deal Of The Year” And “Industrial Deal Of The Year”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 12:21

The New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP - NJ) has named the development deal between Bayer Healthcare and Vision Equities/Rubenstein Partners as its “Office/Mixed Use Deal of the Year” and Ahold eCommerce’s Pulaski Distribution Center as its “Industrial Deal of the Year.” Gibbons P.C. played a significant role on behalf of Bayer in this deal, and the firm assisted Ahold in its complex transaction.

Previously named the 2012 National Development Deal of the Year by Real Estate Forum, the Bayer Healthcare deal has now also been recognized by NAIOP - NJ as one of the most significant real estate transactions of 2012 in terms of depth, breadth, and complexity. Gibbons represented Bayer Healthcare in the purchase of its new, 94-acre headquarters in Whippany, NJ, from Vision Equities/Rubenstein Partners. The property includes 15 vacant office, laboratory and support buildings, totaling 1.5 million square feet, and was designed to LEED gold standards, which emphasizes sustainability. Russell Bershad, co-chair of the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, led the team of lawyers working on this transaction.

Gibbons also assisted Ahold eCommerce with the “Industrial Deal of the Year,” helping Ahold to establish a warehouse facility currently under construction in Jersey City to support its Peapod online grocery business. Approximately 200 employees will be based at this facility, which will provide home delivery to customers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. A team of Gibbons Real Estate Development attorneys, led by Howard D. Geneslaw, provided advice and counseling concerning zoning, development and interstate licensing issues. Paul J. St. Onge of the Gibbons Government Affairs Department provided assistance in securing $34.6 million in incentives from the State of New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

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Gibbons attorney Natasha Songonuga has been listed in the 2013 edition of Delaware Super Lawyers Rising Stars, in the Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights category.

Ms. Songonuga is an associate in the Financial Restructuring & Creditors' Rights Department of Gibbons. Her practice has included the representation of debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 trustees appointed under the Bankruptcy Code, and trustees appointed pursuant to the Securities Investor Protection Act.

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Lawrence S. Lustberg of Gibbons P.C. was the recipient of the Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award at the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL - NJ) annual installation reception at the Pleasantdale Chateau in May.

The Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award is presented annually to a member of the New Jersey bar who exemplifies professionalism, as well as dedication to and passion for the law. The ACDL – NJ is an organization that was formed to respond to the continuing problems confronting criminal defense lawyers to protect and insure compliance with individual constitutional rights.

Mr. Lustberg, chair of the firm’s Criminal Defense Department and director of the Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest and Constitutional Law, has been ranked as one of nation’s the top ten criminal defense attorneys for several years by United States Lawyers Rankings. Throughout his career, Mr. Lustberg has argued groundbreaking cases before federal and state courts up to the United States Supreme Court, and he is well-known and highly regarded for his extensive criminal defense, public interest, and pro bono legal work. He has received numerous honors and awards in recognition of his achievements. He has been listed as one of the top 10 lawyers in New Jersey in 2013 by New Jersey Super Lawyers and is regularly ranked in such other leading peer-review and industry guides as Best Lawyers® and the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a past recipient of the Roger N. Baldwin Award from the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as the Legal Services of New Jersey Outstanding Board Service Award.

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Michael J. Lubben, a director in the Corporate Department of Gibbons P.C., was elected as chairman of the Banking Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) for a two-year term.  

At Gibbons, Mr. Lubben leads the transactional practice within the firm’s Financial Services Team and has extensive experience with financial, corporate and business matters for a variety of private and public companies, including financial institutions and governmental authorities. He concentrates on complex financing and business transactions, including real estate financing transactions and issues relating to the Uniform Commercial Code. He regularly represents investors, banks and other financial institutions, governmental authorities and businesses. Mr. Lubben held various supervisory and management positions in commercial loan operations of national banks before joining Gibbons, working at United Jersey Bank, First Fidelity Bank and First Union National Bank. In addition to his new role with the NJSBA, he serves on the Bank Lawyers Council Committee of the New Jersey Bankers Association.