Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Christopher J. Centore

Christopher J. Centore

Partner

p: 315.425.2756

f: 315.425.8556

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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Chris focuses his practice on real estate law and financial transactions. He negotiates and handles real estate acquisition and sale transactions on behalf of clients ranging from individuals to small businesses to international corporations.

As counsel to energy industry clients, Chris has counseled on a wide array of land use matters and litigation involving real estate rights, including the acquisition of hydro-electric, nuclear, and co-generation power plants, as well as electric and gas transmission corridor developments throughout New York State and from New England through the Midwest.

In the oil and gas development industry, Chris provided real estate counsel in the largest-ever acquisition of oil and gas rights in NYS. In the area of renewable energy development and acquisition projects, Chris has represented both wind developers and landowners in the negotiation of wind leases and easements and related real estate issues, and has also handled the acquisition of several hydro-electric facilities.

Working in concert with the firm’s Commercial Litigation attorneys, Chris routinely provides support in connection with real estate matters involving easements and rights of way, riparian rights, adverse possession, and title research. Chris has an extensive background representing landlords and tenants in commercial leasing negotiations for retail, office, manufacturing, and shopping center lease transactions, as well as real estate development ground lease transactions.

As examining counsel to several title insurance companies, Chris analyzes and examines real estate titles and routinely handles large, complex title insurance policies. He represents institutional lenders in both real estate secured and non-real estate secured commercial financing transactions, including conventional mortgage loans, equipment and borrowing-base secured lines of credit, Small Business Administration guaranteed business loans, letter of credit-secured civic facility revenue bond transactions, and construction loans.

Chris is the firm's Real Estate Practice Area chair and former hiring partner.

Representative Experience

  • Real Estate Acquisition and Sale Transactions
    • Represented a developer in a $12 million construction and MBS permanent financing of student housing development, including IDA straight lease transaction. 
    • Represented a client in connection with a $1 billion acquisition of a national retail propane firm, including review of leases and counsel regarding real estate assets for over 800 properties located in 41 states. 
  • Energy Industry Clients
    • Assisted a utility client in the acquisition and creation of a protected wetland to satisfy Army Corps and New York DEC wetland mitigation requirements for a transmission line project. 
    • Provide counsel to an energy client regarding trespass and encroachment issues surrounding hydroelectric facilities across New York State. 
    • Real estate counsel to a power company in $2.8 billion acquisition of Ravenswood Cogeneration Facility in Queens, New York. 
    • Real estate counsel to an energy company in acquisition of a $1 billion acquisition of Nine Mile Nuclear Generation Facilities 1 and 2. 
    • Represented a utility in the acquisition and development of a $30 million substation project involving acquisition from Target Corporation and complex site plan and regulatory approvals. 
    • Represented an energy company in an acquisition of $33 million hydroelectric generation facility in the City of Glens Falls. 
    • Represented an energy company in an acquisition of real estate rights for a 182-mile expansion of a natural gas pipeline across the Southern Tier of New York. 
    • Represented an energy company in the site development and acquisition of real estate rights in connection with a 10-mile natural gas pipeline in Western New York in connection with the conversion of a power plant from coal to natural gas-fueled. 
    • Currently representing an energy company in the acquisition of real estate rights and resolution of title issues in connection with a combined seven-mile natural gas pipeline in southern Illinois in connection with the conversion of a power plant from coal to natural gas-fueled. 
  • Oil and Gas Industry 
    • Served as real estate counsel to a purchaser in the largest acquisition of natural gas lease rights in New York State history, valued at $3.375 billion, comprising hundreds of leases throughout the Marcellus Shale in New York and Ohio.
    • Counseled a Canadian wind energy generator in the development of a New York wind lease and related real estate documents. 
    • Represents an energy developer in connection with the development of a five-mile natural gas pipeline in Illinois and a 10-mile natural gas pipeline in New York. 
    • Represented a group of over 20 landowners in the negotiation of options to acquire wind leases with a developer in upstate New York. 
  • Commercial Litigation Support
    • Provided real estate counsel in connection with action to eject over 20 encroaching landowners for a hydroelectric energy developer, including utilizing reservoir flowage to defeat adverse possession claims asserted by defendants. 
    • Served as real estate counsel in connection with CERCLA contribution action relating to a $300 million remediation of Hudson River contamination, including defenses relating to title to bed of river. 
  • Commercial Leasing 
    • Represented a shopping mall owner in the negotiation and drafting of retail leases and lease modifications with numerous national and local retail businesses. 
    • Represented an electronics distributor in the negotiation of a 43,000 square foot lease for its corporate headquarters and distribution center. 
    • Represented an office park developer in the negotiation and drafting of multiple space leases with medical and technology firms. 
  • Title Insurance Companies
    • Served as examining counsel in the issuance of title insurance for a $25 million ground lease development of a university bookstore and retail facility with Industrial Development Agency straight lease and condominium development.
    • Served as examining counsel in the issuance of a policy of title insurance for a $40 million shopping center development.
  • Institutional Lenders
    • Represented a letter of credit lender in numerous student housing development projects throughout upstate New York. 
    • Represented a lead lender in an $11 million mortgage, term loan, and line of credit financing for a water developer including participation with New York Business Development Corporation, secured by all assets, including riparian rights. 
    • Represented a lender in a $16 million asset based revolving credit facility to aviation company secured by assets including equipment, vehicles, and aircraft located nationwide.

Practice Areas

Education

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • Cornell University, B.S., 1993

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1999

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section
  • New York State Bar Association “Hot Topics in Real Estate," Former Statewide and Program Chair

Civic Activities

  • ARC of Onondaga, President
  • ARC of Onondaga, Board of Directors Member
  • ARC of Onondaga, Nominating and Membership, Human Resources, and Bylaws Committees Chair
  • Westhill Central School District Educational Foundation, Inc., Vice President
  • Westhill Central School District Educational Foundation, Inc., Co-Founder
  • Westhill Central School District Educational Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors Member
  • ARC of Onondaga, Former Vice President

Speaking & Publications

  • New York State Bar Association Hot Topics in Real Estate, "Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Leasing: The Hydro-Fracking Debate," December 2011
  • New York State Bar Association Commercial Leasing, “Real Property Tax Considerations For Landlords And Tenants in Negotiating Leases of Commercial Property,” 2010
  • CNA Pro Insurance CLE, "New York Real Estate Transactions: Basic Elements and Legal Malpractice Considerations,” 2009
  • New York State Bar Association Hot Topics in Real Estate, “Understanding New York’s New Adverse Possession Statute," November 2008
  • Zurich National Insurance Company CLE, “New York Real Estate Transactions: Basic Elements and Legal Malpractice Considerations,”  October 2007
  • Prudential First Properties, “Legal Issues in Residential Real Estate Transactions,” 2006-2007
  • Onondaga County Bar Association CLE, “Residential Real Estate Law 101,” January 2005

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell “BV” Distinguished Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner