Chris Centore 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 energy clients 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 and from New England through the Midwest.
In the oil and gas development industry, Chris provided real estate counsel in the largest acquisition of oil and gas rights ever in New York. 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 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 Chair of the firm's Real Estate Practice Area and the firm’s former Hiring Partner.
- Real Estate Acquisition and Sale Transactions
- Represented developer in $12,000,000 construction and MBS permanent financing of student housing development including IDA straight lease transaction.
- Represented client in connection with $1 billion acquisition of national retail propane firm, including review of leases and counsel regarding real estate assets for over 800 properties located in 41 states nationwide.
- Energy Industry Clients
- Assisted utility client in acquisition and creation of protected wetland to satisfy Army Corps and New York DEC wetland mitigation requirements for transmission line project.
- Provide counsel to energy client regarding trespass and encroachment issues surrounding hydroelectric facilities across New York state.
- Real estate counsel to power company in $2.8 billion acquisition of Ravenswood Cogeneration Facility in Queens, New York.
- Real estate counsel to energy company in acquisition of $1 billion acquisition of Nine Mile Nuclear Generation Facilities 1 and 2.
- Represented utility in acquisition and development of $30 million substation project involving acquisition from Target Corporation and complex site plan and regulatory approvals.
- Represented energy company in acquisition of $33 million hydroelectric generation facility in the City of Glens Falls.
- Represented energy company in acquisition of real estate rights for 182 mile expansion of natural gas pipeline across Southern Tier of New York.
- Represented energy company in site development and acquisition of real estate rights in connection with 10 mile natural gas pipeline in Western New York in connection with conversion of power plant from coal to natural gas fueled.
- Currently representing energy company in acquisition of real estate rights and resolution of title issues in connection with a combined 7 mile natural gas pipeline in southern Illinois in connection with conversion of power plant from coal to natural gas fueled.
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Served as real estate counsel to purchaser in largest acquisition of natural gas lease rights in New York history, valued at $3.375 billion, comprising hundreds of leases throughout the Marcellus Shale in New York and Ohio.
- Counseled Canadian wind energy generator in development of New York wind lease and related real estate documents.
- Represents energy developer in connection with development of a five mile natural gas pipeline in Illinois and a ten mile natural gas pipeline in New York.
- Represented group of over 20 landowners in negotiation of options to acquire wind leases with developer in upstate New York.
- Commercial Litigation Support
- Provided real estate counsel in connection with action to eject over twenty encroaching landowners for hydro-electric 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 $300 million remediation of Hudson River contamination including defenses relating to title to bed of river.
- Commercial Leasing
- Represented shopping mall owner in negotiation and drafting of retail leases and lease modifications with numerous national and local retail businesses.
- Represented electronics distributor in negotiation of 43,000 square foot lease for corporate headquarters and distribution center.
- Represented developer of office park in negotiation and drafting of multiple space leases with medical and technology firms.
- Title Insurance Companies
- Served as examining counsel in issuance of title insurance for $25 million ground lease development of university bookstore and retail facility with Industrial Development Agency straight lease and condominium development.
- Served as examining counsel in issuance of policy of title insurance for $40 million shopping center development.
- Institutional Lenders
- Represented letter of credit lender in numerous student housing development projects throughout upstate New York.
- Represented lead lender in $11 million mortgage, term loan and line of credit financing for water developer including participation with New York Business Development Corporation, secured by all assets, including riparian rights.
- Represented lender in $16 million asset based revolving credit facility to aviation company secured by assets including equipment, vehicles and aircraft located nationwide.
- State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1998
- Cornell University, B.S., 1993
- New York, 1999
- Onondaga County Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section
- ARC of Onondaga, a chapter of NYSARC, Inc., Board of Directors, 1999-present; President, 2016- present, Vice President, 2013-2016; Chair, Nominating and Membership Committee, 2005-present; Chair, Human Resources Committee, 2014-present; Bylaws Committee, 2007-present
- Westhill Central School District Educational Foundation, Inc., Co-Founder and Board of Directors, 2013 – present, Vice President, 2014 - present
- “Hot Topics in Real Estate,” New York State Bar Association, Overall Statewide Chair and Program Chair, Syracuse, New York; Presented on “Recent Developments In Oil and Gas Leasing: The Hydro-Fracking Debate,” Albany and Syracuse, New York, December 2011
- “Real Property Tax Considerations For Landlords And Tenants in Negotiating Leases of Commercial Property,” Co-Author (Stein), Commercial Leasing, Vol. 2, New York State Bar Association, 2010
- "New York Real Estate Transactions: Basic Elements and Legal Malpractice Considerations,” Continuing Legal Education Program Presented to CNA Pro Insurance, New York, September, 2009
- “Hot Topics in Real Estate,” New York State Bar Association, Program Chair, Syracuse; Presented on “Understanding New York’s New Adverse Possession Statute,” Rochester and Syracuse, New York, November, 2008
- “New York Real Estate Transactions: Basic Elements and Legal Malpractice Considerations,” Continuing Legal Education Program Presented to Zurich National Insurance Company, New York, New York, October, 2007
- “Legal Issues in Residential Real Estate Transactions,” presented to Prudential First Properties agents in training, 2006 and 2007
- “Residential Real Estate Law, 101,” Onondaga County Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education Program, Syracuse, New York, January, 2005
- Martindale-Hubbell “BV” Distinguished® Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
- Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner