PROGRAM ON NEGOTIATION
AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
AN INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM TO IMPROVE THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION
THE BULLARD HOUSES
Confidential Instructions for the Buyer's Representative
You are a fast-track real-estate lawyer in Gotham representing Absentia, Ltd., a Liechtenstein corporation owned by a Bahamanian blind trust. (Such a complicated corporate structure is frequently used to make it hard for others to find out an actor's true identity. It is commonly used, as in this case, by a real-estate principal with deep pockets and limited purchase options who fears being held up for an extortionate price if his or her true identity should become known.) Your undisclosed principal is the Conrad Milton Hotel group, a publicly held company that owns and operates eighty-three luxury hotels worldwide. For these reason, Conrad Milton wants you to keep their identity secret.
You are attempting a brilliant coup. Because of its landmark status, demolition of the Bullard Houses is impossible. Moreover, the garden area is too small for it to be partitioned into a viable separate building lot, given Gotham's property margin rules. (Such rules commonly call for a minimum setback of some number of feet between the property edge and the beginning of any structure.) The difficulty of access to any such garden site almost surely forecloses the possibility of getting a waiver of these restrictions (such a waiver is called a variance), even if the garden land were rezoned as commercial (commercial property usually has a smaller setback requirement). Hence, you are gambling that Downtown Realty has written off the possibility of developing the Bullard property for commercial use and that it is selling what it believes to be the (much less valuable) right to develop only luxury residential housing.
Do Not Reproduce
The property is capable of another use, however. Your architects have drawn rough plans for the construction of a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document