John Busey Wood is a member of the commercial real estate group at the New York City office of the law firm Akerman Senterfitt LLP, and advises public and private companies on real estate acquisitions, facilities management, construction and development, brokerage law, commercial leasing, commercial property management and litigation. For over 30 years Mr. Wood has represented owners in the design and negotiation of commercial leases covering in excess of 50 million square feet of retail, office and mixed use space projects. He has assisted large volume space users in the effective management of their facilities portfolios and in reducing costs and risk. These experiences, coupled with a unique blend of professional disciplines and his design and deployment of sophisticated new-generation commercial lease forms during the late 1970's and the 1980's resulted in his being featured in articles on the impact of commercial leases on companies and being referred to by The Wall Street Journal and other publications as "the father of the modern killer lease." His extensive national experience in developable land, improved property acquisitions, large scale retail and office developments, and leasing and management programs have made him an ideal corporate facilities support resource for companies. He is a noted authority on fair market value determination and valuation of properties as well as rental escalations, expenses, allocations, auditing and litigation/dispute resolution. Among noteworthy projects, Mr. Wood directed the legal team in a national portfolio acquisition with a value in excess of $2 billion and he participated in the development, leasing and financing of over 4 million square feet of regional shopping malls and retail centers nationwide. In 1998 he negotiated the largest ground/space lease transaction in the history of New York City, containing more than 1.6 million square feet and including "fast-track" rehabilitation, construction lending, permanent financing and options for fee acquisition. In addition, Mr. Wood has advised, directed teams and designed correlated construction contracts for "fast-track" design-build projects, conversions and renovations in New York City, exceeding 8 million square feet, with values greater than $4 billion. Mr. Wood has also directed large-scale leasing programs for major New York City office towers and mixed use properties. He regularly directs litigation teams in landlord-tenant disputes, construction disputes and retail lease close-outs. His financing, auditing and computer expertise contributed to his uncovering the largest computer-leasing fraud in the United States, the O.P.M. Leasing fraud. Mr. Wood is a licensed Class "A" commercial real estate broker, a Certified Public Accountant and holds B.B.A. (Accounting and Economics), M.B.A. (Accounting and Finance) and J.D. degrees.
Mr. Wood is a member of the Association of the Bar, NYC, New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association ("ABA"), (Vice-Chair of the Commercial Leasing Committee and former Chair of the Office Leasing Subcommittee), and Board of Legal Advisors to the Practicing Law Institute ("PLI"). He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (NY Chapter), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ("AICPA"), and American Association of Attorney-CPAs. Mr. Wood served, from 1982 through 1991, as a member of the Associated Builders and Owners of New York, the New York Building Congress and its Board of Legal Advisors, and the Real Estate Board of the City of New York ("REBNY"). Mr. Wood frequently lectures on property acquisition and management, commercial leasing and construction contract techniques, transaction structuring and brokerage law at major real estate brokerage firms in New York City, REBNY, and at the New York University Graduate School and Real Estate Institute. He also lectures at PLI, where he is the New York and national Chairman of the National Commercial Leasing Seminars, and at the executive and annual meetings of the ABA and AICPA. Mr. Wood has frequently served as a "party selected" and Federal arbitrator and with the A.A.A. in fair market rent valuation and rental/expense/adjustment disputes and audits and he is an American Arbitration Association - National Neutral - Commercial Panelist. He has also served as Assistant Attorney General (Kansas), and as special counsel to Bronxville Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Board and Board of Trustees and is a member of the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scouts of America Council and the National Eagle Scout Association.
Mr. Wood has presented papers on "Equity Leases" and "Work Letters" to the ABA and on "Accounting and Tax Issues for Work Letters and Allowances" to the AICPA. His article "Trump [Tower] Tenant Finds Turnkey [Construction Agreement] Saves the Day" appeared in the Legal Times of Washington and New York, October 21, 1985. Mr. Wood co-authored, with Alan M. DiSciullo, Esq., the treatise Negotiating and Drafting Office Leases, published by Law Journal Seminars-Press (Library of Congress ISBN 1-58852-061-7, 1995-2009, supplemented 2 times per year); co-authored "Section V.A, Fire and Casualty Insurance" in the Real Estate Law and Practice Course Handbook , Published by PLI, 1994-2009; co-authored "Building Owner's Assumptions Spark Zoning War", Legal Times of New York, August/September, 1985 and co-authored "Financing Real Estate Development through Participation Leases", Real Estate Review, Volume 20, No. 4, Winter, 1991. He is the author of the book, Navigating The Dangerous Shoals of a Commercial Lease, published by New York University Graduate School, 1992-5 and the ABA. Mr. Wood is listed in Who's Who in Real Estate, Who's Who in American Law, 2nd and 4th Editions, and Who's Who Registry of Global Business Leaders, 1993-4 Edition. Mr. Wood is AV peer rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was peer-nominated and elected an American Bar Foundation Fellow. Mr. Wood has been Senior Editor of "Real Estate Corner", a monthly article on commercial real estate for corporate professionals published by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Inc. and has appeared on national television speaking on current trends in national real estate.