Steven G. Mlenak

Steven G. Mlenak: Attorney with Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP

Biography

Associate, Real Estate and Redevelopment & Land Use Departments.

Mr. Mlenak concentrates his practice in the areas of redevelopment, land use, zoning, and real estate development. His clients include property owners and developers engaged in mixed use, residential, industrial, commercial, office, retail and affordable housing development projects. Mr. Mlenak provides guidance from the initial project concept through to construction, including land use planning and approvals, permits and variances and appearances before municipal, county and state planning and zoning boards and agencies.

Mr. Mlenak counsels redevelopers, property owners and municipalities on all aspects of the redevelopment process, including the negotiation and drafting of redevelopment agreements, review of redevelopment area studies and redevelopment plans, drafting of redevelopment-related ordinances and resolutions, and appearances before redevelopment entities and governing bodies. He provides counsel regarding incentives and tax abatements available at the state and federal level, including the negotiation and drafting of financial agreements (PILOT) under the Long Term Tax Exemption Law and the application for grants under the Economic Development Authority. His work in this area is enhanced by the valuable legislative experience he garnered while serving as Chief of Staff for a member of New Jersey's General Assembly, prior to entering private practice.

Mr. Mlenak also maintains a strong practice in the area of community association law, providing strategic guidance and general counseling to condominium and homeowners association clients across a broad range of legal issues. His work encompasses the interpretation and amendment of governing documents and by-laws, drafting contracts, collection of delinquent assessments, the enforcement of rules and regulations, operational and maintenance issues, the fiduciary responsibilities of board members, transition negotiations and litigation, Municipal Services Act compliance, and alternative dispute resolution. He further represents clients in construction defect litigation, Fair Housing discrimination cases and landlord-tenant matters.

Other:

- Selected for inclusion by the New Jersey Law Journal on the 2018 list of "New Leaders of the Bar," the publication's annual listing of outstanding attorneys under the age of 40 and practicing in New Jersey

- Listed in Super Lawyers - New Jersey Rising Stars (a Thompson Reuters business) in the Real Estate practice area (2017)

- Recipient of the "2016 Speaker of the Year" award from the Community Associations Institute - New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ)

- Shared recipient of the "2014 Committee of the Year" award from the Community Associations Institute - New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ) for his work as a member of the National Legislative Action Committee - NJ

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Community Association Law
  • Condominium Law
  • Governing Documents
  • Delinquent Asset Collection
  • Transition Negotiations
  • Municipal Services Act Compliance
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
732.476.2526  Phone
732.476.2527  Fax
www.greenbaumlaw.com/attorneys-Steven-Mlenak.html
University Attended:
University of Connecticut, B.A., 2008
Law School Attended:
Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, J.D., 2011
Year of First Admission:
2011
Admission:
2011, New Jersey; 2011, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; 2013, New York
Memberships:

- Member, Community Associations Institute - New Jersey Chapter: member, National Legislative Action Committee - NJ
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

- Member, Legislative Committee, New Jersey Builders Association

-Member, Advocacy Committee, Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey

- Member, New Jersey Apartments Association

- Member, New Jersey Property Owners Association

- Member, American Bar Association: Young Lawyers Division.
Birth Information:
1986
Reported Cases:
Mr. Mlenak played a significant role in representing a New Jersey condominium association in its successful appeal of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court decision. In In re: Rones, the Bankruptcy Court had ruled that Chapter 13 debtors could “strip” all but the 6 month priority portion of the condominium's lien by reasoning that the New Jersey Condominium Act only afforded a payment priority, rather than a true lien priority which would protect the lien as a secured claim. On appeal, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey reversed the Bankruptcy Court and held that the limited priority granted condominium liens in the Act protects it from being stripped or crammed down in any way. The impact of the important ruling is that condominium debtors will now be required to pay back the entirety of the validly-filed condominium lien as a secured debt in order to have a Chapter 13 plan confirmed. Mr. Mlenak authored the appellate and reply briefs in the association's appeal during his tenure at a prior firm, and also coordinated with the Community Associations Institute-New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ) in its filing as amicus curiae in support of the association.
ISLN:
922827778
Transactions:
Mr. Mlenak obtained a money judgment on behalf of a condominium association against a developer for nearly $200,000 in damages related to unsold commercial units held by the developer in the association. After selling all of the residential units in a Cape May condominium, the developer of the condominium refused to contribute towards the expenses of the building while continuing to own three large commercial units within the condominium. This left the maintenance and repair of the building solely to the individuals that purchased their homes from the developer to pick up the developer’s short fall for years. Mr. Mlenak filed suit and, in a 15-page written opinion from the judge, successfully obtained a judgment of nearly $200,000, including attorneys fees and interest against the developer for the association. Mr. Mlenak played a significant role in the redevelopment of a blighted unoccupied office building in downtown Linden into the new headquarters of an expanding regional laboratory. Representation included the negotiation and execution of an amended redevelopment agreement, financial agreement for a 5-year tax abatement, adoption of related municipal resolutions and ordinances, and assistance in obtaining preliminary and final site plan review approval from the Linden Planning Board. Mr. Mlenak was a member of the firm's team that advised an international Fortune 500 retailer with regard to millions of square feet of development in various locales, including redevelopment areas, tax abatement (PILOT) agreements, environmental remediation, redevelopment plans, state, regional, county and local approvals, zoning permits and certifications, miscellaneous agreements, construction permitting, and assisted in drafting leasing provisions. Mr. Mlenak played a significant role in representing a New Jersey condominium association in its successful appeal of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court decision. In In re: Rones, the Bankruptcy Court had ruled that Chapter 13 debtors could “strip” all but the 6 month priority portion of the condominium’s lien by reasoning that the New Jersey Condominium Act only afforded a payment priority, rather than a true lien priority which would protect the lien as a secured claim. On appeal, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey reversed the Bankruptcy Court and held that the limited priority granted condominium liens in the Act protects it from being stripped or crammed down in any way. The impact of the important ruling is that condominium debtors will now be required to pay back the entirety of the validly-filed condominium lien as a secured debt in order to have a Chapter 13 plan confirmed. Mr. Mlenak authored the appellate and reply briefs in the association's appeal during his tenure at a prior firm, and also coordinated with the Community Associations Institute-New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ) in its filing as amicus curiae in support of the association

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Roseland, New Jersey

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