Some clients deal with real estate as their main business, while others outside the industry may engage in opportunities to lease, buy, sell, and finance property. Whether they are building on real estate, have permitting issues, or seek council regarding the timing of sales, advantages of leasing, or other issues, clients rely on our attorneys to provide advice based upon relevant experience and successes.
Condominiums are not merely high-rise apartments made complicated by declarations, master deeds, bylaws, disclosures, and disputes among unit owners and developers. Condominiums have become an accepted technique to subdivide real estate and create commercially viable office or retail spaces, and mixed use developments.
Our related experience includes converting apartment buildings to residential condominiums; dividing a hospital campus into condominium units for separate purposes; and creating suburban shopping center and urban mixed use condominium facilities.
Owners and tenants are faced with either starting a building project or monitoring a project undertaken on their behalf by others. We guide clients as they grapple with fixed price, cost plus, design-build, or traditional design-bid-build contracts.
Projects of any complexity may require putting several parcels together and almost always require coordination of agreement of sale outside dates, due diligence expiration dates, lease benchmark dates, permit limitation dates, and financing windows. We help to manage the expectations of all parties so that the imposed dates are set, to the extent possible, at reasonable intervals, and allow sufficient time for the project to reach completion.
Urban properties, and many suburban properties, have had uses that give rise to environmental questions that must be addressed before undertaking a purchase or building project. Other regulatory issues, such as zoning and land planning, are also both expensive and time consuming. We structure the needed investigations and the timing so that these hurdles do not affect any other deadlines in the overall development process.
We work with large and small lenders, usually for the owner or developer, and we are successful in resolving the lender’s initial requests for certainty so that projects can be built or re-financed with real world concerns appropriately addressed. We are also happy to make introductions to lenders for specific projects. When representing lenders, we recognize that the goal is both to protect the lender and to allow the deal to proceed without it becoming overly burdensome to the borrower.
Often the owner of the land or the person who has identified the potential project is not the same person as the one who can provide the necessary project funding. Our attorneys help negotiate the arrangement between these parties so that the equity contribution is rewarded, as is the person who initiated the transaction.
Leasing applies to every building other than one wholly owned and used by a person or entity. Even individuals owning the property in which their businesses operate are often advised to lease the property to their businesses. Warehouses, stores, offices, and residences all have differing concerns that we help address through a formal lease.
Sometimes deals do not proceed as expected. We have seen some sellers who cannot consummate purchases, and others who refuse to sell to the buyer despite the existence of an agreement of sale. When this occurs, our litigators work closely with our real estate practice so that resolutions (other than money damages) achieve the outcome that is desired.
The nuts and bolts of any real estate practice is buying, selling, and exchanging property. We have represented clients who have purchased large tracts of vacant land, sometimes consisting of separate parcels, for shopping center developments; sold developed real estate as well as vacant ground; and bought partial interests in high-rise office buildings and other developed or planned properties. In addition to traditional transactions, we have also handled more unique situations, such as when a client purchased a marina to open and operate a “dockominium.”
Real estate markets rise and fall, but not necessarily uniformly throughout any region. We pursue tax appeals for owners whose property is over-assessed. In addition, appropriate nonprofits may be exempt from real estate taxes, and we assist these entities in obtaining exemptions.