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Real Estate

LeClairRyan's real estate attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in representing borrowers, developers, owners, and financial institutions in all areas of real estate law. We have teams who focus on real estate acquisitions and financing; land use and zoning; and real estate litigation. Our attorneys are recognized by their peers as leaders in their respective fields and constantly stay abreast of emerging industry trends as well as any changes in real estate laws and regulations. Our business model stresses working closely with our clients to identify their objectives and areas of concern, and to craft effective, cost-efficient solutions that align with their goals.

Our real estate services include:

  • Acquisition
  • Sales
  • Financing
  • Land Use and Zoning
  • Construction and Development
  • Eminent Domain
  • Historic Preservation
  • Litigation
  • Community Associations and Condominiums
  • Public/Private Partnership
  • Landlord/Tenant Issues

Commercial Leasing
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing both landlords and tenants in all types of commercial property leases, including office buildings, retail shopping centers, industrial complexes, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, restaurants, condominiums, and hotels. Our Commercial Leasing Team has counseled clients in connection with a broad range of specialty leasing and financing arrangements, such as ground leases, sale-leaseback deals, and lease-option arrangements. We also have substantial experience in the unwinding of leases, including early termination planning and negotiation and restructuring of documentation.

Acquisition and Financing
Successful real estate acquisition and financing transactions require unique knowledge and significant experience, and those are apt descriptors of our attorneys who focus on this area. Our past and present client base includes borrowers, lenders, developers, owners, and financial institutions. We have experience representing these clients in a broad array of commercial real property-based equity and debt transactions, including leveraged lease, sale-leaseback, structured finance, and joint ventures. Deals in which we have played a role have included a wide variety of mortgage products, from acquisition, development, and construction financing to permanent financing and leasing of real estate development projects. We are also skilled in the creation of planned unit developments and condominium and cooperative housing projects, including the registration for sale with requisite regulatory authorities.

Our lending practice includes financing and securitization of all types of loans on a national basis. We regularly represent clients in transactions involving ground leases, air rights leases, condominium financing, and subordinate financing arrangements, including mezzanine loans. The securitization involved in these deals runs the gamut, from industrial, office, and retail properties to apartments. We represent owners and investors in tax credit transactions and cooperative public and private financing arrangements, and we have also represented financial institutions in the sale of commercial mortgage portfolios.

While litigation is not required in the majority of real estate transactions to bring them to a successful conclusion, it does represent an essential means of dispute resolution when parties to the transaction—or owners of competing real property interests—reach an impasse in disagreements. Attorneys in LeClairRyan's real estate litigation practice have broad experience in litigating virtually every type of issue that may arise in a disputed real estate transaction. We represent our clients in all aspects of real estate litigation when necessary to protect, preserve, pursue, or clarify real property rights. We work closely with our colleagues in other areas of the firm, such as environmental law, creditors' rights, taxation, and corporate law, to create multidisciplinary teams to handle complex disputes that cut across traditional practice lines. With offices across the nation, LeClairRyan is able to offer our clients the services of litigators who possess extensive local and regional experience in courts at every level.

Representative engagements:

• Negotiated the sale of 35 federally assisted apartment projects in a three-stage closing transaction.
• Represented a lender in financing various large-scale, mixed-use (residential, recreational, and multi-family) projects in mid-Atlantic states.
• Represented developers in renovations and permanent financing of historic renovation projects involving federal and state tax credits.
• Represented commercial banks and thrifts in the closing of construction loans to finance the development of construction projects, including land acquisition and site improvement, office buildings, shopping centers, housing developments, industrial parks, resorts, hotels, casino hotels, and other commercial developments.
• Represented a lender in financing five shopping centers with multiple borrowers.
• Representing clients in the acquisition and financing of marina facilities.
• Representing clients in the purchase and financing of office buildings and multi-family housing complexes throughout the East Coast and Midwest regions, including structuring deals through co-tenant ownership to accommodate the investment of 1031 exchange funds.
• Represented a national life insurance company as the lender in numerous permanent loan transactions for a variety of real estate types, including agricultural, office, and retail centers.
• Represented regional and national banks in construction and financing loans related to church and school expansions.

Commercial Leasing representative engagements:

• Leasing counsel for a Fortune 400 company with respect to a 6 million-square-foot portfolio of office, flex, and warehouse leases nationwide, a total of approximately 370 ongoing leases.
• Leasing counsel for a national REIT, responsible for drafting and negotiating leases for a portfolio of 3 million square feet of class A office, flex, and warehouse space.
• Represent a major pharmaceutical company in ground-leasing land for development of research and other facilities and in connection with leasing and subleasing office and warehouse space.
• Leasing counsel throughout the U.S. for a major owner of mixed-use facilities, office buildings, warehouse facilities, research facilities, and shopping malls.
• Represented a multi-site operator of franchised businesses in early lease termination planning and negotiations for several underperforming units.
• Represented the buyer of a national restaurant chain in securing the assignment of leases for 34 locations.
• Represented a major university in a ground lease and the creation of a leasehold condominium in connection with a mixed-use educational, residential, and retail project.
• Negotiated and drafted leases for more than 2 million square feet of build-to-suit class A office space for a REIT.
• Negotiated ground leases and office leases for branch banking operations.
• Represent a major insurance company with interests in a variety of office projects and properties in negotiating office and shopping center leases and addressing property management issues.
• Drafted leases associated with a new market tax credit and a historic tax credit deal.


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