Real Estate

Real Estate Acquisition, Development, Construction, and Finance Practice

Our Real Estate Practice Team, through several real estate economic cycles, has represented, among others, real estate developers, syndicates, and individual entrepreneurs; domestic and international corporations and construction companies; and banks and financial institutions. The depth and breadth of their combined experience includes representing clients in corporate, industrial, and infrastructure building projects; cross-border public and project finance (including Export Credit Agency financing); and commercial, mixed use, and high-end residential acquisitions.

As strategic legal and transaction counsel, our lawyers have handled a wide variety high-value real estate-related projects including, among others: hotels, and vacation resorts; office buildings, shopping centers and restaurants; multi-family and major housing residential developments; and petrochemical plant and related-industrial and infrastructure projects. The Firm has developed working relationships with a broad base of consulting engineers, accountants, appraisers, and construction experts who may be called up where a multi-disciplinary project team is required.

Commercial and Residential Property Acquisition and Sale

Our partners assist individual entrepreneurs, investor groups, and other private and public entities in acquiring and developing nearly all types of commercial and residential properties. Whether small or medium-sized real estate acquisitions or large scale and more complex projects, our lawyers advise clients from acquisition concept, through financing, and Closing. Their years of transactional expertise can make the difference during negotiations, due diligence, and documentation. Whether representing Buy or Sell-side Clients, the Firm aims is to add value through cost-effective, thoughtful, and assertive Client representation.

Project Development and Construction

As mainstay of our Practice, the Firm is prepared to assist clients on virtually every legal aspect of project development, construction, and disposition. We prefer to work closely with clients in project and budget planning as well as with preparation of complex project documents. Interacting with architects, builders, and contractors, we help navigate the intricacies of governmental regulatory approval and permitting processes; aspects of land use planning and zoning; and real estate-related environmental issues.

The Firm’s Construction skills-set and experience level ranges from design and construction document preparation and negotiation, project management and administration, resolving claims and construction lien issues; handling domestic and international legal issues for high-end residential to mega-million office building and industrial and related infrastructure projects. That experience includes, preparing and issuing Sponsor Invitations and Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to structuring and negotiating international Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contracts (EPC contracts) and related sub-contractors; Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM contracts); and assisting with contract administration including project management, change-order, and other disputes and claims. Our lawyers have represented project sponsors, owners, developers, lenders, general contractors, subcontractors, sureties, suppliers, and architects and designers in virtually all types of construction projects; including in contested matters, representing clients in mediation, dispute review board, and arbitration proceedings and in litigation. The Construction team includes lawyers with degrees and experience in Building Construction, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, bringing a practical, real world experience to our practice.

Together, with our Intellectual Property attorneys, have obtained approvals for construction products through the Miami-Dade County Construction Approval Process and patents for such products.

Mixed-Use Project, Community Development, and Association Representation

Planned Community, Residential and Commercial Condominium, and Mixed-Use project developments need a multi-disciplinary business and legal expertise. Our Real Estate Practice brings a wealth of legal knowledge, experience, and judgement in these diverse settings; including residential and commercial condominiums, condominium hotels, homeowner community developments and related community association governance; mixed use project; and timeshare, fractional resort, and vacation club properties.

Lawyers assist clients through every aspect of the land use planning and development process. From the myriad of acquisition elements including environmental and title issues; architectural, construction, and operation and management contracts; property and casualty insurance policies; mortgages and other finance instruments; intellectual property; zoning, building permitting, and other regulatory compliance processes. Additionally, we are experienced in Master, Homeowner, and Condominium Association post-turnover construction claims, restatement of association documents, and assessment collection. And, our partners are experienced in virtually all governmental and quasi governmental housing programs, including HUD; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; and State Housing Finance Agency and tax-exempt financing programs.

Hotel and Hospitality

In the Hotel, Resort, and Hospitality space, Firm lawyers have worked with major domestic and international hotel and resort development and operating companies. Partners have also represented client-buyers and sellers of hotels, restaurants, and clubs. They also have significant experience working with associated amenity packages including, equity club membership programs, golf course amenity and tee time agreements; licensing, and operating and technical services contracts. In addition to related state and local regulatory compliance issues, we assist clients in applying for and securing alcoholic beverage licenses and in assisting clients in the obtaining the required state and local permits.

Health Care, Nursing Homes and Assisted Living, and Rehabilitation Centers

In the area of Health Care, Nursing Homes and Assisted Living, Senior Living and Rehab Centers, our Real Estate and Corporate Teams have represented clients in developing new projects, the purchase of existing projects (including projects in bankruptcy and foreclosure), and in compliance with the applicable regulatory agency requirements and procedures. We have a good, working relationship with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and have worked with the sometimes difficult local government regulations with respect to this type of facility. Our lawyers have significant experience in all areas of indoor environmental concerns, including microbiological and chemical contamination and have represented health care providers in resolving mold and other microbial contamination issues.

Real Estate Finance

Our Real Estate and Corporate Finance Teams have created a unique working group of partners with direct experience working with major commercial and investment banks and financial institutions, and their credit committees. The Teams’ knowledge base covers nearly all aspects of debt and equity finance. With special focus on real estate, project, and corporate finance, they handle acquisition financing including mezzanine financing, mortgage loans, and secured and asset-based lending facilities. Handling “troubled asset” situations for institutional and non-institutional lenders, Partners have worked with distressed properties in restructuring troubled loans and impaired credits; corporate workouts; enforcing security interests; and with bankruptcy and other litigation.

The Firm provides pre litigation advice and bankruptcy representation. It crafts creative approaches to acquiring or retaining ownership or control of troubled properties, including cash flow mortgages, lock box agreements, equity participations, receiverships and deed-in-lieu transactions. Our lawyers are well versed in negotiating, restructuring, and resolving debtor–creditor dispute. Partners have worked multi-million dollar workouts and foreclosures of distressed hotels, condominiums, shopping centers, office buildings, recreational facilities, raw and developed land, and planned unit developments as well as a $750 million project finance workout with an international commercial bank syndicate.

Regulatory Compliance and Litigation

The Firm partners understand the intricacies of federal, State, and local governmental processes and of collateral regulatory compliance regimes. The Firm has invested significant time and substantial resources to ensure that the firm fully compliant with the new and more stringent regulatory oversight regime established by the Dodd-Frank Act’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As of October 5, 2015, the CFPB has mandated enhanced with new closing statements and disclosure forms; replacing the standard HUD-1 Settlement Statement and Truth in Lending Act disclosure form. Moreover, real estate sellers, buyers, and lenders are now required to appoint a real estate closing and title agent (whether title company or attorney agent) who has timely registered with the CFPB and who implemented the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) "Best Practices" initiative.

Our Real Estate partners bring a wealth of substantive experience in land use planning, environmental regulation, and zoning and permitting as well as in dispute resolution processes. When needed, the Team can also call upon its Government Relations Partner whose experience includes managing a Fortune-500 Company’s international and domestic Government Relations function, performing legislative advocacy and regulatory compliance, and holding senior federal and State-level appointments. Our Real Estate partners also have broad-based knowledge of litigation involving real estate regulator y issues. In addition, the Firm’s Trial Practice Team adds a further dimensions because of it extensive experience in civil, bankruptcy, and appellate litigation, civil and appellate mediation, and domestic and international arbitration.