Real Estate

Real Estate

Overview

The firm's Real Estate Group handles virtually all elements of modern commercial real estate transactions, with a primary focus on representing owners and developers of real estate. Each member of the team strives to deliver effective, on-point legal service while keeping in clear view the client's business objectives and need for responsiveness. The partner in charge of the Real Estate Practice Group spent five years in the commercial real estate development business with two of Atlanta's most highly acclaimed firms: Taylor & Mathis and The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. This invaluable experience of "having been the client" lends special leadership to the team's focus on each client's legal needs within the overall context of the client's business.

The Real Estate Practice Group brings a comprehensive understanding and level of experience to virtually all facets of modern real estate development and ownership, capital investment, financing and asset management and disposition. Moreover, the team handles a wide array of office and retail leasing transactions and well understands the role of leasing as the cornerstone for the structure of real estate value. This depth and breadth of experience enables our attorneys to manage effectively and efficiently a transaction from start to finish, all the while taking into account those essential components that each party will require in order to bring a transaction to closing.


Representative Investment Sales/Acquisitions in 2013


In calendar year 2013, our firm closed the acquisition or disposition of 24 buildings having an aggregate value of $1.5 billion:

  • Sale of an 800,000 square foot "trophy" office tower in Downtown Chicago, Illinois (the 57th tallest building in the world)
  • Sale of a three-property 1,000,000+ square foot office/mixed-use portfolio in Dallas, Texas and Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Sale of a 243,000 square foot office building in Houston, Texas
  • Acquisition of an 800,000 square foot office tower in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sale of a three-building office project in Jefferson County, Colorado
  • Sale of a six-building office project in Jefferson County, Colorado
  • Sale of a 400,000 square foot office tower in Las Colinas, Dallas, Texas
  • Sale of a 536,000 square foot office project in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sale of a 259,000 square foot office project in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sale of a 700,000 square foot office building in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sale of a 420,000 square foot office project in Glendale, California
  • Sale of a 850,000 square foot office project in Dallas, Texas
  • Sale of a two-building 1,000,000 square foot office project in suburban Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sale of a 256,000 square foot office building in West Palm Beach, Florida

In addition, in 2013 the firm closed more than 1,000,000 square feet of office and retail leases, varying from 1,000 square feet to 350,000 square feet.

Services

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Real Estate Acquisition and Disposition

The Real Estate Practice Group has represented many purchasers and sellers of commercial real estate. These transactions have included acquisitions and dispositions of office projects, multi-family projects, condominium developments, mixed-use facilities, shopping centers and industrial properties. Our attorneys have extensively negotiated and drafted purchase and sale agreements, from each side of the transaction, and have closed many such transactions. This area of experience includes addressing all forms of closing requirements, ground lease matters, title and survey issues and other diligence maters, all the way to negotiating financing documents related to the acquisition of numerous projects, including office projects, hotels, retail centers and raw land.

Contact: Kenneth H. Kraft
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Real Estate Development

Our team's experience in meeting the needs of clients for legal services with respect to real estate development is extensive and varied. Real estate development is generally a highly creative process. Each development is unique and often requires counsel to think creatively along with the client in order both to close a transaction and to tailor the long range parameters of a project or venture to enhance the chances of business success. Our Real Estate Practice Group has prepared and negotiated a substantial number of real estate venture agreements and declarations in a host of transactions, ranging from regional mall developments to mixed-use office, hotel and retail projects. Coupled with this experience is our team's primary involvement in many development agreements, reciprocal use and easement arrangements and, of course, construction, mezzanine financing and equity investment.

Contact: Kenneth H. Kraft
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Real Estate Finance

The extensive legal and business experience of the Real Estate Practice Group has enabled the team to provide highly effective counsel to the firm's lending clients. The team routinely assists the firm's Commercial Lending Group in loan transactions involving real estate collateral. Further, the team is proud to have played a major role in representing Strategic Partners U.S., an affiliate of CB Richard Ellis Investors, with respect to mezzanine financing for The Streets of Buckhead, a $1.5 billion luxury retail project in Atlanta, Georgia.

Contact: David N. Heaton
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Timberlands and Wetland Mitigation

The Real Estate Practice Group represents national timberland and forest products investment funds and their affiliates in connection with the acquisition, disposition and management of hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland in transactions from California to Maine, including, for example, a 77,000 acre, $80 million acquisition in multiple counties in New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Vermont. Through the firm's membership in the Meritas organization, the Real Estate Practice Group is also able to affiliate local counsel when necessary for these transactions in nearly all areas of the country effectively and cost-efficiently. More recently, the team has assisted with large-scale acquisitions (including portfolio acquisitions) of sites involving a wide array of ecological and environmental conservation operations, including, without limitation, bank sponsor entities, proposed or established stream and wetland mitigation banks, and habitat, vernal pool and species conservation banks that are created and managed pursuant to applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Contact: J.P. Fougerousse
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Commercial Office Leasing and Asset Management

The Real Estate Practice Group has a dedicated commercial leasing practice tram with over thirty years of extensive experience committed to representing both landlords and tenants in office, retail and industrial leasing transactions. This practice group presently represents over 8,000,000 square feet of commercial office space, including two of the largest office projects in the Southeast, and routinely represents both landlords and tenants in the negotiation of major anchor leases for office buildings. Through the time and transaction tested development and modifications of forms, language and leasing systems and strategies, the commercial leasing practice group is uniquely qualified to help clients finalize both sophisticated and routine transactions quickly and efficiently.

Contact: David P. Ansari
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Retail Leasing

During the last decade, the firm's Real Estate Practice Group has had the privilege of representing Borders, Inc. and Gap, Inc., two of the nation's most prominent retailers, in over 170 leasing transactions with respect to locations across the United States. These locations have included power centers, regional malls and various other forms of retail projects. Our team has forged a technically skilled retail leasing team capable of handling retail transactions from simple to complex. We have negotiated leases with some of the largest retail landlords in the country, such as Kimco Realty Corp., CBL & Associates, General Growth Properties, Glimcher Realty Trust, Simon Property Group, The Taubman Centers, Cousins Properties, The Cafaro Company, Pyramid Management Group, The Cordish Company and Trizec Properties. We have also represented both Cadillac Fairview and Forest City Enterprises, Inc. at The Mall at Stonecrest and related properties in a 1,000 acre development project in DeKalb County, Georgia

Contact: Kenneth H. Kraft
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Telecommunications Site Acquisition and Disposition

The Real Estate Practice Group was fortunate to have represented AT&T Wireless in the rollout and development of its PCS communications system in the State of Georgia. In connection with this vast array of work, the team assisted this client in over 200 leasing transactions as well as numerous build-to-suit arrangements and sale-sublease transactions. Further, the team has represented various wireless communications site developers with respect to sales and assignments of wireless site facilities to national tower management companies.

Contact: David N. Heaton
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