Acquiring, developing, financing or investing in real estate requires sophisticated knowledge, a thorough understanding of the law and good business sense. The attorneys in Lerch, Early & Brewer’s Real Estate group understand the complexities of the real estate market, as well as the intricacies of real estate law, and provide counsel to their clients on guiding each transaction to a successful completion. Our commercial transactions practice is diverse and sophisticated, and includes the representation of developers and investors throughout the Washington, D.C., region in office, warehouse and retail transactions, mixed-use developments, condominiums, exchanges and commercial leasing.
Our attorneys work with clients through every stage of the transaction, including acquisition, financing, project operation and management of the construction process, and the ultimate disposition of a project. We also provide limited counsel to purchasers and sellers of residential real estate. Most of our work comes from glowing referrals from satisfied clients, some of whom we’ve worked with for more than 30 years.
Making Deals Happen in Commercial Real Estate Transactions
Entrepreneurial investors and developers of commercial real estate projects use our attorneys’ knowledge and experience in connection with the acquisition, sale, development, financing, and leasing of commercial, retail, industrial and multi-family residential properties. We assist clients throughout Maryland, D.C. and Virginia in the initial stages of a transaction on such matters as negotiating and reviewing contracts of sale and financing documents, structuring the ownership entity, due diligence and land use issues, and determining the manner in which to acquire title to property. In this regard, we negotiate, prepare and review organizational documents for all forms of entities. Throughout the process, our focus is on how to complete a deal within the context of the client’s overall business plan.
Our clients benefit from the depth of services our firm offers; our attorneys frequently work closely with our business and taxation group to analyze and maximize the tax benefits of each transaction. When necessary, we are able to use the firm’s litigation group in resolving real estate disputes in trial and appellate courts.
Guidance in Project Financing and Management
Our professionals understand the complexities involved with securing financing and managing the construction and operations of a project. As such, our clients have come to rely on us to provide guidance in securing acquisition/construction financing, as well as title services and title insurance. We are fully involved with each project, often preparing or reviewing agreements with architects, general contractors and subcontractors, leasing agents, and property management companies. Frequently, we become involved in preparing or monitoring the construction draw process, the preparation of master leases, negotiating ground leases, obtaining permanent financing, and the ultimate disposition of the project. In the process, we pursue all avenues for cost savings, particularly in the area of transfer and recordation taxes imposed by local municipalities.
Commercial Leasing for Landlords and Tenants
Many of our group’s clients own major office, retail and industrial properties, and our professionals provide assistance in commercial leasing matters for these properties. For clients seeking to lease space as tenants in commercial projects, we also review and negotiate leases. In the event that a landlord-tenant matter cannot be resolved through negotiation, our litigation attorneys provide assistance and representation in actions filed in the courts.
High-End Residential Property Representation
Our real estate attorneys provide limited services representing individual clients in the acquisition and sale of high-end residences in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. We draft contracts for the sale and acquisition of the property and will review all documentation necessary to settle the transaction. The attorneys in our group enjoy excellent working relationships with major title insurance companies and outside settlement attorneys, which help to ensure that these transactions are settled smoothly and efficiently.
- Represented the sellers of an approximately 130-acre parcel in connection with a related four-party sale and land swap
- Represented the developer in a “Build-to-Suit Reverse Starker Like Kind Exchange.” The transaction involved purchasing replacement property prior to the sale of the relinquished property and utilizing the sales proceeds to improve the replacement property while deferring the capital gain
- Represented land owners in closing numerous securitized (conduit) loans
- Structured joint ventures between real estate developers and investors
- Assisted sellers of real estate in marketing their property and preparing and soliciting “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs)
- Represented the developer in the development, leasing, financing and sale of a 425,000-square-foot industrial warehouse project
- Represented the developer in the development, leasing and financing of an 110,000-square-foot flex project
- Represented a developer in the acquisition of an ice skating rink in Newburgh, N.Y.
- Represented a shopping center client in the sale of a chain food store and in re-subdividing the property to permit future development on the remaining parcel
- Represented a limited liability company in negotiating development agreements for an environmentally friendly car wash, including the construction contract, construction loan financing, and obtaining the bonds and letters of credit required to obtain required permits and approvals
- Assisted a developer in refinancing and closing a multimillion dollar development loan on property in an upscale neighborhood in Washington, D.C.