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Real Estate

rise to every real estate challenge

closing with the best mix of essential elements

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Sharon Nelson Craig
Marc DeCandia
Steven F. Dunn
Ashley C. Haun
Lawrence G. Lerman
Vernon S. Lynch III
Ann Marie Mehlert
Alison W. Rind
Michael D. Smith
Arnold D. Spevack

Developers, commercial property owners, and investors turn to Lerch Early’s “dirt lawyers” when they need to buy, sell, lease, or develop commercial real estate in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  We help clients get to closing with the best mix of price, terms, and timelines essential to their core real estate and business strategies.

Our experienced attorneys negotiate all aspects of complex commercial real estate transactions from the ground up, such as forming a holding company before acquiring a property, to minimizing the tax consequences of an eventual sale of the property. These include drafting and negotiating entity formation documents, purchase and sales agreements, development agreements, financing documents, construction contracts, reciprocal easement agreements and  leases.  National and regional developers, family-owned real estate development companies, institutions with substantial real estate assets, and entrepreneurial businesses rely on our real estate attorneys to help them make the best real estate deals.  Our real estate clients include The JBG Companies, The Tower Companies, Lee Development Group, Maisel Development, Howard University, and other institutional and entrepreneurial companies throughout the region. 

Our clients sometimes joke that we should convey with their property— as we “run with the land.” Often after a sale, the new purchaser retains us because of our in-depth knowledge of the property or project.  Many clients have worked with us for decades as we not only know the law, but we know their businesses.  Throughout the transaction, our focus is on how to complete a deal within the context of the client’s overall business plan.


Marc DeCandia and Ann Marie Mehlert

  • a land development agreement allowing a developer and a quasi-governmental entity to pursue the regulatory approvals, and a condominium structure and air rights lease for the operation of the first new building in a major mixed-use development.
  • Prepared underlying cross-easement agreements relating to the ownership, use, maintenance, and operation of the various mixed-use components of  a major redevelopment.
  • Established the entity for a family-owned business with substantial real estate investments across the country and was involved in acquiring more than a dozen properties as part of the family owned real estate portfolio.
  • Assisted developer in negotiating an acquisition from WMATA for the redevelopment of property in Prince George’s County, Maryland as a mixed-use project.
  • Represent a 150 year old private university in the monetization of its real estate assets, including, without limitation, negotiating a 99-year $22 million capitalized ground lease transaction with a local developer creating luxury rentals.
  • Negotiate and document all leases and financing for a family-owned company that has owned and operated a strip mall center in North Bethesda for more than 25 years. Restructured the ownership entity and refinanced the permanent loan on the property.
  • Represent a family-owned company that has developed, owned, and operated numerous office and light industrial properties throughout Northern Virginia.
  • Represented an owner in a sale of 72-unit multifamily apartment building in Washington, DC for $13.25 million.
  • Negotiated leases with Fortune 500 companies on behalf of multiple shopping center owners.
  • Negotiated and closed unimproved land purchase in Maryland for real estate investor.
  • Negotiating and documenting real estate purchases and leases for restaurant group owner for nine properties throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland.
  • Negotiating leases for owner for group of newly-acquired office buildings with a high vacancy rate in Maryland with goal of fully leasing within a three-year timetable.
  • Representing developer in acquisitions throughout DC, including negotiating TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) rights.
  • Prepared reciprocal easement agreement regarding parking for developer with neighboring property owners.
  • Representing owner of four shopping centers in Virginia in all aspects of operating the centers, including leases, contracts, adjacent property concerns, and property management issues.
  • Represented homebuilder in purchase of land and creation of HOAs and condominiums in Montgomery and Frederick Counties.
  • Coordinated due diligence for real estate investment trust in connection with purchase of large town center shopping center, including review of leases, impact on protected tenant areas, and review of title commitment.
  • Represented restaurant franchisee in financing tenant improvements related to reimaging obligations imposed by the franchisor every 7 years.
  • Negotiated and closed self-storage facility purchase in Baltimore for real estate developer.
  • Negotiated, purchased, and sold numerous warehouse properties in Maryland for real estate investor.
  • Represented owners of medical office building in connection with the leasing and sale of the property.
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