Practice/Industry Group Overview
Our attorneys have broad capabilities in real estate financing, restructuring and enforcement.
We serve a wide variety of clients in real estate finance, including regional and national banks and financial institutions, mezzanine lenders, savings and loans, registered investment advisors, insurance companies and permanent lenders, and have the experience and expertise to handle transactions across all asset classes in a business-friendly, cost efficient manner. Our counsel are involved from the initial steps of term sheets, planning and zoning through the important steps of documenting of the real estate loan facilities, to the completion of the project, as well as the workouts and restructurings that arise during economic downturns. Our attorneys stay updated on the latest transactional and regulatory trends in structuring deals, lender liability and litigation, in order to advise clients on all aspects of commercial lending. The commercial real estate finance team also works closely with other practice areas at Burr & Forman, including tax, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, healthcare, hospitality, ERISA, environmental, securities, banking regulation and litigation/dispute resolution to insure full compliance with all regulatory lending requirements and to best protect our clients’ interests.
Our commercial real estate finance practice includes experience in the following:
Land Acquisition Financing
There are many challenges to completing a successful land acquisition transaction- from choosing the right financing, to negotiating and closing the deal, to integrating the new owners into the property. At Burr & Forman, we have built a track record of amicably and effectively representing financial institutions with the issues involved in borrowers’ initial acquisition of various types of property, including vacant land, timberlands, farm lands, and all types of improved properties.
The firm has broad experience in advising financial institutions in closing construction loans, including facilities used to construct multi-family residential developments, mixed-use projects, planned unit developments, office buildings, retail properties, warehouses, health care facilities, hotels, and industrial facilities. Burr & Forman’s construction finance team is skilled in effectively securing lenders’ positions by delving deeply into the details of the construction projects, including construction contracts, subcontracts, project management agreements, operational management agreements, contract administration, municipal concerns, environmental issues, title problems, leasing, and all other aspects of the construction process.
The firm has extensive experience in permanent loan financings which arise once a construction project is complete or a project has been acquired. As a loan transitions from a short term facility to a longer term arrangement, borrowers may be sensitive to new terms and the issues it may encounter with new providers. Our lawyers are experienced in navigating the move smoothly while zealously representing the permanent lender’s interests.
Sales and Leasebacks
Our lawyers are knowledgeable in the various phases involved in sales and leaseback transactions, including the purchase of the premises, sales to related or unrelated third parties, 1031 exchanges, and the final leasing of the premises back to the original land holder. We work closely with our tax experts in order to ensure the financial benefits of the transaction are realized.
Disputes frequently arise in the construction industry, and Burr & Forman’s real estate and construction teams are experienced in managing financial institutions’, contractors' or owners' claims and the resolution of disputes, including cost overruns, mechanics and materialmen's liens, retainage issues, and Prompt Pay Act concerns. We advise clients on the most economical and creative methods of resolving disputes, and when formal litigation cannot be avoided, we vigorously defend our clients’ interests. In addition to providing advice to mitigate potential disputes, Burr & Forman has considerable experience in alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") techniques, including arbitration, mediation, dispute review boards and mini-trials.
Environmental, Land Use and Zoning and Planning
Burr & Forman has represented clients in environmental matters since the passage of the first Clean Air Act of 1970. Since then, our team has consistently represented clients in ensuring their real estate ventures comply with environmental laws, while addressing zoning issues, and ensuring the project assimilates into the larger land use scheme of a municipality. We specialize in permitting, development, water use, site investigation, and regulatory issues, and are involved in all diligence and planning aspects of developing a project.
Burr & Forman represents lenders and borrowers in timberland loan transactions ranging from a few thousand acres in a single state, to hundreds of thousands of acres in multiple states. Our team also represents clients in the purchase and sale of timberlands. These legal services often include other relevant disciplines such as corporate, limited liability company and partnership organization, timber sale contracts, timber management contracts, easements, and timber deeds.
The attorneys at Burr & Forman are knowledgeable in various types of economic incentive finance, including tax credit and bond financing, conservation easements, state and federal home loans, industrial revenue bonds, and public and private ventures, as well as the letters of credit and other securitizations involved in closing these specialized transactions.
Borrower's local counsel in connection with commercial mortgages.
Foreclosure on failed resort real estate developments.
Bank Counsel for loan workouts, restructurings and bankruptcy filings with respect to manufacturing facilities.
Foreclosure, deficiency actions and bankruptcy cases in connection with failed real estate developments.
Negotiated environmental permits under various environmental statutes.