Practice/Industry Group Overview
We are engaged in a comprehensive real estate practice representing a wide array of clients. Our attorneys counsel buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, and borrowers and lenders in all categories of real estate transactions, and builders and developers of all kinds, including builders of single family homes and developers of shopping centers, hotels and office buildings.
We are involved in every phase of the process from land acquisition through construction financing, lease-up and permanent financing. Following project completion, we assist in the leasing and management of the property by drafting and negotiating leases and dealing with problem tenants. We also regularly handle refinancings and negotiate workouts on behalf of borrowers and lenders.
We also represents contractors and subcontractors seeking payment for their work through materialmen’s liens, public works liens, bond claims, and subsequent litigation.
Among the transactions we recently have handled are:
- Construction and financing of shopping centers in Ohio, Illinois and Virginia
- Construction and financing of apartment and mixed-use developments in Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Virginia
- Construction and financing of condominium developments in Ohio, Georgia and Arizona
- Acquisition and financing for over 150 single tenant retail and commercial sites in 17 states
- Counsel to borrower in a $19 million securitized mortgage-backed refinancing transaction of a multi-tenant major retail shopping center
- Representation of a developer in the re-development of multi-vacant properties in major metropolitan business districts, which involved bonds, state-funded loans for vacant property initiative, historic tax credits (state and federal), TIF, recovery zone bonds and new market tax credits
- Representation of medical professionals in a note participation financing transaction providing unsecured capital to facilitate the refinancing of a medical building
- Acquisition of hundreds of sites for one of the largest home builders in the U.S.
- Representation of buyer in connection with securitized mortgaged-backed transaction with value of $5.9 million
- Representation of multiple borrowers in connection with securitized mortgaged-backed transaction with respect to issuance of non-consolidation of legal opinions and related structuring of special purpose entities (SPEs) in order to comply with rating agency requirements
- Counsel to senior lender in stand-by bond purchase agreement and related unsecured revolving credit facility to finance private higher education facility
- Representation of real property owners and lenders in connection with loan workouts, forbearance agreements, note purchase transactions, short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure with respect to various types of real estate transactions
- Representation of major local developer with the reorganization of its capital structure, including approximately 50 properties valued in excess of $220 million, in connection with the resolution of various partnership disputes
- Representation of developer in the acquisition of an 11 shopping center portfolio valued at $200 million, in connection with the settlement of litigation
- Representation of hotel developer in refinancing 3 hotels with aggregate loan values in excess of $50 million
- Representation of fast food franchise operator in leasing and purchase of 30 properties throughout Ohio and Florida
- Representation of manufacturing client in restructuring its real estate portfolio through sale/leaseback transactions
- Representation of non-profit client seeking historic tax credit approval for building renovations valued at $2 million
- Representation of the developer of a 650,000 square-foot office complex in downtown Cleveland, including negotiating joint venture agreements, construction and permanent financing and negotiating and drafting leases with sophisticated national tenants
- Representation of a multi-location Cleveland automobile dealer in the sale of dealership real estate to a national real estate investment trust
- Selling and leasing of an 800,000 square-foot warehouse complex
- Developing, acquiring, selling and financing several major hotel properties located throughout the eastern United States
- Negotiating and drafting anchor, “big box,” in-line and outparcel leases on behalf of both landlords and tenants in shopping centers throughout the United States
- Representation of a local developer in site acquisition, leasing, construction and financing of multiple store locations for a major national drugstore chain
- Representation of a large local hospital on the construction of a new Emergency Room and Patient Tower
- Representation of Fortune 200 insurance company on the acquisition and development of hundreds of sites in multiple states
- Representation of City of Cleveland in the sale of the Cleveland Convention Center to Cuyahoga County, including the negotiation of related agreements to address reciprocal easements, joint operation of the Convention Center and Public Auditorium, pedestrian access to the Cleveland Browns Stadium and the turnover of the Malls back to City control. [During KJK’s representation of the City it was actively involved in making presentations regarding the transactions to Cleveland City Council, reviewing legislation and working with surveyors on new legal descriptions that would enable the transfer of convention facilities located underneath a dedicated public street and the transfer back to the City of the public parks that sit atop the convention center’s roof.]
- Representation of real estate investor in the simultaneous acquisition of more than 8 properties located in 2 states, including negotiation of CMBS mortgage financing, coordination with local and DE counsels and preparation of special Ohio and nonconsolidation opinion letters.
- Handled all aspects of the development of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, including State, County and Federal legislation, County and Port Authority Bond financing, ground leasing and submerged land leasing, Corps of Engineers and FAA permitting, and architects and construction contracts.
The Real Estate Practice Group recently launched the Ohio Real Estate Blog, where they regularly blog on Ohio real estate issues. The blog is located at
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Pay your Taxes before your Lender Redeems your Property
Stephen D. Richman, September 10, 2014
A mortgage holder has the right to redeem (take back) real property that is the subject of a real estate tax foreclosure when the owner does not pay taxes on the land, according to the recent decision of the Ohio Supreme Court in In re Foreclosure of Liens for Delinquent Land Taxes v. Parcels of...
Due Diligence Review: A Critical Step When Buying Real Property
, July 29, 2014
It astonishes me how many buyers will buy real property without conducting a thorough review of the property before closing. Most buyers will ensure a title search is ordered and buy title insurance. If a recent survey or phase I environmental review has been conducted, the buyer will typically ask...
Owning Real Property as Tenants in Common
, July 16, 2014
Owners of commercial property have increasing found benefit in owning their separate interests in the property as “tenants in common.” Typically, if two or more parties wanted to jointly own a commercial property, the typical approach would be to form a limited liability company (LLC)...
Warehouse Mortgage Lending: Pros and Cons
, June 05, 2014
When the average person hears the term “warehouse mortgage lending,” he or she is likely to think it is a mortgage loan on a warehouse building. Warehouse mortgage lending actually refers to a specialized line of credit that certain larger banks and institutional lenders provide to...
Positioning Commercial Property for Sale or Refinancing
Connie S. Carr, May 06, 2014
While networking at various events, I meet a lot of real estate agents. Every one of them tells me that home inventory is low and homes are flying off the market. Some have also told me that the home is often sold before an open house can be scheduled. That is good news for Northern Ohio homeowners.
Closing Protection Coverage-A Somewhat Distasteful but Advised Insurance Product
Connie S. Carr,Stephen D. Richman, April 30, 2014
I sometimes wonder, how much wealthier I would be if I never paid for title insurance, homeowner’s insurance, commercial property insurance... In the last 25 years or so, my house has never gone up in flames, no neighbor ever came by and said they own half my property, and when I owned rental...
CMBS Litigation: The Guarantor Actually Wins One
, April 22, 2014
On April 7, 2014, the US District Court in the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of the Guarantor in CP III Rincon Towers, Inc. (Plaintiff) v. Richard Cohen (Defendant) (No. 10 Civ. 4638 (DAB). The substance of the court action revolved around a CMBS mortgage loan on...
How the Right App Can Save the Day
, April 08, 2014
This post is a little off topic for our blog but I wanted to share how one of the apps that I wrote about in January saved the day in a transaction closing. Recently, I attended a closing for a combined asset/commercial real estate transaction. In all acquisitions, whether a business or commercial...
Don’t Let Your Contract Disappear (Merge) Into Your Deed
, April 01, 2014
Other than the real estate purchase and sale agreement, the deed is the most important and often misunderstood document utilized in a real estate transaction. Like a certificate of title for an automobile, the deed is the document that actually transfers the title of real estate from one to...
Land Installment Contracts: An Overview
, March 24, 2014
A land installment contract (also known as a land contract, a contract for deed or an installment sale agreement) is a contract between a seller and a buyer regarding real property in which the seller provides financing to the buyer at an agreed-upon price and other terms, and the buyer makes...
Watch Your Language with Assignments of Commercial Leases
, March 06, 2014
As I have mentioned in other “Watch Your Language” articles for our Blog, as a general rule, courts will uphold language in a commercial lease (and ancillary lease documents such as assignments and amendments), unless it is contrary to statutory law or public policy. Because of this...
CMBS "Bad Boy" Clauses: More Fallout From Court Decisions
, February 26, 2014
As we have addressed in prior blog posts about “bad boy” clauses in a CMBS loan, if any of these provisions are violated, the nonrecourse nature of the loan will be partially or completed negated depending on which provision is violated.
The Commercial Leasing Process-A Primer
, February 06, 2014
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant (or represent either), the best way to help ensure success in a commercial leasing transaction is to look at the lease as a process not just a legal document. The following summarizes the basic steps in the process with a few helpful tidbits along the way.
Structuring a Lease with Purchase Option for Single Family Homes
, January 30, 2014
In today’s economy with tighter lending standards, real estate investors with a growing inventory of single family homes are becoming more creative to move the homes into the hands of buyers. Some investors are turning to leases with a purchase option that gives the tenant the ability to...
Useful Mobile Apps for Residential Real Estate
, January 15, 2014
A couple weeks ago I wrote about some mobile apps for Apple and Android devices that might be useful for commercial real estate. Today I want to cover some mobile apps that might be useful for residential real estate buyers, renters or investors.
Useful Apps for Commercial Real Estate Practitioners
, January 03, 2014
It’s been awhile since my last post on real estate apps for your smart phones and tablets. My last post focused more on residential real estate. This time, my focus will be on commercial real estate. In a couple of weeks I’ll revisit the residential real estate apps.
New ‘Know Before You Owe’ Mortgage Application/Closing Forms Rolled Out
Stephen D. Richman, November 27, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued the “TILA-RESPA Final Rule”, earlier this week which basically requires lenders to provide easier to use and understand mortgage loan forms for homebuyers (when they apply for loans, and at closing). The rule also...
Fixtures vs Trade Fixtures: The Battle Never Ends
Connie S. Carr, November 19, 2013
In the context of commercial leasing, what fixtures get removed when a tenant vacates the premises, and what fixtures become part of and remains in the building, can be a contentious issue. For example, a tenant may install certain pieces of machinery and equipment that are bolted in place when...
Condominium Sales by Developers: Regulatory Relief May Be Coming
, November 06, 2013
On September 26, 2013 the US House of Representatives unanimously pass H.R. 2600, a bill drafted to amend the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 USC 1701 et seq.)(the “Act”) to clarify how the act applies to condominiums. The bill is now pending before the US Senate and was...