Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Multifamily & Affordable Housing Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland’s long history in the multifamily and affordable housing industries allows us to identify opportunities and minimize challenges for clients.

For more than half of a century, Sutherland has advised clients in the development, financing, acquisition and disposition of multifamily projects throughout the country. This experience stretches across all asset classes in both fair market and affordable housing sectors. From institutional lenders and investors to local developers, Sutherland provides clients with specialized expertise coupled with the practical experience of having worked on all facets of the industry.

Multifamily and low-income housing projects can present exceptionally complicated legal, tax and regulatory issues. Sutherland attorneys have the depth and relationships in these fields to help our clients navigate the issues and achieve their ultimate goals. In addition, our years of experience and extensive business network and client list allow us to connect our clients to others who can provide the necessary resources, capital or advice to complete a project or create new opportunities.

Our real estate attorneys structure complicated joint venture partnerships and handle sophisticated debt/equity stacks. They understand how multifamily housing fits into urban markets and within mixed-use developments. However, our most important service to clients is the ability to spot and rectify possible issues before they become problems. This ability, together with Sutherland’s construction, litigation and tax experience, serves all of our client’s needs. Clients include banks, institutional investors, pension and private equity funds, local and regional developers, management companies, and state and federal tax credit syndicators. We also represent a number of non-profit institutions that obtain financing for projects primarily intended to serve low-income tenants.

Why Sutherland
Practical solutions.
We work with our clients and all other parties to get deals done in a timely manner. We strive to beat expectations, not just meet them.

Cost-effective approach. We are sensitive to clients’ need to monitor their legal expenses. We do not overstaff transactions.

Diverse client base. We represent all segments of the industry, including investors, developers and lenders, which allows us to connect clients—benefiting both parties.

Personal service, firm-wide resources. We assign a partner to each transaction, so that clients always know who to call with questions and concerns. But we also have the strength of more than 400 attorneys when our clients need more assistance.

Regulatory and agency experience. Our attorneys have extensive experience with state and federal government-sponsored programs with respect to affordable housing.

Hands-on experience. We work with clients on many mixed use and urban real estate projects and understand how each component can create benefits and burdens for our clients.

Thought leaders. Our real estate lawyers are active members of key legal and professional associations, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, NAIOP, ICSC, ULI, PREA and national, state and local bar association sections and committees.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Joint ventures holding real estate
    • Sutherland represents institutional clients with real estate investments through joint venture structures, both through joint ventures designed to facilitate co-investment in specified assets and through programmatic joint ventures organized to acquire and/or develop particular asset classes in specified markets. We represent institutional investors with programmatic joint ventures to construct or acquire core and value added multifamily properties. These transactions often involve complex arrangements and careful structuring to address special investor concerns, including recognition of UBTI by otherwise tax-exempt organizations, structuring transactions to comply with ERISA, particularly the “prohibited transaction” rules and the “plan asset” rules, and assuring foreign investors of their ability to receive the benefit of favorable tax treatment under applicable tax treaties.
  • Low income housing tax credit and affordable housing investments
    • We guide clients through complex investments in vehicles that generate low income tax credits. We review the equity placement documentation and advise clients with periodic capital calls and potential recapture risks associated with termination events.

Take Action
When clients need advice about the specialized issues involved with multifamily and affordable housing projects, Sutherland attorneys have the knowledge and skills to guide them to the best results.

Selected Experience
Sutherland assists employee pension fund to develop a programmatic joint venture.
Sutherland represented a large public employee pension fund in a programmatic joint venture to acquire and develop multifamily properties.

Sutherland advises UBS Realty Investors in acquisitions, joint ventures and financings of luxury multifamily projects throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
UBS Realty, LLC, advised entities in acquisitions, financings, sales and joint ventures. Sutherland represented UBS purchasers of property that in the aggregate exceeded $1 billion and included projects for retail, office, industrial and several different housing configurations.

Sutherland represents Worthing Southeast in multifamily projects.
Sutherland represented Worthing Southeast in the acquisition, development and financing of more than 50 luxury multifamily projects in the United States.