OF NOTE
In a practice that covers all aspects of real estate law, Stradley Ronon lawyers represent sellers, buyers, developers, lenders, architects, contractors, tenants and landlords.



Stradley Ronon's Real Estate Practice Group was named as one of the top firms in Pennsylvania for Real Estate in the 2013, 2012 and 2011 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers noted, "[Stradley Ronon's] real estate team represents numerous regional clients including REITs, private companies and public institutions in sale, acquisition and leasing transactions. It also has an active land use and zoning practice, and recently acted for a northeast Philadelphia hospital on its planned expansion," "A team of highly skilled attorneys with an enviable local client base."


 
 
Real Estate
 
 

Real Estate Financing
Land Use and Zoning
Condominiums and Planned Communities
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

In a practice that covers all aspects of real estate law, Stradley Ronon lawyers represent sellers, buyers, developers, lenders, architects, contractors, tenants and landlords.

Many of our projects are in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, where we are well known both by the real estate community and by local government agencies. We are also often retained to represent nationwide developers, property owners, purchasers and tenants in other states.

Real Estate Transactions
Our attorneys are experienced in handling and negotiating financings, leasings, acquisitions, exchanges and dispositions. Our Real Estate Practice Group counsels clients on a variety of issues, both legal and practical, including choice of entity, financing structures and negotiating strategies.

Some of our group’s more recent real estate transactions include:

  • representing outdoor advertising companies in the sale of their assets to Fortune 500 companies

  • structuring, negotiating and consummating the purchase of a 190-acre parcel of ground including construction and financing agreements for the development of a 1 million square-foot office complex

  • representing the purchaser in a $10 million acquisition of a 120,000 square-foot manufacturing facility

  • developing a commercial lease form for a new office complex, and drafting and negotiating all of the office leases with major corporate tenants

  • drafting and negotiating numerous commercial retail leases for two major banks and a restaurant chain

  • representing the purchaser in the acquisition of a 640,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, including the placement of conventional and tax-exempt financing, in the aggregate amount of $50 million

  • representing the remaining and withdrawing partners in a number of general and limited real estate partnerships

  • representing a mutual fund institution in a lease of more than 1 million square feet of commercial office space

  • negotiating 65 warehouse facility leases having an aggregate of approximately 4 million square feet, for a national operating company

  • assisting developers, lenders and limited partners with forming and operating affordable-housing limited partnerships for projects providing low-income housing tax credits and historic rehabilitation tax credits to investors

  • effecting tax-deferred exchanges of real estate under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, resulting in sales of apartment complexes in the aggregate amount of $25 million and the reinvestment of those monies, along with the proceeds from new loans amounting to $30 million in the acquisition of other apartment complexes located in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States

Land Use and Zoning
Members of our Real Estate Practice Group frequently appear before governmental agencies to obtain zoning, land development and subdivision approvals. We work fluidly with clients and other professionals on the development team to bring projects to a swift and successful conclusion.

Samplings of recent development projects include representing:

  • a commercial office developer in obtaining master plan, conditional use (zoning), and land development approval for the development of a 1,750,000-square-foot Class A office complex

  • a residential developer in the acquisition and development of a 261-lot residential community, including obtaining all municipal land development approvals

  • a university in obtaining multiple zoning variances and municipal approvals for the construction of a 140-unit student residential facility, with surface parking

  • a property owner to obtain conditional use (zoning) and land development approvals for the development of a 185-acre cemetery, together with an office/administration building, equipment facilities, and an extensive sewer  and internal roadway network

  • a property owner in connection with the acquisition of a 30-acre environmentally sensitive site, and subsequently obtained conditional use (zoning) approval for the development of a 1,800-seat church, K-8 elementary school with gym, a rectory and related facilities

  • a joint venture in connection with obtaining all zoning, subdivision and land development approvals for an 84-unit townhouse development

  • a nonprofit institution in connection with the acquisition and development of a 60-acre site, including obtaining all zoning, subdivision and land development approvals for a planned mixed-use community, including 1,000 rental units, 40,000 square feet of medical office space, and a 20,000-square-foot community center

  • the developer in obtaining amendments to a master plan, conditional use (zoning) and land development approvals, for a mixed-use “lifestyle” community, including 50 townhouses, 18,000 square feet of class A office space, and 19 retail stores, with structured and surface parking for more than 900 cars, in an urban revitalization/brownfield redevelopment setting

  • the owner of a retail site seeking master-plan zoning approval for the development of a 76,000-square-foot retail center, with structured parking for 400 cars

  • a residential developer of a 175-unit age-restricted residential community on a 200-acre site in a brownfield redevelopment setting

Real Estate Financing
We represent lenders, borrowers and investors during every phase of the financing process, from debt and equity structuring, through due diligence and documentation to closing and implementation. Our clients include national, regional and community banks, life insurance companies, equity funds and other investment vehicles, as well as national, regional and local developers and entrepreneurs.

For lenders, we structure, negotiate and document a variety of real-estate-based loans, including those intended to finance initial acquisition of property and to provide funding for the construction and development of realty as well as bridge, long-term or permanent financing, leasehold financing, participations, senior-junior (A-B note) structures and mezzanine financing. 

In recent transactions, we have represented:

  • a well-known Philadelphia public company in connection with a $110 million credit facility for the construction and relocation of its manufacturing facilities, including complex intercreditor issues

  • lenders in the closing of loans to industrial and commercial users aggregating in excess of $800 million

  • lenders and borrowers in placing and refinancing tax-exempt financing – including a nonprofit university and health care entity – in the approximate aggregate amount of $1 billion

  • a large nonprofit organization with respect to an aggregate $140 million bond issue to fund the construction and refinancing of various educational facilities

  • an affiliated group of borrowers in the refinancing of 10 apartment complexes with a commercial bank and insurance company lenders having a loan value in excess of $100 million

  • a major health care facility’s expansion in placement of construction and permanent financing of $5.5 million

  • owners in connection with the construction, securing and set up of financing for multi-family apartments having an approximate loan value of $10 million

  • a local industrial development authority in connection with a multi-million dollar loan for the rehabilitation of a large Philadelphia office building

  • a borrower in connection with the $20 million refinancing of a commercial office property

  • a local industrial development authority in connection with a $10 million loan for the development of a Philadelphia hotel

  • a national developer in several rounds of real estate acquisition, development and construction financing totaling more than $140 million

  • a group of investors in structuring and negotiating a $28 million loan for the purchase of two 300-unit hotels

Condominiums and Planned Communities
Our Real Estate Practice Group has represented many developers in the creation of condominiums and planned communities. We have experience with creating new mixed-use, multi-tier communities, as well with the conversion of existing residential and industrial buildings to condominiums. We also represent and advise condominium, homeowner and community associations with their governance issues.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Stradley Ronon’s attorneys regularly handle the complex and sophisticated transactions faced by Real Estate Investment Trusts. Our attorneys apply a multi-discipline approach in real estate acquisitions and dispositions, the transfer of interests in REITs, whether through an UpREIT or DownREIT structure, tax planning, or the issuance of publicly or privately held securities. Based on our knowledge of the REIT structure, our attorneys are able to offer advice and assistance in a number of areas, including:

  • structuring mergers and acquisitions

  • assistance on day-to-day operational matters, such as negotiating commercial leases, property management and brokerage agreements

  • securities offerings and compliance

  • debt financings

  • divestiture representation

  • federal tax, regulatory and environmental compliance matters

Stradley Ronon attorneys are adept at structuring real estate transactions to maximize tax advantages and regularly counsel clients on the use of securities as a form of currency in the acquisition of assets. In our lending practice, we assist our clients in documenting their REIT, while also ensuring that the lenders' interests are protected. We are experienced in the use of common, preferred and convertible securities to structure acquisitions and frequently advise our clients on the sophisticated tax-planning strategies that are available in transactions involving REITs. We provide advice in connection with raising capital via public and private offerings, along with ongoing counseling of public companies regarding SEC disclosure obligations and corporate governance matters. In light of the gains normally deferred by our clients transferring assets to REITs, we assist our clients in obtaining tax protection agreements.

Some of the group's recent REIT experience includes:

  • representing a private REIT in connection with the acquisition of a 200-acre site, including obtaining master plan, conditional use (zoning), and land development approvals for the development of a 1,750,000-square-foot Class A office complex on the property

  • representing clients in a manufactured housing, hotel and other UpREIT transactions, including tax and regulatory compliance advice, along with review an negotiation of all documentation

  • representing a REIT in connection with the acquisition of several large industrial warehouse facilities

  • ongoing representation of private REITs in commercial office leasing in multi-state transactions with numerous national office tenants

  • advising various mutual funds complexes and service providers with regard to tax issues, including reporting of income, by regulated investment companies that invest in domestic and international REITs

  • advising clients on REIT-related financing transactions and M&A transactions

  • providing advice related to SEC Registration Statements

  • representing joint ventures involving REITs

  • providing advice in conjunction with solving liquidity problems; reviewing strategic alternatives; and leading management reorganization, including general corporate advice, tax, merger and acquisition and securities advice

  • drafting and negotiating commercial office leases on behalf of a major commercial office REIT for properties in Pennsylvania, California and Georgia
Contact:
Jonathan M. Grosser
Chair
215.564.8101
jgrosser@stradley.com
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Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
 
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