Christopher E. Cummings

Christopher Cummings

Overview

Chris Cummings has been successfully helping clients navigate complex commercial real estate transactions for more than 25 years. The immediate past chair of Stradley Ronon’s real estate practice group, Chris represents clients with acquisitions, dispositions, sale/leasebacks, 1031 like-kind exchanges, commercial leasing and mortgaged-based financing, and also advises clients on construction and development projects. He regularly appears before local governmental agencies in connection with zoning, land development and tax assessment appeals and provides advice on the formation of investment partnerships and other closely held companies. Chris’ clients include commercial and multifamily property owners, developers, contractors, private equity companies, individual investors, and many nonprofit and institutional property owners.

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Results

Representative Matters

Chris has represented: 

  • a manufacturing company in connection with the acquisition of 148 acres of land in Sioux City, Iowa, and subsequent construction of a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which included $18 million of financing, and a state and municipal incentives package worth more than $15 million 
  • a multifamily housing operator in connection with the acquisition of a 60-unit apartment complex; the acquisition was structured as a note purchase from the bank that held the mortgage on the property, and then an agreement with the property owner for a deed in lieu of foreclosure 
  • a state-approved, nonprofit private school in the acquisition of a three-acre site and subsequent development of a 57,000-square-foot state-of-the-art school, which included obtaining zoning approval for the new site, the financing and construction of the new school, and the disposition of their existing school buildings 
  • a religious organization in connection with their joint venture with a for-profit real estate developer to reposition a 40-acre seminary property owned by the religious organization as a mixed-use campus that includes housing several private academies 
  • a for-profit health care organization before the City Planning Commission and City Council in connection with obtaining re-zoning of a 12-acre site for use as a hospital campus, which included obtaining master plan approval to expand the hospital campus with an additional 10 acres of land and permit the construction of additions to the existing hospital and medical office building, and the construction of a new office and health care facility, as well as surface and structured parking 
  • a charter school in connection with the acquisition of a former retail center and the redevelopment of that property with the construction of a new 90,000-square-foot elementary school with a capacity of over 500 students, that included obtaining zoning variances and other municipal approvals, acquisition and construction financing, formation of a nonprofit supporting organization, and a public bidding process to select and award construction contracts 
  • a private developer with the redevelopment of a former Sears department store into a new retail center anchored by national retailers, including Advance Auto Parts, Family Dollar Discount Store, 
    Save-a-Lot Supermarket, Starbucks and T-Mobile  
  • a retail auto dealer in connection with the acquisition of an auto dealership and subsequent acquisition of the real estate on which the client operates its dealership; the $12.5 million deal included the formation of the purchaser, financing from Ally Bank, modifications to existing leases and subleases, and a buy-out of a third party’s purchase option on the property 
  • a university before the City Planning Commission and City Council in obtaining zoning approvals to permit the construction of a parking garage and retail stores ancillary to the university, and separately, to permit the construction of a 415-bed student residence facility 
  • a nonprofit health system in the acquisition and development of a 60-acre site, which included obtaining zoning, subdivision and land development approvals for a master planned, age-restricted mixed-use community of nearly 300 townhouse and mid-rise residential condominium units, approximately 500 residential mid-rise apartment units, a 40,000-square-foot medical office building, a 20,000-square-foot community center; structuring a joint venture between the client and a for-profit development company, including the formation of jointly owned development and property holding companies, and the creation of a master planned community association and condominium sub-associations 
  • a commercial office developer in connection with the acquisition of a 200-acre site, including representation pertaining to the purchase and construction financing, and then obtaining master plan, conditional use (zoning) and land development approval for the development of a 1,750,000-square-foot Class A office complex on the property 
  • a commercial office developer and operator in connection with leasing their entire office portfolio to various national office tenants

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Credentials

Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Education
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • B.A., La Salle University
Memberships

  • Board of Directors, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry
  • Board of Directors, Chester County Commercial Industrial Development Council
  • Board of Directors, Children's Choice

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Effective Nonprofit Collaborations,” Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
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In The Community

Chris serves on the board of directors of Children‘s Choice, one of the largest nonprofit providers of specialized foster and adoptive home placement services in the mid-Atlantic region. He is also on the board of directors for the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry, as well as the Chester County Commercial Industrial Development Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes commercial and industrial development in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Prior to his legal career, Chris served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy for five years, serving in the U.S. and abroad, where he specialized in performing diving and underwater salvage operations. Among his achievements, Chris supervised and participated in diving operations during a three-month mission to recover remnants of the space shuttle Challenger following its explosion in 1986.
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