Benesch’s Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group includes more than 40 real estate professionals and is a recognized leader in the Midwest and throughout the country. The firm was recognized by Chambers & Partners in Chambers USA 2023 for this practice area.
We represent buyers, sellers, developers, business owners, landlords, tenants, lenders and borrowers in a full range of services, from organizing and structuring the largest, most complex transactions throughout the country and around the globe to advising clients on their daily portfolio management issues and environmental compliance, regulatory and liability issues.
In short, when our clients are involved in their most complex joint venture, acquisition/disposition, financing and development projects, they regularly engage Benesch to represent them on such matters due to our market knowledge and our reputation as dealmakers. One aspect of our practice that we think sets us apart from our peers in the real estate industry is that we are frequently engaged very early in the planning process by our clients because we participate in the structuring of the deal and in the formation of the capital stack, by making strategic introductions between developer clients and debt and equity sources
Benesch has significant experience in providing counsel on property acquisitions and dispositions, as well as the acquisition of distressed debt and assets. Further, we counsel clients in all aspects of complex real estate transactions, including diligence, structure, negotiation and documentation. We have completed hundreds of purchase, sale, and joint venture transactions. We understand the importance of moving a deal forward. Each transaction has a pace to it that must be maintained to preserve the momentum of the deal and get it to closing.
Benesch partners with clients to simplify state and local zoning and land use regulations and successfully advocate clients' projects with state and local governments and local communities. Our goal is to have our clients' construction projects entitled, permitted, financed and constructed in a manner that is timely and cost effective.
Five of our partners are members of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (“ACREL”), which is a group whose purpose is to gather together lawyers distinguished for their skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law. Membership in ACREL is by invitation only. We are ranked by the 2022 edition U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings as a first-tier practice in Real Estate Law. Fourteen Benesch attorneys were named 2022 Best Lawyers® in the area of Real Estate Law. Our real estate practice group was recognized by Chambers USA 2023, and four of our partners were named Leading Lawyers. Many attorneys in Benesch's Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group are members in the Urban Land Insitute ("ULI") and the International Council of Shopping Centers ("ICSC") and regularly speak at industry conferences.
As noted above, our real estate practice is truly national in scope. While clients benefit from the lower rate structure that comes from working with a Midwest-based firm, our experience has no geographic limits in the U.S. Another benefit of the geographic scope of our practice is that we have a very strong network of local counsel who we are able to call upon when needed.
Real Estate Transactions
Benesch’s Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group works directly with owners, investors, lenders and other clients, to navigate the benefits and complexities of sale-leaseback transactions. Sale-leasebacks are often used when owners of real estate property need to raise capital in circumstances when conventional financing may not be available or appropriate. In today’s current tightening credit market, sale-leaseback transactions have re-emerged as an attractive vehicle for owners and investors of real estate to tap a readily available source of capital. Sale-leaseback transactions have become increasingly popular over the last two decades, but have experienced an accelerated growth over the past few years. Given the current economic climate, many companies are exploring the possibility of monetizing the increased value of their real estate holdings and the historically low interest rates, which allows the company to enhance liquidity, invest the proceeds back into their core business, finance acquisitions or growth strategy, or invest in other ventures. Our representative sale-leaseback experience includes:
Representation of the owner in an approximately $75 million refinancing of two Northeast Ohio area private-pay independent and assisted-living senior housing facilities.
Representation of a national banking lender in a $45 million syndicated bridge loan into a master-lease structure to facilitate compliance with Sharia law, for the acquisition of a multifamily apartment building.
Representation of the owner in the refinancing of a hotel in northeast Ohio, with a $16 million CMBS loan.
Representation of a national banking lender in a more than $17.5 million construction loan for the development of a strip-style shopping center with multiple outparcels located in Kentucky, including financing for the build-out of the national grocery store anchor tenant.
Represented a consortium of multibillion dollar multinational investor funds in the real estate matters related to a REIT’s contribution of a portfolio of over 40 NNN properties into a joint venture between the investors and the REIT to serve as the seed properties for an approximately $1.2 billion NNN property platform.