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Real Estate

Pedersen provides real estate legal services to local and national corporate, privately held, institutional, municipal, and manufacturing clients. In every engagement, we strive to deliver cost-effective, strategic solutions that meet client objectives by identifying and maximizing opportunity.

We are experienced in the full spectrum of real estate-related issues, ranging from the acquisition, financing, disposition, and development of real property to income tax planning and structuring of transactions, and from office, retail and industrial leasing to real estate-related dispute resolution and litigation.

Our Practice

Pedersen's real estate practice is national in scope. Our work encompasses multi-site and multi-state acquisitions, sales, development, leasing, and financing. Client-focused, we take the time to understand each client's needs so that we can develop and implement effective solutions that minimize cost and maximize results.

We counsel developers on the structuring, development, leasing, financing, and sale of large mixed-use development projects. We deliver high quality, comprehensive real estate-related transactional, environmental, land use and dispute resolution services to clients that include national corporations, retailers, developers, manufacturers, investors, lenders, municipalities, and financial institutions.

Our lawyers take a practical, systematic, and responsive approach to their delivery of real estate-related services. Clients benefit from our considerable experience in:

  • Real property acquisition, disposition, and development
  • Leasing of office, retail, and industrial facilities
  • Mortgage and mezzanine financing
  • Dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and litigation
  • Zoning, land use, and regulatory approvals
  • Environmental and sustainability consultation
  • Structuring transactions using multi-tiered partnerships and other forms of entities
  • Income tax planning

We regularly represent clients in the purchase and sale of the full spectrum of commercial real properties, including office buildings, shopping centers, residential properties, industrial sites, hotels, and vacant parcels of land.

Our Chicago and nationally-based developers of commercial, retail, residential, and resort properties are represented by attorneys with an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience. We provide these clients with the relevant advice on acquisition, financing, zoning, environmental compliance, permitting, and leasing matters needed to bring their projects to completion. We handle complex mixed-use development projects which include development or redevelopment of commercial, retail, and residential improvements.  In addition, our tax lawyers help clients assess a property's tax structure, with an eye to determining its tax reduction, tax-exempt, or tax-deferred potential.

Besides handling traditional loans, we develop sophisticated debt and equity partnerships among developers, lenders, and owners. We represent borrowers and lenders in connection with:

  • Securitized financings
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Leveraged buyouts
  • Private capital fundraising

We work with investors and investment groups to form both public and private real estate syndications to handle the sale or issuance of investment units.

We work with landlords and tenants on a broad range of leasing activities. We routinely help landlords and tenants complete in-line and freestanding retail leases, and office and industrial leases. We assist our clients in evaluating space needs and the options available to them. Our Fast Track Leasing Program offers innovative solutions to clients involved in multi-unit lease transactions.

Real estate transactions can falter solely on the basis of the environmental integrity of a property. We guide clients through environmental due diligence, environmental audits, and the specific environmental issues involved in their purchase or sale of property. As needed, our attorneys provide advice concerning disclosure laws, solid and hazardous materials and waste issues, wetlands issues, clean air and water laws, above and underground storage tank issues, as well as permitting and regulatory compliance issues.

We represent developers in matters involving land use, disconnection (deannexation) proceedings, and eminent domain. Pedersen lawyers regularly appear before municipal boards and commissions to secure government approvals for client real estate projects.

When sophisticated real estate law disputes arise, our litigators work aggressively to resolve them in forums that range from village boards and commissions to federal and state courts. We litigate on behalf of developers, lenders, buyers, sellers, and municipalities engaged in sales, leasing, condemnation, annexation, disconnection, environmental, real estate brokerage, and real estate transfer tax disputes. We have achieved successful outcomes in commercial and industrial property landlord/tenant disputes, mortgage foreclosures, mechanics' liens actions, and disputes with property owners who are contesting proposed developments.

In uncertain economic times, real estate projects can have difficulties. Lawyers from our Creditors' Rights, Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice Group work with lenders, other creditors, owners, and tenants to evaluate the viability and deficiencies of distressed real estate transactions before devising creative workout and restructuring solutions. Workout plans have involved debt for equity swaps, cash flow participations, and recapitalizations with new equity, subordinated mortgage debt and mezzanine loans, as well as complex multi-party intercreditor and subordination agreements.

Our Experience

  • Completed a major transaction and refinancings involving a redevelopment of a 1,200,000 square foot downtown Chicago office building into a vertically subdivided, five-star luxury hotel and Class A office and retail space. This involved a joint venture, multiple agreements with the hotel operator, new equity, a first mortgage and junior mortgages on the hotel portion, a first mortgage on the office portion, a mezzanine loan, a façade preservation easement, historic tax credits, a buy-out of a partner, and a complex recapitalization.
  • Represented the purchaser of a 12-acre downtown Chicago mixed-use riverfront parcel in the syndication of the equity; the acquisition financing; the leasing; the condominium conversion of an existing 424-unit building; the construction, financing, construction contracts, and condominium documents for new condominium units, for a retail area, for a hotel, and for a public garage; and the acquisition and financing of a separate retail and office building.
  • Assisted the developer in the acquisition of existing properties to be demolished and redeveloped as a 400,000 square-foot retail project; negotiations with the City of Chicago relating to subdivision issues; termination of approximately 100 leases; preparation of construction documents; negotiation of construction loan documents; negotiation of leases with national retail tenants; negotiation of a takeout sales agreement; and resolution of complex income and transfer tax issues.
  • Assisted with corporate facilities matters such as new bank branch real estate acquisitions, ground leases, office leases, ATM licenses and leases, disposition of surplus properties, zoning and environmental litigation for a publicly-traded, financial institution with 1,291 full-service locations and a workforce of more than 22,000 employees.
  • Represented a publicly held, U.S. retailer with 3,800 stores in the United States and Canada. Our representation involved the negotiation and execution of easement agreements and restrictive covenants, as well as litigation disputes pertaining to commercial real estate, zoning and land use.
  • Represented a preferred developer of a national pharmacy chain in connection with store site acquisitions, many of which transactions were assemblages. Our services included negotiating purchase and sale agreements, reviewing all due diligence items, drafting reciprocal and other easement agreements, and successfully closing transactions, all in accordance with the standards, policies, and procedures of our client and the pharmacy.
  • Represented an international real estate company, with one of the largest office building portfolios in the U.S., in its negotiation of leases with tenants in its Class A office buildings in downtown Chicago.
  • Negotiated and executed office, facility and sign leases around the United States for a publicly held, international higher educational institution with more than 90 locations.
  • Represented a partnership in its acquisition, renovation and recent sale of an 850,000-square-foot office building located in downtown Chicago.
  • Represented an international and publicly held airline company involving the negotiation and execution of an office lease.
  • Represented a publicly held company that produces comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America regarding its facility siting, zoning, restrictive covenant and environmental litigation.
  • Negotiated and executed office and storage leases, construction and license agreements for an international, publicly held company that produces premium-quality digital map data.
  • Represented a worldwide manufacturer that produces steel products with $400 million in sales and a workforce of about 1,800 employees in the acquisition and disposition of various facilities, as well as office leases around the United States.
  • Negotiated and executed office leases and sub-leases on behalf of a worldwide manufacturer that produces plastic and hardware products.
  • Represented an international, publicly held gas and oil company with over 96,000 employees in an eminent domain proceeding.
  • Represented a worldwide manufacturer that produces industrial spray products with the negotiation and execution of various leases, land acquisitions, tax, and litigation.
  • Advised an international company that leases, sells and rebuilds locomotives on land acquisition, leases, tax, and litigation.
  • Represented a manufacturer that produces cylinders, valves and various custom components in land disposition, tax, and litigation.
  • Assisted with an office lease and litigation for an industrial food brokerage company.
  • Represented a manufacturer that produces dust collectors, blowing machines and specialty vacuum systems in the acquisition and disposition of land, leases, and litigation.
  • Represented the developer in a major mixed use redevelopment located in downtown Dallas, Texas, comprised of a number of components, including a farmers market, restaurants and other retail uses, athletic fields and gardens, rental apartments and a public and private parking structure. The development will be financed with private equity and debt, as well TIF financing and municipal bonds.