Real Estate

The real estate practice at Phelps Dunbar offers clients extensive, full-service counsel in virtually all real estate transactions and matters.

We routinely represent large or emerging commercial and industrial developers and other property owners; commercial, retail and industrial lessors and tenants; and banks and investment companies, in a variety of real estate transactions. By virtue of our broad experience, we focus on creative problem-solving for our clients, in a cost effective, responsive and professional manner.

Representative areas of experience include:

  • Acquisition, financing, development and sale of office, industrial, hotel, retail, commercial and agricultural properties
  • Construction lending
  • Commercial leasing
  • Collateralized financing
  • Debt restructuring
  • Zoning, land use and governmental regulation
  • Environmental regulatory counseling
  • Title insurance
  • Donations and exchange
  • Partnerships and limited liability companies

Our practice counseling large landowners involves the formation of master development plans for residential, commercial and industrial acreage. These plans address the preparation of comprehensive restrictions, Planned Unit Developments, dedications of public and other rights-of-way, conservation easements to address wetlands and other environmental issues, consistent with the requirements of the various governmental authorities with jurisdiction over the property. Our practice also frequently requires that we draft joint venture agreements to provide for the development of property with equity partners.

Our lawyers frequently advise developers in the development of commercial, retail, industrial, hotel and multi-family residential properties. Our practice involves securing the right to purchase the real estate, site plan and zoning approvals, compliance with the local governmental codes and ordinances, negotiating construction contracts and securing construction financing. We have successfully litigated several "regulatory" takings cases when the government authority has failed to approve our client's proposed project.

Many of our clients are major banks involved in the financing of major construction projects for commercial, multi-family residential and entertainment facilities. In such projects, we draft construction loan agreements, review title and other information and prepare documentation necessary to perfect the lender's security interest in the project.

We also have extensive experience with multi-family non-recourse financing. Our practice includes HUD multi-family program loans, traditional nonrecourse financing, as well as conduit loan programs.
Phelps Title Agency, a division of the firm, provides title insurance services to our clients and lenders. As an agent for both First American Title Insurance Company and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, Phelps Title Agency has extensive experience in the issuance of title policies and the analysis of various underwriting risks. We also have considerable experience in endorsements to the policy jackets to confirm that our clients are provided adequate coverage for the risks involved.

Our real estate attorneys have varied experience in representing clients in the preparation of commercial and industrial leases. We represent both landlords and tenants on both long-term and short-term leases. Our lease experience includes free standing facilities, office complexes, malls and strip shopping centers.

The structure of a transaction is important, from financing to underwriting by rating agencies to federal and state income tax consequences. Our real estate attorneys frequently counsel clients on these issues, including the preparation of partnership agreements, formation of limited liability companies and other forms of ownership.

Finally, our practice includes counseling clients on the issues of donating real property to family members, public and private foundations, charitable and educational institutions. Concerns over fractional ownership interest, partitions, unknown environmental liabilities and management are also addressed.