We have counseled on some of the most remarkable and challenging real estate deals for longtime clients such as Westbrook Partners, Walton Street Capital, DWS/RREEF, DigitalBridge, Monarch Alternative Capital and Fortress Investment Group.
We have advised our real estate clients through many market cycles and can help navigate market challenges and seize opportunities.
Our practice has a strong focus on sophisticated real estate private equity transactions and covers everything from asset acquisitions/dispositions, joint ventures and financings, to developments and commercial leasing.
During previous down cycles, we represented clients in connection with distressed debt investments, workouts, restructurings and 363 sales, working closely with our top-rated Restructuring team.
Our teams in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, New York, London, Milan, Düsseldorf and Tokyo combine worldwide coverage with on-the-ground experience and local market knowledge. As one client told Chambers USA 2022, "They are real-world problem solvers, not theoreticians."
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the real estate landscape. With the closing of forbearance periods, distressed investment opportunities will likely soon be on the horizon, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors. Though there are still many unknowns, we have experience representing real estate investors, institutions and lenders on the acquisition and disposition of distressed debt and assets, in restructurings, and in the servicing, management and financing of nonperforming loans, sub-performing loans and REO properties.
Leading international investment funds, fund sponsors, advisors, developers, public and private pension funds, REITs and institutional lenders rely on us to help implement global investment strategies. We advised a Tokyo-based firm on its inaugural office investment in Manhattan, a European alternative asset manager on the acquisition of real estate assets owned by distressed companies in Italy and a leading asset manager on a multi-billion cross-border merger between two retail chains in Germany.
We counsel on complex portfolio transactions, including the $1.7 billion sale of 21 U.S. assets to Blackstone Group, which included office, retail, multifamily and industrial properties and the $454 million acquisition and related financing of a 47-charter school portfolio located across 20 U.S. jurisdictions.
We have deep knowledge of the hospitality sector and have closed numerous equity and debt transactions involving landmark hotels, such as the acquisition, financing, renovation, conversion and sale of the St. Regis Princeville Resort and Makai Golf Club in Kauai and multiple financings and refinancings of the Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C., and the Ritz-Carlton Central Park. We also represented European budget-hotel chain Meininger Hotels on the opening of three new hotels in France. We handle the hospitality platform for one of the leading international private equity funds and have experience with all major luxury hotel brands.
We have experience with complex, multi-use development transactions involving the structuring of projects with separate parcels, each with distinct use, equity capitalization and financing. We represented Westbrook Partners on two $1+ billion mixed-use redevelopment projects at 706 Mission in San Francisco and St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan. We also advised on the major redevelopment of The Culver Studios, which has transformed to become home to Amazon.
Reflecting our focus on serving the technology sector, we advise on all aspects of tech company-focused real estate transactions, from the acquisition, financing and development of company real estate assets to leasing of commercial properties in tech driven markets. We also assist clients with ground-lease transactions for new developments and existing buildings, build-to-suit leases, sale-leasebacks and creative tenant-equity leases. We advised on the $600 million sale leaseback of social game developer Zynga’s HQ and Clutter’s $152 million financing for the acquisition of The Storage Fox real estate portfolio.
ALECTA – $1.7 billion sale of 21 assets to Blackstone Group. The portfolio includes about three million square feet of office, retail, multifamily and industrial properties, primarily in California.
WESTBROOK PARTNERS – $1+ billion mixed-use redevelopment of St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan, which has included the $220 million financing of the buyout of Fortress Investment Group for a majority stake in the property, a $500 million refinancing, the $700 million sale of the south unit to Oxford Properties, where Google plans to lease a 1.3 million square-foot office campus, and the proposed development of the remaining north unit.
GERSON BAKER & ASSOCIATES – $800+ million sale of Levi’s Plaza to Jamestown. Home to Levi Strauss’s worldwide headquarters, the Plaza is an office and retail complex that spans nine buildings along the Embarcadero waterfront. This is the largest office sale in San Francisco in recent years.
ROSEMAWR MANAGEMENT – $454 million acquisition and related financing of a portfolio of 47 charter schools across 20 jurisdictions from Educational Capital Solutions, an affiliate of EPR Properties.
CREDIT SUISSE – As senior and mezz lender to an entity that owns and leases 85 properties operated by Shopko, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019. The restructuring involved the foreclosure on the mezzanine loans, the restructuring of the underlying leases in the bankruptcy case and the ultimate disposition of the retail assets.
BARINGS AND LACERA – $224 million sale of the St. Regis Princeville Resort and Makai Golf Club. We previously advised on the acquisition and related financing of this luxury resort and the renovation and conversion of the Resort to a St. Regis branded hotel, along with the renovation of the Makai Golf Club.
LEADING FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY – As mortgage lender in the restructuring of more than $250 million in capital on a shopping mall in New Jersey.
MACFARLANE PARTNERS – Recapitalization and sale of two multifamily development projects in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, with a combined value of $600+ million. The restructuring included modifications of the financing encumbering each of the projects, including an EB-5 mezzanine loan for the Los Angeles project. We previously advised on the acquisition, financing and joint ventures for both projects.
FORTRESS INVESTMENT GROUP – Acquisitions, joint ventures and financings in a variety of asset classes, including office, retail, residential, health care and hospitality properties located throughout Japan, totaling approximately $1.5 billion in the past five years.
HACKMAN CAPITAL PARTNERS – $589 million construction financing for the redevelopment of The Culver Studios, which is undergoing major renovations. The transformed studios will be home to Amazon. We previously advised on the acquisition of the studios, the upsizing of the acquisition loan and the refinancing of a large construction loan.
WALTON STREET – Mezzanine financing of a portfolio of four office buildings in California and Colorado. The mezzanine loan was made in conjunction with a $110 million mortgage loan secured by a first lien pledge of the equity/membership in the mortgage borrowers. We also represented the mezzanine lender in negotiating an intercreditor agreement with the mortgage lender.
RREEF AMERICA REIT II – $550 million senior unsecured revolving credit and term loan agreement with Wells Fargo, as the administrative agent. The loan will be used to enable the REIT to leverage its investments.
CASTELLO SGR – On behalf of the Alpha Square fund on the acquisition of the Borgonovo Entertainment Center, a multifunctional center in Perugia, Italy, previously owned by the Monteverdi Fund, managed by Prelios SGR.
WESTBROOK PARTNERS – $671 million investment in the redevelopment of the Belnord, a landmarked residential building in Manhattan. The transaction involved a complex conversion of a mezzanine loan and junior mortgage participation interest into a controlling preferred equity position for Westbrook. The ownership is transforming the building into luxury condominiums.
They are real-world problem solvers, not theoreticians.Chambers USA, 2022
Business minded attorneys that truly understand the ramifications of legal item's impact on the continued execution of loans, acquisitions, and dispositions.Legal 500 US, 2022
They provide a high-quality service, demonstrate consummate professionalism and are transactional experts.Chambers USA, 2021
They have a deep bench in terms of coverage and their client interaction was thoughtful, comprehensive, and most importantly, immediate.Legal 500 US, 2021
They're extremely client-focused and the team’s real strength is its ability to address and effectively resolve any matter.Chambers USA, 2020
Highly innovative and sophisticated advice.Legal 500 Europe, 2020
Deep team with plenty of resources and horsepower and a good combination of experience and energyChambers USA, 2019