We Understand Your Business
The real estate industry — perhaps more so than any other major industry — is inevitably tied to the highs and lows of the global economy. As the industry survives and thrives through the inevitable cycles, it is impacted by direct and indirect trends and issues. For example:
- Despite record low interest rates, tough underwriting practices and lingering unemployment concerns have led to continued weak home sales, thereby benefitting the rental market. While this leads to a rise in rents in some markets, it aids residential REITS and other multifamily owners due to occupancy rates, and potentially also steers a large portion of construction opportunities. As a result, the apartment sector is seeing a great deal of interest from investors and developers.
- Distressed acquisitions have provided much of the opportunity for investors, particularly in the office sector. Although the deal activity compared to prior years may be tapering off as the distressed pipeline clears, this remains an area ripe for transactions.
- With national vacancy rates continuing to edge downward over the past two years, the retail leasing market sees less dependence on rent reductions in favor of options like build-out provisions or improvement allowances, particularly for established national retailers.
- REITs remain a bright spot, with relatively high available capital due to continued investor interest in dividend opportunities and generally well-received offerings over the past year. Bolstered by both good capital reserves and low interest rates, REITs are active players in virtually every sector of the industry, particularly in residential and marquee office properties in 24-hour markets.
Is your company positioned to succeed?
We Can Help
Holland & Knight lawyers have served the legal needs of the real estate industry for more than 100 years. With more than 280 real estate professionals throughout the firm, we utilize a team approach that includes lawyers across the United States who work in collaboration to address all of the legal needs of clients engaged in the development, construction and operation of real estate projects around the globe. Our services include:
- Construction: Growth in various segments of the real estate industry continues to fuel construction, and we can provide you with comprehensive advice on legal issues surrounding the building, development, managing and financing of projects around the world.
- Corporate Services: Our team has extensive experience providing business advice to members of the real estate industry on a wide range of issues, including contracts, mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance and governance, tax credit transactions, and U.S. and foreign taxation.
- Environment: Environmental concerns are present in virtually every real estate project around the world. Our team can help you address the environmental issues that accompany the development and operation of your projects worldwide.
- Financial Services: Financial capital is a necessity for participants in the real estate industry and our team can help you secure the funding necessary to support your operations. We have extensive experience with the documentation, due diligence and closing of all forms of financing, including commercial lending, project finance, public finance, structured finance, private equity and venture capital.
- Government Contracts: Federal, state and local governments account for a sizeable percentage of business within the real estate industry. We can assist you in navigating the legal, regulatory and legislative issues associated with government-related real estate.
- Insurance: The construction and operation of real estate projects create the potential for a wide range of liability risks and insuring obligations. We can help you anticipate those risks and protect your interests through effective insurance planning, coordination with your risk manager and appropriate documentation of insurance and indemnification contracts.
- International: As real estate projects continue to develop throughout the world, so too does the need for coordinated global legal counsel. Our team can assist you with all of your transactional, real estate, tax and dispute resolutions needs across the globe.
- Labor, Employment and Benefits: Human capital is likely one of your company's greatest assets and protecting the interests of both your company and your employees is critical. Our team can guide you through common employment issues such as policies, training and benefits and can defend your interests against claims brought by employees.
- Land Use and Zoning: Land use issues are a key concern for most companies engaged in real estate. Our team can help you with all of your land use needs, including obtaining land use and real estate development approvals, drafting zoning relief ordinances, and negotiating agreements for improvements needed for development projects and public/private partnerships.
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Disputes are a common occurrence in today's business world and the real estate industry is no exception. We will aggressively defend your interests in any type of dispute so you can remain focused on your core business objectives.
- Public Policy & Regulation: The real estate industry is subject to a vast array of regulations at state and federal levels in the United States and by various levels of government in foreign countries. Members of our team have extensive experience in state and federal policymaking and regulatory matters and can help you safely navigate the rules. In addition, we can also help you advance your interests through effective government relations and the drafting of legislation and negotiation of tax and development-related incentive agreements with governmental bodies and administrative agencies.
- Real Estate: Most companies engaged in the real estate industry require significant real property holdings of their own to conduct business. We can assist with the management of your property values and costs, sites and facilities, subletting, leasing and myriad other real estate acquisition and disposition issues.
Guidance You Can Trust
Members of our team are participants in and leaders of numerous industry trade associations, such as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). These industry connections, coupled with our thorough knowledge, extensive experience and commitment to provide responsive service, is why clients entrust our Real Estate Team to handle their legal needs. These attributes are also the reason why members of our team have been recognized among the top legal professionals in the country by leading publications, including Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States and The Best Lawyers in America®.