Residential Real Estate
- Holland & Knight's Residential Real Estate Team represents developers, managers and operators – including publicly traded and privately held homebuilders, multifamily rental companies, homebuilding suppliers, lenders, real estate investors and other industry participants – in the investment, acquisition, financing, entitlement, development, operation and sale of residential and mixed-use real property, including master-planned communities and their businesses, throughout the United States.
- Our attorneys have worked on large-scale "new town" projects, affordable housing projects, transit-oriented developments, traditional mixed-use planned communities, resort and recreation communities, active adult communities, "new urbanist" developments, infill residential developments, multifamily rental communities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), build-to-rent communities, conservation communities, formation and administration of residential real estate investment funds, Opportunity Zone developments, student housing, golf course communities and military base reuse projects, among others.
- Equally experienced both in corporate and real estate transactions as well as in government policy and regulatory processes across the country, our multidisciplinary residential real estate lawyers help clients navigate every phase and aspect of their businesses.
With broad experience spanning the complete life cycle of residential and master-planned community projects and businesses, and representing homebuilders, developers, property managers and related businesses in all aspects of their operations, Holland & Knight takes a full-service approach to guiding our clients through their businesses, from conception to completion and beyond. We counsel on debt and equity financing and refinancing projects; complying with applicable state, federal and local laws and regulations; performing due diligence and assessing, buying, developing and selling land; construction, operations and management of residential projects, including master communities; and resolving disputes that arise throughout the process, including during construction and post-completion. We also advise clients in structuring, negotiating and executing mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of homebuilders and other residential businesses; sponsoring and investing in residential joint ventures; initial and follow-on public offerings; and other corporate transactions and related tax advice.
Debt and Equity Financing
Holland & Knight's residential, homebuilding and master-planned communities attorneys have significant experience advising developers and builders seeking to finance and refinance their projects and businesses through all types of debt and equity financing vehicles, including land banking transactions, that comply with local real estate laws, federal and state tax and securities laws, and other regulatory requirements. We work with clients on debt financing such as senior, mezzanine, bridge, acquisition and development, construction, asset-based, EB-5, tax-exempt municipal bond financing, and community development or finance – and similar – districts. Our equity financing experience includes real estate funds, club deals, joint ventures, profit participations and preferred equity.
In addition, we represent a wide range of financial institutions and other lenders, including banks, insurance companies, pension funds, private equity, hedge funds, conduit lenders, finance companies and mortgage lenders, on major residential and mixed-use projects. Our attorneys advise on mortgage and other finance law and all areas of lending, including negotiating, structuring, documenting and closing, as well as enforcing and foreclosing, all types of mortgage and other secured loans for residential real estate and business financing. In addition to our debt financing experience in EB-5 lending, we have a comprehensive Immigration, Nationality and Consular Team with extensive experience navigating that complex aspect of EB-5 financing.
We also advise strategic buyers, pension funds, hedge funds, private equity, home offices, high-net-worth individuals and others, including foreign inbound investors, investing in U.S. residential real estate and related businesses, including structuring their investment or acquisition vehicles in a tax-efficient manner and negotiating terms with the goal of maximizing returns, rights and remedies while limiting liability.
Regulatory and Government Relations
With offices spanning the country, lawyers on our Residential Real Estate Team are well positioned to advise on local, regional, state and national regulatory issues, including taxation, securities laws, health, environmental and other permitting, enforcement and compliance. Attorneys on our Land Use and Government Team – which is Band 1-ranked by Chambers and Partners in the key locations of California and South Florida – resolve matters involving zoning, comprehensive plans, plat amendments, planned unit developments, special use permits, variances and appeals, zoning opinion letters, building permit reviews and historic preservation. We also perform environmental risk assessments and assist clients in navigating a broad range of Development of Regional Impact (DRI) matters and obtaining DRI Development Orders (DO) and DO amendments.
Our residential and master-planned communities lawyers effectively and efficiently manage administrative proceedings, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) limited denials of participation, suspensions and debarments, management terminations, audits and investigations by HUD's Office of Inspector General, and criminal actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and/or U.S. attorneys. We also negotiate, prepare and advise in the administration of development agreements with governmental entities.
Tax attorneys on our Residential Real Estate Team are well versed in all areas of federal, state and local taxation relating to the acquisition, disposition and ownership of residential real estate. We work with homebuilders, developers and residential operators, as well as domestic and foreign investors, to develop sophisticated structures associated with the acquisition and financing of residential real estate, with the objective of minimizing taxes related to the distribution of cash flow from real estate investments and developments and maximizing tax benefits, including affordable housing and other tax credits and Opportunity Zones.
Real Estate Transactions
Working closely with colleagues throughout Holland & Knight's Real Estate Practice, the attorneys on our Residential Real Estate Team provide practical and innovative advice to clients on virtually every type of transaction. We perform due diligence to evaluate regulatory, title, zoning, permitting and environmental issues, and we negotiate, draft, revise and provide counsel on all types of residential real property agreements, including purchase and sale, option, leasing, AIA and other construction, development, property management and other agreements. We also handle eminent domain and condemnation issues, including acquisition of rights of way and representation in condemnation cases.
Furthermore, our experience advising on a broad range of projects – such as luxury communities, branded residences, golf courses, affordable housing, student housing, multifamily housing, mixed-use developments, build-to-rent developments, infill residential projects, master-planned communities and others – allows us to deliver best practices and pragmatic solutions from across the industry.
Lawyers on our Condominium Development and Conversion Team counsel clients on formation, operation, enforcement and termination of condominium regimes. We draft and modify operating agreements and other documents, including for master associations and sub-associations, with appropriate covenants and restrictions. Our attorneys also advise on all facets of condominium development, from preparing registration applications and sales contracts to advocating for our clients in litigation.
With extensive experience helping residential development, homebuilding, operations, homebuilding supplier and management company clients manage and grow or sell their businesses, our attorneys have represented publicly held and private homebuilders on dozens of transactions for the acquisition or disposition of homebuilding companies, title insurance companies and mortgage brokerage companies, structured as sales of stock (or other equity) or assets or through mergers. We have extensive experience and regularly advise public and private homebuilders, developers and property managers, as well as hedge funds, investment funds, private equity and home offices in the purchase and sale of equity interests, formation and operation of joint ventures and strategic alliances, residential real estate fund formation and administration, and in private placements, initial public offerings, follow-ons and block trades in compliance with federal and state securities, broker-dealer and investment advisory laws and regulations. Our business attorneys advise residential real property clients in forming and structuring their business entities and all types of contracts and related documents, including organizational documents as well as supply, employment, independent contractor, consulting and other agreements.
Holland & Knight's litigation and dispute resolution attorneys draw upon many years of experience representing the industry and our knowledge of the business and strategic objectives of our clients to identify and achieve legal solutions that meet their needs. For example, we routinely defend the interests of developers, owners, builders, investors and others in federal and state litigation of construction and general commercial disputes, labor and employment matters, and Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) challenges.
Our representations extend to resolutions involving corporate compliance, structuring and negotiating industry agreements, public-private partnerships, project administration, risk management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and compliance, government contracts and procurement law, bid protests, False Claims Act defense, environmental permitting and compliance, employment and labor disputes, including U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims, and related matters. Outside the courtroom, we have extensive experience resolving disputes through arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Ahead of the Curve
As the homebuilding industry evolves, our residential real estate lawyers draw on the experience of colleagues to guide clients on rapidly evolving issues that impact the community industry. We regularly guide clients through the labyrinth of data privacy and cybersecurity considerations as they structure deals to maximize the increasing presence of technology in their smart homes and planned communities.
Additionally, our clean and renewable energy attorneys represent renewable energy project developers, public homebuilders, green banks and others in connection with all aspects of residential solar photovoltaic and energy storage matters, including regulatory matters and preparation and review of transaction agreements, in compliance with applicable law.