Texas Real Estate Law - Experience
Orchestrated the sale of a portfolio of foreclosed real estate assets with a book value exceeding $400,000,000.00 on behalf of a financial institution. Properties included all types of residential with a significant number of multi-family projects, office buildings, industrial, warehouse, hotel, developed land and undeveloped land. This project covered five years and over 200 properties located across the United States. The firm was responsible for drafting earnest money contract forms and conveyance documents for large and small transactions. The firm also had significant input in the institution's policies for the sales process and negotiating strategies. Through a comprehensive overall strategy, the firm was able to save the client substantial legal fees in the process through the use of comprehensive negotiation strategies and documentation forms, while reducing the negotiation time period.
Represented a hotel developer in obtaining substantive changes to municipal regulations which prevented the construction of a proposed hotel. The firm worked closely with municipal officials including City Council members, senior staff in the Planning Department, and division chiefs in the Legal Department to ensure that the revised municipal regulations would allow the client's project to proceed.
Resolved hundreds of title disputes as legal counsel provided pursuant to title insurance policies. Title insurance underwriters which have utilized the firm include First American, Chicago, Ticor, Old Republic and Stewart. The firm utilizes its broad experience in real estate law to pursue innovative, cost effective and practical solutions to title problems. Attorneys at the firm have acted as outside underwriting counsel for title insurance companies when its in-house underwriting counsel is unavailable or overloaded.
Handled zoning, platting and other municipal regulation issues for a substantial commercial land development owned by a national financial institution to a successful conclusion. This project included all aspects of interaction with the City Council, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning & Zoning Commission, City Manager and City Staff of a small home rule city with a reputation for being anti-development. While handling this project, the firm successfully coordinated with and kept fully apprised a multi-level corporate chain including in-house counsel, multiple asset managers, sales staff and separate outside counsel handling sale matters.
Negotiated, documented and enforced construction contracts for a $20,000,000.00 (improvements only) retail development for a major retail developer with a substantial general contractor. Resolved significant problems during the construction process.
Negotiated, documented and consulted on numerous custom home transactions including disputes with contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers and surveyors. Representation of custom home builders and buyers.
Development of Medical/Professional Office Buildings
Structured, negotiated, documented and supervised the fee development for medical professional office buildings. The firm handled and coordinated all legal aspects of the acquisition, construction, leasing and management of the project.
Dangerous Building Problems/Rehab of Apartments
Represented several owners of low income multi-family projects in dealing with municipal regulation relating to unsafe structures, building code violations and the rehabilitation of those projects. The firm was able to reduce or eliminate fees, penalties and fines and to provide our clients a reasonable time frame to implement repairs and remodeling while preventing a threatened forced demolition by the municipality.
Affordable Housing Tax Credits
Handled applications, structuring and loan issues relating to Affordable Housing Tax Credit transactions. Worked with most major professionals in obtaining approval of credits.
Purchase and Sale Transactions
Handled purchase, sale and leasing transactions from all perspectives for virtually every type of real estate category including the following:
- Retirement Community
- High-Rise Residential
- Developed Residential Land
- Developed Commercial Land
- Farm and Ranch
- Mobile Home Park
- Undivided Interest
Handled leasing transactions from landlord, tenant and broker perspectives for virtually every real estate category including the following:
- Industrial (including options to require the landlord to construct and lease additional buildings)
- Auto Dealership (including manufacturer required "site protection")
- Ground Leases (including landlord contribution for tenant improvements)
- Farm and Ranch
- Master Leases
Real Estate Brokerage
Represented residential and commercial real estate brokers in all facets of their relationships with their principals and other brokers, such as commission disputes, charges and administrative proceedings brought by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Experience in broker disclosure and fiduciary duty issues. Experienced in broker lien issues.
Deed Restrictions/Property Owners Associations/Condominiums
Represented many residential property owners associations in the creation, modification and extension of deed restrictions. Counsel boards of directors on interpretation and enforcement issues. Enforced deed restrictions and collected assessments (on various fee arrangements). Created condominium regimes (including TUCA and with marinas).
Responsible for Texas Property Code Chapters 206 and 207.
Real Estate with Environmental Issues
Successfully assisted clients through real estate transactions (both as buyer and seller) involving environmental contamination from underground storage tanks requiring removal of the tanks and contaminated soil and long term remediation of contaminated ground water. This included coordination with environmental consulting firms in dealing with the new voluntary clean-up program resulting in a release of liability, traditional "clean closures," responsible party indemnifications, carve-out of environmental contaminated property, facilitated the prompt closing of uncontaminated property, deed recordation under Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission Rules for risk based closures and related lender issues.
Successfully represented clients before City of Houston Administrative Boards, including the Building and Standards Commission (Life Safety Variance), Electrical Board (Electrical Code interpretation), Planning Commission (subdivision approvals), Hotel/Motel Ordinance variance, Hearing Officers (Dangerous Building Ordinance). Successfully negotiated solutions to difficult problems with city staff in the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Public Works.
General Land Office
Obtained one of the only perpetual bridge easement in the State of Texas for a client with an island across public waters, despite neighbor opposition and problems with the bridge construction.
Handled all type of zoning and non zoning municipal land use issues.
Economic Development Incentives
Handled tax abatements, relocation incentive packages and affordable housing tax credits.
Handled street abandonments; full, partial and contested.
Real Estate Litigation
Handled all manner of real estate related litigation, including contract, brokerage, landlord/tenant, foreclosure, title, ad valorem tax valuation, real estate fraud, construction and condemnation.