Williams Mullen's Real Estate Practice includes more than 40 attorneys and is widely recognized for its experience and knowledge of commercial real estate law. Section attorneys counsel clients on all aspects of real estate, including land use and zoning, site plan approval, leasing, acquisitions and sales and complex financings. When appropriate our real estate team collaborates with attorneys in other practice areas such as environmental, construction, corporate, franchise, tax, bankruptcy, litigation, financial services and public finance.
Real Estate Development
Throughout Virginia, North Carolina and the United States, Williams Mullen’s Real Estate Group guides clients through the development of retail, office, residential, hotel, industrial and mixed-use projects in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We represent local, regional and national developers and investors as well as the end users of these types of projects. Our representation includes the negotiation of acquisitions, sales and leases; land use planning and permitting; construction and permanent financing; environmental due diligence; and the drafting of documents such as reciprocal easement agreements, covenants, conditions and restrictions and master condominium structures.
Real Estate Acquisitions & Sales
Representing buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of real estate, we provide innovative guidance and assistance to our clients necessary to close transactions in a cost-effective manner. We represent local, regional and national clients in a wide range of real estate acquisitions and sales transactions, including the acquisition and sale of shopping centers, raw land, office buildings, warehouse and industrial facilities and mixed-use projects, as well as section 1031 like-kind exchanges and the exchange of tenant-in-common interests.
Real Estate and Project Finance
We represent clients in all types of loans related to securing real estate, including construction loans, bridge loans, single asset/single borrower securitized loans, permanent loans, participating loans, shared appreciation loans, borrowing base asset loans, subscription facility loans, convertible loans, mezzanine loans, loans backed by credit leases, conduit loans and loans secured by ground leases. As well, the firm’s real estate attorneys, often in conjunction with the Corporate and Securities practice, have been involved in virtually every type of loan securitization offering, including public offerings, private placements, foreign offerings, bonds, pass-through certificates and commercial paper, diverse pools of conduit mortgage loans, small pools of large loans, single mortgage loans secured by one or more commercial or multifamily properties, performing and non-performing mortgage loans from existing portfolios, new commercial mortgage loans originated with a view toward securitization and commercial loans affecting a variety of properties.
Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits
Williams Mullen’s Real Estate Group is a leader in assisting developers, lenders and investors with all forms of tax credit transactions, including those involving historic rehabilitation tax credits, new markets tax credits, enterprise zones, conservation easements and other state and local incentives. We have represented numerous developers and lenders on transactions involving historic tax credits in connection with the rehabilitation of historic buildings for apartment, office, retail and other uses throughout Virginia and North Carolina, including in Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Affordable Housing
Williams Mullen is a regional leader on affordable housing transactions and has represented numerous developers on more than 100 low-income housing tax credit apartment transactions in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Mississippi and other states. We represent developers on the full transaction, including the real estate purchase, rezoning, application for tax credits, construction and permanent loan financing, compliance with tax credit regulations, delivery of the required opinions and negotiating and structuring the partnership or limited liability company documents involved with the investment by national funds to acquire the benefit of the tax credits. We also have been involved in working with HUD on various loan closings, on approvals and closings for loan assignments, on modifications and assignments of Section 8 HAP contracts and on Section 236 IRP decouplings and other programs. We regularly handle transactions with most of the national syndicators in this field and represent construction lenders and investors on many of these transactions.
Williams Mullen has tremendous depth and experience handling both complex and simple leases, including office, industrial, flex, retail and mixed-use. We represent both landlords and tenants throughout the U.S., ranging from small retail and office tenants to national REITs. Our practice is versatile and includes landlord representation, tenant representation, build-to-suit transactions, ground leases and sale-leasebacks. We provide full-service leasing representation to various types of owners – broker/managers, private owners, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, REITs and private investment funds – for entire office, industrial, mixed-use and retail projects. In addition to lease negotiation, we assist our clients with their design, development and management plans for the project, including the negotiation of commission, listing and management agreements; work letters and development agreements; construction and architect contracts; and other agreements with lenders and other parties regarding collateral leasing issues.
Our land use attorneys handle all matters related to land use matters, including zoning, due diligence, administrative, neighborhood and public hearings, ordinance amendments, permitting, subdivisions, variances, development and construction issues, economic development and local and state economic incentive packages and government relations. We guide development projects through the full range of requisite land use and environmental approvals and perform the necessary due diligence to resolve the myriad of zoning, title, development and environmental issues of a potential real estate transaction. Our attorneys also are regularly called upon to work for and with local planning offices, administrators and elected officials in the drafting and implementation of, and, at times, opposition to, ordinance and comprehensive plan revisions, the establishment of overlay districts and changes in policies and procedures.
Mixed-Use, Residential, Planned Communities and Condominiums
Our depth of knowledge and experience regarding all aspects of real estate development ensure that our attorneys structure such communities to be efficiently developed, marketed and operated. We are experienced in preparing covenants to govern the highest density, mixed-use, lifestyle centers as well as office parks, retail centers, single-family communities and condominiums. We structure master associations, condominium associations and sub-associations as necessary and appropriate to ensure the effective operation, governance and fiscal management of the community. With our extensive knowledge and experience regarding land use, acquisitions, public and private finance (including the use of community development authorities), condominium law, eminent domain and condemnation, environmental law, wetlands regulations and construction law, Williams Mullen attorneys counsel developers through all stages of the development and successful marketing of new communities.
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— Williams Mullen Client Feedback - Chambers USA, 2023