Real Estate Finance & Restructuring

Overview

“…regularly called upon for its expertise in restructuring work…”

— Chambers USA

Real estate finance can be fertile ground for investment, but the risks are real and not always evident. Both lenders and borrowers need counsel that can help them minimize risk and adapt conventional approaches to new circumstances.

Blank Rome’s real estate team counsels clients through every stage of real estate financing.  We help clients structure real estate financing transactions that preserve their interests and achieve their goals. When the situation becomes distressed, we can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your position and chart a path ahead.

If negotiations break down, our real estate team is backed by litigators with extensive experience in state and federal courts, including federal bankruptcy court. Our commercial litigators and bankruptcy lawyers are well acquainted with the particulars of real estate disputes and how they affect different asset classes, such as office, multi-family, hotel, senior living, and retail.

How We Can Help

Financing

  • senior mortgage loans on all property types (including multi-family, commercial, industrial, hotel, and mixed-use)
  • mezzanine loans, preferred equity, and mixed debt/equity financings
  • construction and development financing
  • credit lease and sale-leaseback financings
  • affordable housing financings, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • syndications, loan participations, and intercreditor agreements
  • interest rate swaps, caps, and hedges
  • new markets tax credit and other tax-advantaged financings
  • single and multiple loan securitization
  • multi-state secured financings

Restructuring and Bankruptcy

  • contested foreclosures
  • borrower bankruptcies
  • assumption, assignment, and rejection of real property leases in bankruptcy proceedings
  • loan restructurings, including conversion of debt to equity and participating loans
  • forbearance agreements
  • discounted pay-off agreements
  • recapitalizations and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure
  • sale and purchase of distressed debt
  • extensions of time for a debtor-in-possession or trustee
  • appointments of receiver
  • bankruptcy asset sales

What Sets Us Apart

  • Ranked in 2019 U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers® (Woodward/White, Inc.) for Real Estate Law: Tier 1, National and Philadelphia; Tier 2, Washington, D.C.; and Tier 3, New York City.
  • Chambers USA 2017 recognized our practice for Real Estate Law. Chambers researchers state Blank Rome:
    • “Acts for an impressive list of leading financial institutions, as well as owners, developers and REITs. Possesses strong capabilities in zoning and land use issues and also regularly called upon for its expertise in restructuring work and tax assessment matters.”
    • “They have a strong, well-recognized practice with a deep bench. They can handle complex matters with transactional and litigation dimensions.”
    • “Stellar bankruptcy and restructuring team handling the full range of issues including Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 matters, as well as related bankruptcy litigation. Maintains a specialty practice advising maritime and transportation clients, and possesses significant knowledge of complex financing transactions.”
    • “Blank Rome's work is high quality and superb value for money. I think they are excellent and I'm happy to use them.”
  • Recognized as a “Top Issuer Counsel” for U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) by Commercial Mortgage Alert in February 2013.
  • In 2012, the Real Estate Credit Facilities and Financing team handled over 300 transactions totaling an aggregate value of over one billion dollars. 

Experience

  • Represented the owners of an iconic New York City office building in a $210 million prepackaged bankruptcy that resulted in restructuring of debt and equity positions that benefited our client by more than $80 million. The company emerged from bankruptcy 36 days after filing – one of the fastest turnarounds in the Southern District of New York – despite the involvement of multiple parties located in several countries.
  • Represented a large national bank and its affiliated lending company in connection with a consensual but highly contentious bankruptcy relating to a midtown Manhattan hotel and residential condominium project. While the bankruptcy proceeding was pending, the hotel was sold to a large Chinese company, several residential units were sold to third party buyers and, several months after the hotel sale, the residential condominiums were refinanced by the debtor in a transaction that repaid the bank and its affiliate in full.
  • Advised on a joint venture between a New York city-based developer and a large private equity fund to acquire from an insurance company a performing but distressed mezzanine loan relating to an office complex in Stamford, Connecticut.
  • Represented the owner of a major office building in Broward County, Florida in connection with a work-out of a defaulted CMBS loan which was transferred to the special servicer upon loan maturity, including defense and settlement of foreclosure action, tax, bankruptcy and structuring strategies and negotiation of forbearance agreement which included term extension and changes to cash management, leasing and reserve provisions.
  • Advised on distressed loan sales for a national bank, including (i) a sale of a foreclosure judgment, (ii) a sale of a pending foreclosure action shortly after it was commenced, and (iii) a pre-packaged (consensual) bankruptcy in which the bank and its borrower cooperated to sell the property to an unaffiliated third party.
  • Represented an owner of a historic building in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in an extended loan workout, including the defense of a foreclosure action, forbearance arrangements and ultimate debt refinancing. Represented a mezzanine lender in connection with the exercise of remedies, including UCC foreclosure and ultimate full repayment of a defaulted mezzanine loan secured by membership interests in an entity owning an office and industrial property in southern New Hampshire.
  • Represented one of the largest banks in Europe in a syndicated $500 million construction loan financing the acquisition and ground-up construction of a 56-story luxury condominium hotel and apartment tower on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented a lender in a $531 million loan to refinance a 5,881-unit housing complex in Brooklyn, New York and the largest publicly-assisted affordable housing complex in the nation.
  • Represented one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies in connection with a $66.7 million term loan and $4 million line of credit to various entities owned and operated by a nationwide nursing and retirement facility operator. The loans were secured by, among other things, first-priority liens on nine of the borrower's properties located in six states.
  • Represented an investment bank in a $79 million securitized mortgage loan to finance the construction of a 277,700 square-foot office building and underground parking structure in Norwalk, Connecticut; net leased upon completion to the United States headquarters of a London-based premium liquor distributor.
  • Represented a private equity fund in a $90 million construction loan relating to the Miami Jai-Alai facility.
  • Represented a publicly-held financial services company in connection with a series of loans to finance the acquisition out of bankruptcy of 58 skilled nursing facilities in 14 states, owned in fee or under long-term ground leases The client also made a loan to the exiting company, as well as negotiated a revolving credit facility to the new operators of the facilities.
  • Advised on a $59.5 million first mortgage loan to refinance existing indebtedness on the Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, California, a renowned high technology research facility net leased to Xerox Corporation. Concurrently with loan origination, the mortgage loan was transferred to a special purpose trust, the beneficial interests in which were sold to a single institutional investor.

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