Lawyer Image

Joseph F. Kessler

Partner; Chair, Real Estate Group
Primary Office
1500 Market St. 3500E
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Direct(215) 575-7198
Fax(215) 575-7200
jkessler@dilworthlaw.com
LibertyView
457 Haddonfield Rd., Suite 700
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Direct(856) 675-1964
Fax(856) 663-8855
jkessler@dilworthlaw.com

Assistant

Michele Sherel
Direct215-575-7199
msherel@dilworthlaw.com

Joseph F. Kessler represents family-owned businesses, contractors, real estate developers, REITs, middle-market companies, public authorities, and non-profit corporations in matters of corporate governance, development, financing, construction, leasing, and sales of commercial real estate. Joe has also handled eminent domain proceedings and real estate tax appeals for commercial property owners primarily in the City of Philadelphia. 

Joe has experience regarding health care facilities leasing, mixed-use projects, including student housing and parking projects, and green building principles. Joe also represents the country’s largest title insurance underwriters with respect to title insurance law and complex real estate-related litigation. 

A committed alumnus of Saint Joseph’s University, Joe is a founding member of SJU’s Real Estate and Construction Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He has been a guest lecturer at St. Joe’s for its real estate courses.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a national real estate investment trust in connection with a lease in a suburban mall for a health care facility and sale of a shopping center
  • Represented the developer of Walnut Towers (8th & Walnut) mixed use condominium project involving acquisition, zoning, condominium documents, refinance of bond financing and, development of air rights, including sale to joint venture for development of a medical office tower
  • Represented the Camden County Improvement Authority in connection with the development of a parking center at Cooper Hospital and student housing project for Rutgers University in Camden, NJ
  • Represents a local WBE general contractor in general business matters, as well as construction claims and defenses of mechanic lien filings by subcontractors
  • Represented the developer of a 313 unit Philadelphia town house development in acquisition, zoning, loan documentation, and real estate tax appeals; tax appeal for 149 condo units
  • Represented the National Constitution Center in construction agreements and claims related to constructing the Museum located in Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Represented an owner/developer of student housing in the acquisition of a $100M residential complex adjacent to the University of North Carolina
  • Represented Fidelity National Financial title insurance underwriters and insureds in complex real estate title litigation
  • Represented $25M family owned real estate companies in generational planning

Professional & Community Activities

  • Legal Counsel, Saint Joseph’s University Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart Program
  • Member, Saint Joseph's University Board of Trustees
  • Founding Board Member, Saint Joseph’s University Real Estate and Construction Alumni Advisory Board
  • Board Member, Coaches vs. Cancer
  • Chairman of the Board and President, Delaware Valley Green Building Council and Sponsorship Chair for Road to US Greenbuild 
  • Member, American Land Title Association (ALTA)
  • Member, Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA)
  • Member, General Builders & Contractors Association
  • Member, Urban Land Institute (Philadelphia)
  • Member, Philadelphia Bar Association, Real Estate Section

Speeches & Presentations

  • Moderator, "Disclosure Mandates and Codes: Cities, States and Municipalities," Delaware Valley Green Building Council's 2015 Tri-State Sustainability Symposium, March 6, 2015
  • Moderator, "Healthcare & Higher Education Summit: Incentives and Financial Resources for Sustainability," Delaware Valley Green Building Council, November 18, 2014
  • Panelist, "National Constitution Center: Its History and Construction," National Association of College and University Attorneys Convention, June 20, 2013
  • Moderator, "Transactions Outlook," RealShare Philadelphia, March 7, 2013 
  • Host, "Green Building: New Perspectives and Considerations When Planning Your Next Real Estate Project," October 25, 2012
  • Moderator, “What You Need to Know About the City’s New Zoning Code”
  • Panelist, "Building the Capital Stack for Commercial Real Estate 2012"
  • Chairperson, Saint Joseph’s Real Estate and Construction Alumni Holiday Luncheon
  • Title Insurance Law Symposiums
  • Planner, Presenter, "Managing Clients’ Expectations in Volatile Market"

Professional Recognition

  • Philadelphia Business Journal Leaders in the Law
  • Super Lawyers, 2004-2014 
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Alternate Biographies

Practices

Assistant

Education

  • J.D., Villanova University School of Law, Law Review, 1982
  • B.A., summa cum laude, St. Joseph's University, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1982
  • New Jersey, 1982
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1982
  • United States District Court District of New Jersey, 1982
  • United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit

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