Dilworth Paxson’s real estate practice includes the preparation, negotiation, and review of documentation relating to all aspects of commercial, industrial and residential acquisition and development, leasing, commercial lending, including real estate workouts, and zoning and land use. Our real estate lawyers develop strategies for clients' multi-site acquisitions and/or sales by coordinating brokerage, due diligence, title insurance and environmental issues.
The firm represents developers, investors, lending institutions, healthcare facilities, landlords, tenants, contractors and construction managers, title insurance companies and agencies, real estate brokers and agents, and businesses of various sizes and natures. Dilworth Paxson’s Real Estate Group also represents public authorities, real estate investment trusts, non-profit corporations, and national and regional landlords in the acquisition, development, or sale of significant real estate holdings.
In our development practice, we focus on acquisition strategies, zoning and land use, and economic development incentives. We approach structuring development projects like garage and multi-use projects creatively in order to obtain the maximum flexibility and protection for the client. We address contract issues concerning liability, such as representations, warranties, and indemnities, particularly with respect to environmental matters, transaction conditions, and requirements. We counsel our clients that a well-drafted agreement will gain and maintain an advantage throughout the course of the negotiation and transaction that can often prove to be significant.
In our financing practice, Dilworth Paxson’s real estate lawyers represent financial institutions of all sizes. We advise clients in all aspects of securing real estate as collateral and enforcing remedies upon default. Our real estate lawyers have solid backgrounds in structuring development transactions which gives us the opportunity to offer lenders the guidance necessary to protect their interest while maintaining the integrity of the transaction.
We have represented building owners and tenants, including retail chain stores, in landlord-tenant negotiations. Proficiency in representing both landlord and tenant in a variety of transactions enables our real estate lawyers to anticipate issues and effectively negotiate the transaction documents. Through representation of both landlords and tenants, we have broad experience with the growing trend of court cases which apply contract law theories to real property principles when interpreting leases. Routine issues of subordination, non-disturbance, assignment, subletting and landlord liens become critical when the transaction starts to unravel and parties are forced to protect their interests.
Our representation of title insurance underwriters and their insureds in real estate litigation matters reinforces our ability to avoid issues that often times become embroiled in protracted litigation.
Dilworth Paxson Real Estate Group’s practice also involves the formation and business structure of the entity which will purchase or operate the real estate project. The group lawyers have represented or formed non-profit corporations which serve as condominium associations, homeowners’ associations, and promoters of economic development and tourism. We develop strategies for formation, development of operating agreements, and procurement of IRS tax exemptions. We routinely prepare or review ‘Requests for Proposals’ and responses to them in the course of representing real estate clients.
- Represented Fidelity National Financial’s title insurance underwriters in title insurance, mechanic’s lien claims and agency defalcations in Pennsylvania involving both residential and commercial real estate.
- Represented National Constitution Center in construction agreements and claims related to constructing the museum located in Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia, PA.
- Represented the Camden County Improvement Authority in connection with the development, construction and financing of a mixed-use parking center and student housing project in Camden, NJ.
- Represented the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development in connection with sale and leasing of redevelopment parcels at The Navy Yard; including the sale and lease of property to a major local retailer for its corporate campus and expansion. The original transaction was named as "Urban Office Sale Winner" by The Philadelphia Business Journal in its 2005 Best Real Estate Deals.
- Represented the developer of a mixed-use condominium project involving a major local hospital, including acquisition of land through a redevelopment agreement, preparation of condominium documents, analysis of transfer tax issues, construction and permanent financing, and zoning. This transaction was named "Best New Office Development" by The Philadelphia Business Journal in its 2001 Best Real Estate Deals.
- Represented the developer of Pearl Condominiums, a mixed-use condominium project located in Chinatown, in preparing condominium documents and development-related agreements and mezzanine and permanent financing for mixed-use condominium project. The project was named a runner-up for Best Mixed Use Development Project by The Philadelphia Business Journal in its 2008 Best Real Estate Deals.
- Represent Schuylkill Valley Sports, a local sporting goods retailer, in connection with commercial retail leases for 15 locations.
- Represent a family-owned real estate development fund in acquisition and financing of office and retail projects and joint ventures.
- Represented a Fortune 500 company in connection with the sale of one of the largest gas fired cogeneration facilities in the United States for a purchase price of approximately $600 million.
- Represented a leading independent international oil refinery in its acquisition of 300+ national sites from a competing oil refinery.
- Represented a municipality as real estate counsel in the municipality's efforts as a redevelopment entity covering a 1000+ residential, recreational, and commercial units for redevelopment.
Dilworth Paxson’s construction lawyers advise their clients on all aspects of construction law, from RFP requirements, bidding and contract negotiations, project closeout, and dispute resolution procedures whether mediation, arbitration or litigation. Our lawyers represent owners, developers, contractors, lenders, and design professionals engaged in public and private, commercial, institutional, and residential projects.
On the transactional side, the group seeks to limit a client’s exposure to the risks inherent in construction projects. Dilworth Paxson’s construction lawyers have a variety of transactional construction experience which can be applied when negotiating contracts.
Dilworth Paxson's Environmental practice covers a wide range of areas to meet the ever-expanding impact of environmental law. Our lawyers represent clients in:
- Advising clients on environmental compliance and due diligence issues
- Assisting clients in disclosure requirements and in obtaining permits and regulatory approvals
- Representing clients in obtaining financing for projects with significant environmental implications
- Providing assistance in investigating environmental issues for buyers and lenders in corporate and real estate transactions
- Litigating matters and facilitating administrative proceedings
- Compliance with transfer laws such as New Jersey’s Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act or Industrial Site Recovery as they impact buyers and lenders
- Apportionment of liability for past, present, and future environmental problems
Ensuring environmental compliance is particularly important to manage the client’s bottom line to minimize exposure to aggressive enforcement of environmental laws, including at times imposition of criminal penalties. The group works closely with clients to identify compliance issues and determine the most efficient way to properly resolve those issues.