High Swartz - Attorneys At Law LLP
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Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Construction Litigation and Contract Negotiation

We assist clients with construction law issues, including resolution of construction disputes through mediation, arbitration and litigation in state and federal courts. Clients in our construction litigation practice include contractors, homeowners, business owners, builders, subcontractors, developers, suppliers (including a major home improvement retail chain) and financial institutions. It is our goal in every case to resolve our client’s matter in the most effective, economical and efficient manner.

The attorneys in our construction law practice work closely with other practices in our firm to provide our clients with comprehensive services. Issues we handle include those involving the following:

  • Commercial litigation
  • Construction defect and delay claims
  • Contract and business litigation
  • Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act
  • Mechanics’ liens
  • Real estate disputes
  • Warranties

In addition to construction litigation, we draft and negotiate construction contracts for developers of many different types of properties, including major high rise multifamily developments and smaller, affordable housing developments.. Not long ago, we drafted the contract for the major expansion of a well-known museum. Our contracts include stipulated sum, cost plus fee, and cost plus fee with guaranteed maximum price contracts   

Financing and Deal Structuring

The firm’s real estate attorneys have deep experience representing developers of all types of real estate, including retail projects, mixed-use housing and commercial developments, and office buildings, including medical office buildings, among others. Our experience extends beyond Pennsylvania, as we have been involved in transactions in various states throughout the United States.

Within Pennsylvania, our representations of developers have included negotiations: (a) with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development with respect to loans and grants from the Commonwealth; (b) with investors in low income housing tax credit transactions; (c) with not-for-profit and for-profit entities participating as members of general partners in affordable housing transactions; (d) with local redevelopment authorities and local economic development authorities throughout the Commonwealth with respect to land purchases and “soft loans”; (e) with banks and other conventional lenders with respect to construction and HUD-insured loans; (f) with the Philadelphia regional office of HUD in connection with HUD-insured loans; (g) with private sellers of properties scheduled for new development or rehabilitation; (h) with contractors and architects providing design and construction services; and (i) with community organizations in community benefit agreements.

We have engaged in numerous complex real estate transactions. Our experience includes the drafting and negotiation of partnership arrangements, ground leases, and sale/leaseback documentation in connection with the financing, refinancing, or development of healthcare facilities and affordable housing developments, among others.

During the course of our representations, we have been called upon to draft and negotiate a full range of agreements relating to the development and financing of all types of real estate. In addition to those mentioned above, these have included:

  • Architects and construction contracts
  • Development agreements
  • Office and retail leases
  • Ground leases
  • Agreements of purchase and sale
  • Regulatory and operating agreements
  • Conservation easements and restrictive covenants
  • Access, utility, and construction easements
  • Property management agreements
  • Real estate brokerage and leasing agreements
  • Loan documentation, including loan agreements, promissory notes, mortgages, and related security instruments, such as assignments of project documents
  • Intercreditor agreements
  • Partnership and limited liability company operating agreements

Our attorneys also use their extensive environmental and real estate due diligence experience to structure, outline, and monitor all due diligence necessary to assure compliance with environmental laws and local permitting requirements for our clients who are purchasing or developing real estate.

Leasing

Our leasing activity covers the spectrum from ground leases to leases of commercial office facilities. We have extensive experience with respect to leases of medical office facilities, including master leases and “hotel” style leases for short term, periodic use of medical office facilities by multiple physicians. In this regard, we have aided major medical systems and individual physicians in meeting their office needs.

Purchase and Sale Agreements

We have drafted and negotiated agreements of purchase and sale for multiple types of properties, from high and mid-rise office buildings, to multifamily apartment developments, to bulk condominium units, to vacant land. In drafting and negotiating the agreements for sellers, we pay particular attention to due diligence matters, including possible environmental problems, title issues, zoning and use issues, leasing activity, and outstanding litigation or claims, among other conditions. We confer with local officials to determine whether there are violations of building or safety codes, and to insure that the property conforms to zoning requirements.  Oft times a purchaser will require that development approvals be obtained before the purchase is consummated, and we can assist in that regard as well.