Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC | Real Estate
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Practice Areas

Real Estate

We represent and advise property owners and investors in matters pertaining to all aspects of real estate transactions and real estate related businesses.


We represent investors on the buying and selling of all types of real estate assets. Our counsel includes structuring, documentation, due diligence, implementation and tax planning attendant to a real estate transaction. Our attorneys have handled an extraordinary number of transactions for clients, from the most basic to the extremely complex.


Our team of attorneys routinely represent developers and contractors involved in residential, commercial, industrial and entertainment-based real estate construction opportunities. Our real estate attorneys are highly accomplished in structuring land acquisition and preparing development documentation, construction contracts, design-build agreements, architect agreements and condominium conversion arrangements.


As a companion to our firm's construction and development counseling, we routinely assist in annexation, zoning and other entitlement efforts necessary to allow our clients to realize on their construction and development desires. We have extensive experience in negotiating with county and municipal governments with respect to annexation, development and redevelopment, recapture, and intergovernmental agreements, and have participated in negotiations with numerous agencies, boards and authorities.


Virtually all real estate efforts require financing of some type. Our lawyers are routinely involved in structuring, negotiating and documenting all types of financing for our real estate clientele, from traditional bank debt, to more complex Tax Increment Financing structures, to other public programs such as HUD 202 programs, Chicago Department of Housing and Illinois Housing Development Authority funding programs. We have successfully negotiated numerous forms of non-traditional financing arrangements, including sales and real estate tax incentives to joint venture structures blending equity and debt arrangements with institutional and private party investors.

Our firm also frequently acts as counsel to lenders in loan situations. We represent various lenders, both institutional and private, in connection with the documentation, analysis and due diligence attendant to real estate and commercial loans. We offer clients the opportunity to utilize our firms resources: (i) to structure and document loan transactions of all sizes and types, from the commitment through the closing; (ii) to provide a complete due diligence review regarding various collateral types and issues; and (iii) to analyze the structure and authority of the borrowing entity. Demonstrating our flexibility as legal counsel, we offer clients the opportunity to retain our firm for only certain portions of a lending transaction, such as to review bank form documentation, or to address specific issues for a particular loan. We also provide loan workout and foreclosure services.


Our firm has extensive experience representing both landlords and tenants in all manners of leases, from space leases to ground leases, office leases to industrial leases. We have negotiated with or on behalf of small private parties as well as large, strong credit national tenants. We are experienced in single tenant leases and leasing of properties involving multiple uses.

Other Matters

Our firm also handles a broad variety of real estate related transactions and documentation, such as covenants and restrictions agreements, easements, licenses, brokerage agreements, management agreements, conservation easements, master leases and loan participation agreements, just to name a few.

Representative Matters

The below list of transactions provides a brief sampling our real estate group's experience with complex, innovative and even day-to-day transactions:

Sale of two shopping centers, one a $42.5 million disposition in San Ramon, CA to a publicly traded REIT and another, a $35.5 million disposition in Hazel Dell, IL to a venture between an affiliate of AIG insurance.  The properties were owned by a joint venture between our client and an employee pension fund and were closed on simultaneously by linking the two sale contracts, having our client redeem the pension fund's ownership interests, and then conclude the transactions, which were funded in part by a $25 million bank loan.

Represented a major REIT in obtaining a $39 million life insurance company loan for a shopping center in the Cincinnati area.  The project is a grocery store anchored with several mid-box stores, the development of which was funded, in part, by municipal bonds, so it is exempt from local real estate taxes and the tenants make payments in lieu of taxes. 

Closed on a loan by an Iowa-based bank to a large self-storage developer for a new construction project in Brooklyn, N.Y. for $12.5 million.  The loan was structured as an assignment and restatement of an existing loan between a third party lender and seller that involved four inter-related loans.

Closed on the acquisition of a shopping center in Weaverville, North Carolina.  The client was a joint venture between a nationally-recognized American REIT and an Australian REIT.  The deal involved the negotiation of a lease buy-out with an existing anchor tenant, Roses Variety Stores, the negotiation of a 22 year lease with Publix Supermarkets Inc. for an approximately 50,000 square foot store, the negotiation of an acquisition and construction loan in excess of $15 million, the defeasance of the seller's existing financing, and the negotiation of various construction and development agreements.

Closed on the sale of a portfolio of three industrial buildings to a REIT; a 60,000 square foot building near O'Hare, a 50,000 square foot building and a neighboring 75,000 square foot building in Tennessee, for a combined sales price of $12.5 million.

Handled a 13-story vertical subdivision and commencement of unit sales for a prominent Chicago mixed-use developer.  The transaction included regulatory compliance with the Interstate Land Sales Act, compliance with Chicago's new residential construction ordinances and the City's Affordable Housing Program, the drafting and negotiation of cross-access agreements between the retail and residential portion, and unit sales.  The building was one of the first new construction residential projects to hit the market since the recession, and was over 50% sold within six months of the first closing.

Closed on the acquisition of a parcel of land in Chicago's Printer's Row neighborhood, currently improved with the historic Harrison Hotel.  The hotel owner retained ownership of the portion of the property improved with the hotel, and SCCA's client purchased the adjacent parking garage, which was developed into one of the tallest self-storage towers in the country.  The transaction involved a three-year contract negotiation with the hotel owner, negotiation with a tenant who will continue to lease space on the second floor of the tower, drafting of a cross-access easement and party wall agreement to govern the adjoined parcels, the negotiation of acquisition and construction financing in excess of $10 million and the negotiation of various development and construction agreements.

Represented a developer in the acquisition of a commercial property on the north side of Chicago which the developer intends to demolish and construct an apartment building containing approximately 50 micro-units, assisting the developer in negotiating a joint venture agreement with his initial investors and provide similar assistance for his equity raise, closing the sale of a 110,000 square foot industrial building near Houston Texas for a sales price of over $14 million and representing a developer/operator of self-storage facilities in obtaining a $10 million construction loan for a new facility to be constructed in the San Diego area.  

Represented a developer to obtain mortgage loans on two new construction projects through CMBS financing.  The first property, located near Austin, Texas, consists of an 8,500 square foot building leased by Mattress Firm under a triple net lease.  The loan amount was $3.3 million with a ten year term.  The second property, located near Salt Lake City, Utah, consists of a 6,500 square foot retail building with two tenants, Mattress Firm and Chipotle, under triple net leases.  The loan amount was $2.52 million with a ten year maturity.

On behalf of a property owner and its parking management company, obtained approval by the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals of a special use permit to operate a parking garage near downtown as a public parking garage, which will result in an increase in the potential revenue generated by the garage.

Other notable transactions include the sale of a Chicago area apartment building and 1031 trade into five separate single-tenant retail properties in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia; the acquisition of self-storage sites for development in Elmhurst, IL, Chicago and San Diego, CA, some with construction and development loans and others for cash; and the purchase of a Hyatt flag hotel in Schaumburg, IL through a joint venture with attendant acquisition financing of $25 million.