Real Estate Practice

Commercial Real Estate Lawyers Representing the Rights of Clients in Connecticut and Across the Country

Our real estate clients use the law firm of Rome McGuigan because of the experience, skill and efficiency we bring to achieve their varied real estate objectives. Every aspect of real estate development – financing, conveyancing, leasing and permitting – is handled in the signature Rome McGuigan way – responsive and expertly efficient, in accomplishing the results the client has identified. For more information, please see the areas of our real estate practice listed below or contact our office in Hartford.

Real Estate Development From Start to Finish

Our developer clients frequently involve us in development planning prior to the identification of a final real estate parcel. We assist our clients with the initial investigations, planning and zoning, permitting issues, environmental issues, and government relations to determine how a site satisfies our clients' various requirements and expectations. Following the determination of the subject site, Hartford real estate lawyers work closely with our clients on the negotiation and preparation of the acquisition documentation, communicating regularly with our client on all aspects of zoning, permitting, financing and leasing. These open lines of communication enable us to effectively assist our client in dealing with its development professionals, including construction companies, architects and engineers.

Real Estate Financing

We represent state, regional and national lenders in the financing of all forms of real estate, including hotel, multi-family residential, commercial, office, retail and industrial real estate. Because of our experience in developer and lender representation, we understand the practical aspects of real estate development and are able to deliver to our lending clients practical and effective alternate resolutions to difficult development transactions to afford our client the opportunity to get the deal done.

Commercial Finance

Our Hartford real estate attorneys have decades of experience representing both lenders and borrowers in Connecticut and throughout the country in commercial financing transactions of all levels of complexity. We have found that understanding both perspectives in these financings to be invaluable. Negotiations become quicker, less contentious and much less costly when there is an appreciation of the other party's key concerns. We bring those experiences and insights to each transaction in our effort to provide our client with additional value.

Industry-Specific Real Estate Experience

  • Affordable housing: Our law firm represents numerous clients in connection with the acquisition, development, operations and sales of affordable housing projects throughout the country. These include for-profit, not-for-profit and joint venture clients. We regularly interact with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, state and local housing agencies and state and local housing finance authorities. We are general counsel to several housing authorities. We regularly represent clients in connection with low-income housing tax credits, new market tax credits and historic tax credits. View a representative list of affordable housing transactions.

  • Leasing: We represent both landlords and tenants in negotiating office, retail and industrial leases throughout the country. A particular strength is representation of tenants (national employers and chains) in national leasing of office and retail space. Our attorneys have represented prominent owners of office properties and also retail developers in the leasing of major shopping centers. We negotiated leases, subleases, ground leases and sale-leasebacks on behalf of both tenants and landlords in a myriad of situations.

  • Shopping center development: We represent several developers in connection with their acquisition, creation or re-development of shopping center projects. We regularly represent developers in their lease negotiations for national credit tenants, "big box" retailers as well as family-owned businesses.

  • Public finance: Our attorneys regularly represent borrowers, lenders, underwriters, trustees and bond investors in connection with both public and private bond issues for the acquisition, construction or re-development of real estate projects. We have successfully closed on numerous bond issues from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, Connecticut Health, Education and Facilities Authority, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and other bond issuers in the state of Connecticut and nationwide. We also served as borrower's counsel in connection with the very first bond issue offered by a Native American tribe.

  • Municipal experience: We serve as outside-town attorney for a number of towns in the state of Connecticut and frequently represent them in connection with diverse real estate matters, such as property tax appeals, site acquisition and development, tax lien sales and foreclosures, land use permitting, creation of historic districts and enforcement of their regulations, and numerous other real estate matters that require a town's involvement. Our municipal experience provides our attorneys with a unique understanding of complex zoning, land development and property tax matters as well as the concerns and objectives of the municipalities.

  • Credit crisis finance: We serve clients involved in commercial real estate affected by restricted access to credit markets or tightening credit requirements. We utilize our contacts, experience and knowledge to the benefit of our client seeking credit. Sophisticated and established real estate investors, lenders and developers value and recognize the benefit we can bring to the situation in order to sort the issues, address them and get the financing in place. Our services help protect, preserve and maximize assets.

  • Native American issues: We have represented numerous Native American tribes in connection with their real estate development efforts, including casino and hotel development, shopping center development, golf course and resort-related developments, and reservation-related improvements such as housing and infrastructure (roadways, water and sewer, etc.) issues.

Representative Real Estate Transactions

  • We serve as general outside counsel for a major national affordable housing developer; the following are representative matters:

  • Purchase of a 184-unit affordable housing project in Camden, New Jersey, including $9,350,000 in tax exempt revenue bonds and $3,000,000 in tax credits.
  • Purchase of five affordable housing projects totaling 680 units and the financing of the acquisition and renovation of the projects through a $32 million HUD-insured mortgage.
  • Purchase of a 185-unit affordable housing project in New Jersey. Since tax credits were only available on a limited basis, the transaction was structured so that the project would be acquired over a three-year period.

  • We are general outside counsel to a major nonprofit developer of affordable housing and group homes, and have handled the following matters on the developer's behalf:

  • The development of a 50-unit market rate condominium complex in a historic factory building. We handled permitting, environmental, construction, condominium creation and unit sales.
  • New construction and renovation of existing multi-family properties in Hartford, Connecticut, for the purpose of creating affordable condominiums in the place of dilapidated rental housing. The developer's efforts transformed the quality of entire neighborhoods in the city.

  • We represented the developer of a premier downtown Hartford hotel project. The development included complicated negotiations with the city of Hartford for funding as well as land and air rights, negotiations with the state of Connecticut (since the project was created in conjunction with the new Connecticut Convention Center) and numerous other city and state agencies involved in the Connecticut Convention Center redevelopment project.

  • We represented a construction lender in connection with the $45 million renovation of the historic Colt Firearms factory in Hartford, Connecticut. The project involved a layering of numerous funding sources, including our client's construction mortgage loan, historic tax credits issued through the National Park Service, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development's grant monies and tax increment financing issued by the city of Hartford.

  • We have served as general outside counsel to a local community developer in connection with the development of 30 multi-family modular homes for low-income families.

  • We represented a redeveloper of a small shopping center with local tenants into a major regional shopping center with numerous national chain tenants and a national grocery store as anchor tenant.

Our Real Estate Practice Team