Real Estate

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Cox Smith real estate lawyers pride themselves in taking a practical and pragmatic approach to concluding transactions quickly and efficiently. We understand that every deal is unique. We initiate each relationship by listening, working to understand the business elements of a matter, asking what our clients want to accomplish, and then we deliver by building bridges that join deal partners together, rather than walls that separate them. Our lawyers fully understand the entrepreneurial and relationship driven dynamics of the Texas real estate market, and our experience in handling a wide range of legal matters for local, regional and national clients of all sizes enables us to provide a unique blend of innovative legal and practical advice for all clients.

Having worked extensively with real estate developers, lenders, buyers, sellers, investors, landlords, tenants, municipalities, end-users and real estate brokers, our team has the depth and experience that gives us a insight into understanding all of the crucial angles of a transaction, whether business or legal in nature. We use this experience and knowledge to develop and implement an effective customized strategy for each project. In addition, when necessary, Cox Smith real estate lawyers can reach out to draw upon assistance from other lawyers within the firm who work in fields that may impact a particular project, such as oil, gas and energy law, environmental law, public/municipal law, water law, business law, litigation, and taxation.

Reflecting on the firm’s commitment to excellence, six members of our real estate team are Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Most of our real estate lawyers have at least 20 years of experience, and several have been selected by their peers for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America, and “Super Lawyers” in the State of Texas.

Real estate financing
Our firm’s longstanding ties to the Texas banking and development communities play a vital role in our ability to help our clients obtain or make loans to finance projects. Over many years, our lawyers have developed strong relationships with many lending institutions around the country, and we work with, and for, many commercial banks and mortgage brokers in connection with in-State and out-of-State transactions of varying size and scope. Our background in representing both borrowers and lenders makes us qualified to assist in any financing project, whether it be for hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars. This experience includes being able to assist in such innovative financing vehicles such as convertible loans, multiple loan syndication, and loans backed by credit leases, ground leases and tax-exempt bonds. With experience in both expanding and contracting markets, when necessary, our group stands ready to help borrowers and lenders through difficult times, including legal work relating to the restructuring of loans, collateral recovery, receiverships, special assets sales, and assistance on projects that evolve into litigation and/or bankruptcy.

Property purchases, sales and development
Cox Smith real estate lawyers are a team of experienced lawyers who can handle all aspects of the acquisition and/or disposition of any piece of commercial real estate, including industrial projects, retail shopping centers, apartment complexes, office buildings, hotels, residential subdivisions, and condominium developments. Being located in the heart of South Texas, our team has experience in dealing with the acquisition, sale and financing of farm, ranch and other types of recreational properties of all sizes throughout the State of Texas.

In development projects ranging from single building sites to master development agreements covering thousands of acres, our team can assist both private and municipal clients in dealing with multi-layered governmental land use controls. As development entitlement schemes become increasingly complex in Texas, our lawyers have the experience to guide clients through the process efficiently in order to achieve desired results without protracted delay.

Leasing transactions
Both landlords and tenants receive the benefit of our large, varied national leasing practice. Our representation of sophisticated national and regional landlords and tenants allows us to effectively structure and document leases and their terms, for any size and type of property. We are well versed with industrial and office leases having represented numerous landlords and tenants.

In retail leasing we assist retailers and shopping center owners with their leasing needs. With a practice that is based on our representation of a 600 store national optical retailer and a global telecommunications company in their store leases across the nation, we assist our tenant clients in developing global strategies and parameters for their expansion plans, as well as assisting them in structuring individual leases for all types of properties from free standing pads to power centers, malls and mixed-use projects. For shopping center landlords, we create and implement leasing strategies that reflect the developer’s vision for the center so that the center continues to be an attractive, viable, and profitable venture over time.

Read more about our Retail Leasing practice.

Public private partnerships/economic development
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) involve public sector participation in the development of major real estate and construction projects to further governmental policy objectives. Both business and government seek our help to develop projects that transform communities and companies. In these complex transactions, clients depend on Cox Smith to advise them on how to structure functional relationships that meet the goals of all participants, given the extensive constraints and limitations placed on governmental entities, including those related to the use of public funds, economic development incentives and public debt limitations. Our lawyers have worked with private development groups, corporate users, and governmental entities in public/private partnership/economic development projects pertaining to the financing, development and operation of projects ranging from nuclear power plants to automotive assembly plants, hotels and convention centers to hospitals, and port shipping facilities to super-regional shopping centers.

Cox Smith has a deep understanding of the complicated issues regarding real estate/property condemnation and is frequently called upon to counsel clients from both the development and landowner community with regards to condemnation issues. For more than 30 years, Cox Smith has helped landowners protect their rights when their land has been condemned to make way for roads and highways, transmission lines, pipelines, and other infrastructure.  From negotiating easement agreements and working with appraisers, representing landowners in certification proceedings for transmission lines before the Texas Public Utility Commission, to trying condemnation cases on landowners' behalf before special Commissioners' courts and representing them in other contexts, Cox Smith understands the intricacies of condemnation and related proceedings and how best to help landowners protect their property rights.

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Practice Contact
John B. Stewart
Related Practices
Banking and Financial Institutions
Corporate and Securities
Related Industries
Energy / Utilities
Practice Highlights