Real Estate

If you stop to look at the Bay Area’s most celebrated buildings and public spaces, there’s a good chance you’re seeing a project that Coblentz helped bring to life. We have built a reputation as the “go to” firm in California for both high profile projects as well as nuts-and-bolts real estate counsel.

Our firm’s deepest roots are in real estate law, and the individual attorneys in our practice are the most skilled, experienced, and innovative in the field. Collectively—and through collaboration with the firm’s other practices—we provide clients with valuable counsel on a full spectrum of real estate matters.

We’re particularly experienced in high profile, complex transactions such as our award-winning work for the 68,000-seat NFL stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Uber Technologies Oakland headquarters purchase of Uptown Station, the Exploratorium’s world-class museum on the San Francisco waterfront, the San Francisco Giants’ 43,000-seat ballpark and the adjacent 300-acre, mixed-use Mission Bay Project in San Francisco.

But we don’t only take on the area’s biggest and most visible real estate developments. Our attorneys handle the day-to-day real estate transactions for many of California's premier companies, such as The Carlyle Group, Equity Office, Forest City, TMG Partners, Sares Regis Group, LendLease, Lincoln Property Company, UBS Realty Investors, Pacific Gas and Electric, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and eBay.

In fact, it is our comprehensive approach to real estate that really differentiates Coblentz. Nowhere else will you find seasoned real estate lawyers who also do great public-private partnership work or land use attorneys who are also great real estate counsel. This crossover of talent and expertise ensures that every decision in a real estate project is creative, thoughtful, and shaped by the "next step"—whether it's financing, additional equity investment, construction, or the challenges of asset operation.
 

Land Use

Our attorneys’ experience in successfully guiding clients through complex approval processes in land use matters is unsurpassed. Our projects range from small conversions or rehabilitation of existing—and sometimes historic—buildings to new large-scale mixed-use developments involving hundreds of thousands of square feet of office uses, thousands of residential units, hotels, light industrial uses, and major single and multiple user retail facilities, as well as single users within a large mixed-use project.

We fully understand not just current, but proposed legal and policy changes that impact development and operation of real estate. This ability to "see around corners" is especially critical in the complex and dynamic land use regulatory environment. In practicing before almost every type of Northern California land use agency, including city councils, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the State Lands Commission, we have represented clients in securing development approvals for projects throughout the state.

Leasing

Our clients receive value not just from the land and the structures they own, but, just as importantly, from the leases they hold. We work to protect and enhance the value of a landlord's assets no matter the market—boom, bust, or somewhere in between. We have the experience to know which lease provisions impact the value of the real estate when it is time to sell or refinance.

For our tenant clients, we work to understand their business needs so we can focus on minimizing potential risks if challenges and issues, such as a business sale, expansion, downsizing, or earthquake, arise.

Coblentz has extensive experience representing both landlord and tenant interests and issues in power center, mixed-use, and neighborhood shopping centers relating to the leasing and operation by major tenants such as Target, Macy's, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

Finance

Successfully navigating the challenges of real estate finance matters in today's changing lending environment requires counsel with an intimate knowledge of the legal and business concerns impacting the deal. Our vast experience in real estate finance covers the broad horizon of finance structures and vehicles, representing lenders, borrowers, and investors. Our expertise includes structuring, negotiating, documenting, and closing:

  • Conventional loans
  • Construction loans
  • Loans secured by ground leases
  • Multi-state, multi-asset, cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted loans
  • Letter of credit-supported financings
  • Securitized financings
  • Sale/leaseback transactions
  • Municipal bond financings
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Intercreditor agreements
  • Loan participations and other co-lender arrangements
  • Interest rate protection products

For distressed or non-performing properties, our finance lawyers partner with our bankruptcy and litigation experts to provide strategic and practical options to protect and enhance our client's rights. In addition, we frequently advise potential debt purchasers and investors in evaluating loan acquisitions and investments.

Joint Venture

Working as counsel for both developers and investors, our lawyers have drafted and negotiated many highly complex joint venture agreements. By collaborating with our firm’s tax lawyers, we’re able to provide sound counsel on the many issues that arise in these relationships, including decision-making controls, allocation of guaranty risks, promote distributions, squeeze-down formulas, buy-sell rights, and other exit strategies.

Purchases & Sales

The work of drafting and negotiating complex purchase and sale agreements is at the heart of our practice, and our attorneys also have deep experience in the collateral issues involved in these transactions, such as providing detailed analysis of title and survey matters, analysis of compliance with existing entitlements, counseling on development, construction and financing issues, and review and analysis of ground leases.

We have represented real estate investors and developers in the acquisition and disposition of all types of properties, including office complexes, industrial projects, multifamily residential developments, and shopping centers.

Conservation

Coblentz is one of the few law firms in the country with a practice dedicated to conservation transactions, and we’re proud of the work we do to preserve open space for future generations.

Our practice draws upon the expertise of attorney William Hutton, one of only a handful of attorneys in the nation who specialize in these complex transactions. He works with our team of experienced real estate, tax, and estate planning attorneys to work with the various land trusts and government agencies that are necessary and vital partners in this work.

We've worked on substantial projects throughout the state, from Humboldt County to San Diego. Outside of California, we've provided counsel on deals in American Samoa, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. One of our most significant projects was providing tax planning on the conveyance of two conservation easements by Ulupalakua Ranch to Maui Coastal Land Trust, the largest private land conservation transaction ever done in the State of Hawaii. It allowed for two-thirds of the ranch's 18,000 acres to be forever preserved as agricultural and ranch lands, thereby protecting it from being sold piecemeal by future generations.