Real Estate

Frank Giso, Jim Shea, Doug Gooding, Sarah Hunt Broughel, Mark Cahill
Michael Sophocles

Major Clients

Bain Capital
Boylston Properties
Bristol Properties
Cape Cod Healthcare
CapStar Hotels
Centremark Properties
Chestnut Hill Realty
Chiofaro Company
City of Somerville
Condyne   
Crane & Co.
Danis Properties
Fallon Companies
Fortress Investment Group
Hanover Insurance Group
Harvard
International Hotel Investments
Lonestar Capital
Mass Convention Center Authority
MassHousing     
Mass Port Authority
MDOT
Merck
Normandy Real Estate
Opus Investments
South Shore Hospital
Spear Street Capital
Teradyne
Tribeca Holdings

  • Choate was a silver sponsor of IMN’s Real Estate General Counsel Forum East, which focused on pressing issues facing real estate in-house counsel.  Read more…

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    Choate was ranked among the best law firms in this year's US News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" list, and has been named as an elite "National Tier 1" law firm in 4 practice areas.  Choate also received top "Tier 1" Boston rankings in 27 practice areas.  Read more...

  • Over 70% of equity partners named Best in America by Best LawyersRead more...

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    Acting on behalf of major owner/developer in connection with $600 million office building construction in Seaport District.

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    Choate represented financial giant Bain Capital in its execution of a 15-year lease with the John Hancock Tower.  Bain moved its 500 employees to seven floors at the Tower in the fall of 2011 from its former post at 111 Huntington.  The deal, which includes an option for Bain to acquire an additional 60,000 square feet of space, lowers John Hancock's vacancy rate to 5 percent, down from a 10-year high of 15 percent, and has been described by real estate specialists as "the strongest indication yet of a stabilizing market after nearly two years of growing vacancies and steadily dropping rents."  Thanks in part to the Choate team, Bain was able to achieve an enormously beneficial economic deal that included free rent, a profit participation in the building’s performance and an option to co-invest in the building.

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    Choate is representing CitySquare II Development Co. LLC in its development of the CitySquare $563 million multi-use, redevelopment project in downtown Worcester on the 20 acre stretch of land formerly occupied by the defunct Worcester Common Outlets Mall.   CitySquare II is owned by an investment arm of the Hanover Insurance Group. After acquiring the site in June 2010, CitySquare II and its development partner Leggat McCall Properties signed a 17-year lease with Unum Group, a disability insurer, for the construction of a 200,000 square foot building and a parking garage containing 860 spaces which triggered the release of $35 million in public money.  The project achieved a further milestone in October 2011 when Choate represented CitySquare II in the sale of one of the development parcels at the site to Saint Vincent Hospital for the development of a 65,000 square foot cancer treatment center.  Choate will continue to be a key advisor on the project throughout the CitySquare development process.

 

Real Estate

Full Service Real Estate Practice   

Sophisticated real estate practice emphasizing complex transactions in real estate development and real estate finance, land use and environmental permitting and litigation.

Bench Strength    

Real estate, land use and environmental lawyers, together with comprehensive support team, having expertise in finance, corporate, securities, tax, specialty finance, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.  Lawyers throughout our real estate practice area consistently receive national recognition for excellence.  Nationally recognized as one of the leading practices of its kind by US News & World Report.

Sophisticated Developer Practice    

Represent owners and developers in full range of projects, including:

Commercial & industrial developments    
Healthcare facilities
Hotels
Industrial parks
Long-term care & senior living
Mixed use development

Multifamily residential
Office properties
Recreational facilities
Retirement communities
Shopping centers
Universities & colleges

National Reach    

Real estate transactions throughout United States.

Complex Transactions    

Represent real estate clients in complex transactions, including:

Air rights development
Architect agreements
Construction contracts
Fiber optic/wireless communications     
Mixed use developments
Long-term ground leasing

Management/operations
Office, retail & industrial leasing
Portfolio transactions
Real estate finance
Rights of way
Sale/leaseback

Zoning & Permitting Expertise    

Expertise in obtaining federal, state and local permits and approvals for commercial, industrial, residential, renewable energy and green development projects.

Land Use & Environmental Experts    

Represent clients in regulatory matters, including: 

Agricultural/forest/open space
City of Boston/BRA/large project review
Brownfields/Superfund sites
Climate change regulations
Coastal zone management
Eminent domain
Environmental impact review
EPA compliance

Hazardous wastes
Highway access permitting
Historic district review
Land use planning & control
Site plan review
Subdivision control
Wetlands & tidelands/waterways

Real Estate Litigation    

Highly experienced in federal and state courts in land use, environmental and transactional disputes and in land court in land and development restrictions.

Real Estate Workout/Restructuring Expertise    

Significant practice representing real estate clients in bankruptcy, workout and restructuring matters involving the unwinding of complex intercreditor relationships and negotiating SWAP prepayments or windups. 

Experts in Real Estate Transaction Structuring    

Significant experience in transaction structuring, including:

  • 1031 exchanges
  • Complex real estate acquisition and development joint ventures
  • Private equity real estate funds
  • Tax-exempt entity investments (UBTI-sensitive and “fractions rule” compliant transactions)
  • Tax planning and structuring for foreign investors in US real estate (ECI and FIRPTA)
  • Tenancy in common interest transfers (TICs)
  • Orderly dissolution of closely-held real estate company portfolios

Sustainability & Green Building    

Multidisciplinary team of real estate, environmental, land use, tax, energy, clean-tech and corporate attorneys provides full range of sustainability support across industry sectors, and counsels clients on the ways in which existing and emerging international, federal and state climate change regulations impact their businesses.  

Assist clients in greenhouse gas and sustainability due diligence in corporate and real estate transactions.  Provide legal counsel and strategy with respect to permitting and financing of renewable energy projects. 

Public/Private Partnerships  

Lawyers in real estate department have particular expertise in phased, multi-use, transit-oriented development projects in which one or more public agencies have substantial roles as parties to the transaction.  

Major Current Activities

  • Acting on behalf of owner/developer in $500 million mixed use real estate development of Worcester’s CitySquare.
  • Acting on behalf of major owner/developer in connection with $600 million office building construction in Seaport District.
  • Acting on behalf of owner/developer in the acquisition, financing and construction of Newbury Street’s newest high-end retail and luxury condo project.
  • Acting on behalf of Boston’s premier private equity firm in the negotiation of multi-year lease and related unique perquisites.
  • Representing numerous owners regarding major office leasing activities in Back Bay, Fenway, Central business districts, Cambridge and suburban markets.
  • Acting on behalf of various lending/special servicers in recovery of loan assets.
  • Acting on behalf of major retail mall developer in the repositioning of developer sites.
  • Acting on behalf of suburban office and industrial developer in various financings and capital transactions.
  • Recently completed sale of historic resort hotel listed on National Register, together with 7,000 acres of conservation restricted forest land.

Real Estate Workout/Restructuring

  • Over $1.2 billion in asset recovery for bank in four major loan transactions.
  • $400 million workout and restructuring of Harbor Point Apartments, including SWAP prepayment and intercreditor agreements.
  • $21.8 million acquisition financing for client of Malden Mills' assets out of bankruptcy.
  • Representing MA state agency in restructuring of portfolio of loans for construction and permanent financing of market rate and affordable housing projects that collectively involve more than 25 discrete projects and in excess of $500 million in state debt.
  • $200 million in loan dispositions on behalf of special servicer.
  • Representation of a mortgage lender in the successful non-bankruptcy restructuring and disposition of $120 million in debt secured by a 144 acre development site located just outside Route 128 and adjacent to an AMTRAK railroad station.

Public Private Partnerships

  • Representation of the Massachusetts Port Authority as owner and/or ground landlord in many public private partnerships spanning 30 years, including, for example, the following projects located on the South Boston Waterfront or at Logan Airport:

    Phased, mixed use 2.5 million square foot development of 423 room hotel, two office buildings and shared 2,300 space underground parking garage on Seaport Boulevard;

    470,000 square foot Manulife headquarters office building on Congress Street;

    550 unit Seaport Apartments project located on D Street and adjacent 455 room Marriott Renaissance Hotel, including shared 520 space underground parking garage; and

    600 room Hilton Hotel at Logan Airport.
  • Development of 1.7 million square foot Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and adjacent privately constructed and financed 790 room Westin Convention Center Hotel.
  • Outside real estate counsel to City of Somerville for the mixed use development of 150 acre Assembly Square District, including rezoning, negotiating development covenants and securing public infrastructure financing exceeding $50 million.
  • Representation of private developer of 20 acre site owned by MBTA located adjacent to Riverside Station in Newton, Massachusetts, which involved negotiating long term ground lease and on-going representation to secure public financing for structured parking and improved access to Route 128.
  • Representation of Quincy City Council in connection with land disposition and proposed redevelopment of downtown Quincy, including securing public infrastructure financing.
  • Representation of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in connection with millions of square feet of air rights and land based development projects including Liberty Mutual’s Weston Offices, residential and office buildings in Charlestown and residential buildings in Boston.
  • Representation of the private developer of CitySquare, a $563 million multi-use, redevelopment project in downtown Worcester on 20 acre stretch of land formerly occupied by defunct Worcester Common Outlets Mall, which includes in excess of $50 million in public grant funds essential to the feasibility of the project.
  • Representation of the private developer of one million square feet of office space currently in construction on the South Boston Waterfront in securing over $50 million in public infrastructure financing.
 

Thank you for reaching out to contact Choate. Before you send your message, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the following. Please do not send any confidential information in response to this link. Sending an e-mail to Choate does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and will not be deemed to disqualify Choate from undertaking any engagement for a current or future client.  Before any attorney-client engagement may be formed, Choate will need to check for possible conflicts of interest, you will need to consider whether you wish to retain Choate as counsel, and we will need to consider whether we wish to accept the potential engagement. In the meantime, Choate reserves the right to represent parties with interests adverse to you.

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