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Condominiums, Planned Communities & Multifamily Projects

Davis Wright Tremaine’s real estate attorneys regularly handle real estate transactions relating to the development of both attached and detached dwelling units, from rural and suburban single-family residential communities to urban townhomes and high-rises, either for sale or lease. We represent both buyers and sellers of the land for such projects, and when we represent the condominium developer as the buyer, we typically also prepare the documents creating the condominium and owners’ association. We also represent home owners and associations, if not in conflict with our developer client engagements.

We represent local, regional, and national investors, lenders, home builders, and mixed-use developers throughout the west coast. Our lawyers have structured, negotiated, documented, and completed some of the largest and most visible residential development transactions in recent years involving properties in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska. We represent purchasers and sellers of apartment complexes in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. We have represented the purchaser of a co-controlling interest in one of the largest apartment developer/owner/manager entities in the United States.

We have handled projects ranging in size from two units to hundreds of units over multiple phases, including multi-building projects and “airspace” condominiums. We have the experience to know that one kind of representation does not fit all projects, and we carefully consult with clients to understand them and their goals. Our goal is to help our clients structure and document their transactions in a way that implements their intent.

We also have extensive experience with mixed-use and non-residential condominiums. We understand the unique issues raised by such projects and the essential need for customized documentation that adequately addresses the particular circumstances of such projects. Balancing the interests of the different uses is essential because once the condominium declaration is recorded and units have been sold, mistakes are usually very difficult if not impossible to correct.

We represent lenders who acquire ownership of condominiums, planned communities, and apartment projects. We advise our lender clients on matters relating to association control, amendments to governing documents, exercise of development rights and special declarant rights, the relative priority of the association lien for assessments, disposition strategies, and the sale of the property.

Because we represent lenders with respect to common interest ownership projects and rental apartments, we are better able to draft condominium and planned community documents for developer and investor clients that will meet the requirements of both primary and secondary lenders. We are thereby also able to better assist our investor and developer clients in obtaining financing for their projects.

We also represent project investors and developers who find that their projects need repositioning due to adverse market conditions. These projects include terminating a condominium and converting to a multifamily rental format until the market for sale of units recovers.

Our familiarity with current markets enables the parties to focus on the most critical issues and identify the most efficient business and legal solutions. We work to streamline negotiation and documentation of the deal, and completion of the transaction. We have developed processes and paralegal and associate staffing that allows us to efficiently produce these customized documents at a competitive cost, even for smaller projects. We know how to work effectively with important service providers (such as title companies, surveyors, appraisers, engineers, environmental consultants, and local counsel) and other key participants (such as lenders, underwriters, and government officials) whose needs must be anticipated and satisfied to ensure an efficient and successful residential project or transaction.