Real Estate

A one-stop-shop for commercial real estate counsel, we provide clients with practical and innovative solutions to real estate needs.

HSE’s Real Estate group is a seasoned team of attorneys who focus on understanding and achieving client objectives while working meticulously and creatively to get deals done. We represent a wide range of clients including public and private companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), landlords, tenants, developers, financial institutions, health care providers, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and governmental authorities.

Recognizing that commercial real estate projects are often one component of a much larger transaction or project involving broader legal issues, our Real Estate attorneys work closely with HSE’s Environmental, Land Use and Zoning; Building and Construction; Business Restructuring; Litigation; Tax; Mergers and Acquisitions, and Corporate teams to ensure our client’s best interests are being addressed from every possible angle.

Recipient of the highest ranking by the worldwide leader in attorney and firm rankings, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, HSE’s Real Estate group is recognized for its “Exceptional practice adept at assisting clients with a variety of real estate matters.” Our service and experience include the following:

  • Real Estate Transactions – Our attorneys lead clients through all aspects of a real estate transaction – including the acquisition, divestiture, financing, zoning, and municipal approval. We have helped clients on transactions involving a broad array of real estate matters, including: shopping centers; office parks; office buildings; college campuses; alternative energy facilities; oil, gas, minerals and other natural resources; hotels and motels; condominium and coops; apartment buildings; parking structures; self-storage facilities; and a host of other commercial and industrial development projects, including multi-state transactions. Our attorneys prepare and negotiate acquisition and divestiture agreements, development and joint venture agreements, and a myriad of other agreements and instruments relating to real estate interests.  Our attorneys are also experienced in counseling clients on issues frequently encountered real estate transactions and projects, including environmental, risk allocation and zoning matters. We also advise lenders and borrowers about their rights and obligations in real estate financing arrangements.
  • Commercial Leasing – Our attorneys provide general counsel, advice and transactional representation to Fortune 100 and other clients in commercial leasing matters. We help clients with individual leases and those with a portfolio of leases throughout the state and country. Our attorneys counsel landlords, tenants and other interested parties in:
    • negotiating and documenting commercial lease transactions (including ground leases, retail leases, lease-back arrangements, office leases, light and heavy industrial leases, oil, gas and mineral leases, and agricultural leases);
    • negotiating and documenting other agreements related to commercial leases (e.g., development agreements, subleases, license agreements, option agreements, utility agreements, assignment and assumption agreements, financing agreements, collateral assignments, subordination agreements, and lease termination agreements);
    • obtaining necessary approvals;
    • performing due diligence; and
    • pursuing or defending disputes and litigation.

For clients with lease portfolios, we develop systems synergistic with our client’s needs to track and respond to the daily requirements of managing retail and commercial lease portfolios.  Clients benefit from having a cohesive team of professionals managing and tracking details for leases in a centralized location, and driving communication to designated contacts for each property as deadlines, issues and renewals need to be addressed.

  • Lender Representation – Our attorneys provide counseling and service for many institutional lenders, including banks, insurance companies, and other institutions throughout the country. With this background, we are able to provide the “lender’s viewpoint” in structuring financing transactions for clients, and have frequently been able to open the door for clients seeking project financing.

Several of our attorneys are licensed title insurance agents and the firm is an authorized title insurance agent for national title insurance companies, making the group well equipped to handle all title issues that may arise during a real estate transaction.

Representative Engagements

Commercial Leasing

  • We represent a dental management company, in its commercial leasing of real estate throughout the U.S.
  • We represent the owners of various commercial and retail centers throughout the northeast in commercial leasing matters
  • We represent a U.S.-based evaluator of medical disability in leasing transactions in numerous states
  • We represent grocery store chains in acquisition, divestiture and leasing transactions

Acquisitions and Dispositions; General Real Estate

  • We represent numerous regional and national companies and real estate developers, in the acquisition and disposition of real estate throughout the United States and in the management of their real estate portfolios.
  • We represent national companies in the acquisition and disposition of self-storage facilities throughout the United States.
  • We represent various auto dealers in real estate matters relating to acquisitions and divestitures. 

Lender Representation

We represent several commercial banks in commercial real estate loan transactions and, in addition, aid them in their own real estate leasing, acquisition and divestiture needs.

National Retailers and Fast-Food Restaurants - Acquisitions, Zoning, and Land Use

We represent national retailers and fast-food restaurants in real property acquisition and in zoning and land use matters, including approvals required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Owner-Operator of Health Care Facilities and Services - Acquisitions and Financing

We represent health care facilities in various real estate matters, including acquisitions, divestitures, leasing transactions and financing.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) - Acquisitions and Dispositions

We represent REITs on a variety of matters, including drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, handling transfers of title, and other work associated with acquisitions and dispositions of properties throughout the United States.

Key Contacts


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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