Industries Served

Real Estate

Representative Experience

Transactional

  • Obtained order for real estate secured lender lifting stay of foreclosure on $45,000,000 loan secured by Santa Monica office building and requiring counsel for debtor to disgorge $108,500 in legal fees and pay client's fees in sanctions
  • Represented the developer of luxury 64-lot, 100-acre residential subdivision in Beverly Hills, California; counseled on land use planning, subdivision approvals, entitlements, California Department of Real Estate subdivision sales approvals and documentation, negotiation of major, multiple-lot sale transactions, private street approval and off-site disputes with third parties
  • Representing a developer in the entitlement process, general and specific plans, CEQA regulations and zoning for a 336-acre, mixed-use development in Chino Hills, California
  • Represented PW LLC in a one million-square-foot, mixed-use/office/hotel project in Burbank, California
  • Ongoing representation of a syndicator of apartment projects in a series of equity raises for acquisitions of apartment projects in Southern California totaling approximately $350 million
  • Obtained entitlements for RAND Corporation for the redevelopment of its property located in Santa Monica, California, with a 300,000-square-foot office project
  • On behalf of Robinson’s-May, successfully obtained a reversal of a proposed action by the Los Angeles Unified School District to convert the department store chain's corporate headquarters into a school site
  • Obtained approval from the City of Los Angeles, in our representation of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, for the continued operation of an art museum in a single-family estate in Holmby Hills, California; this matter involved extensive negotiations with neighboring property owners and coordination with the neighborhood council in devising a set of operating conditions
  • Counseled developer of mixed-use, 336-acre project in Chino Hills, California in preparation of EIR, which was approved by the city council and not legally challenged; helped our client avoid additional, costly mitigation measures or reduced density project alternatives; persuaded the California Department of  Fish & Game (Streambed Alteration Agreement), the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Division (Section 401 Water Quality requirements) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Section 404 Permit) to issue the required permits; this saved the client many thousands of dollars in mitigation and project delay expenses
  • Served as special CEQA counsel to the City Attorney of Huntington Beach and the City on protecting the 1,600-acre Bolsa Chica Wetlands from a substantial residential development
  • Represented the developer of a mixed-use development located on former industrial land against challenges that the development and its uses would pose a health risk to the community; successfully worked with community groups and the local authorities to remove opposition to the project on these grounds
  • Obtained dismissal in a Caltrans eminent domain case brought by the department and involving it taking a pylon sign to enlarge a freeway off ramp and a portion of the sign owned by our client; we worked with other aligned property owners and prevailed because of Caltrans’ failure to comply with statutory notice requirements
  • In a civil rights case against the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Carson and the city’s former mayor, we obtained a jury verdict of over $1 million dollars; the jury found that the agency rejected our client’s redevelopment project because he refused to pay a bribe
  • Provided litigation counseling and assistance to a developer with regard to CEQA and land use challenges to approval of, and with regard to, eminent domain issues that arose in property acquisition for a major mixed-use redevelopment project at Hollywood and Vine; the challenges to the project approval and to the use of eminent domain were all either defeated or settled
  • In a dispute with the City of Indio, with regard to a water project’s fees that would have severely impacted our clients’ undeveloped land, we filed judicial challenges to the project that resulted in a settlement granting significant development rights to our clients
  • In a dispute between neighbors concerning the use of a residential property for commercial filming, we used litigation and the threat of litigation to effectively end the commercial use of our client’s neighbor’s property
  • Represented petitioners in a case against the City of Los Angeles in a challenge to the environmental review of the master plan for the redevelopment of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Pacific Palisades; after entry of a Superior Court judgment in our client’s favor, the litigation was settled
  • Successfully prosecuted a federal court action under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act challenging project denial on behalf of a private high school; in settlement of the case, the city authorized single-family residential development of the original proposed school site; we handled the processing of the approvals for the residential development as well as the authorizations needed to relocate the high school to the Ambassador College campus in Pasadena

Litigation

  • Won a Summary Judgment against 40 individual plaintiffs and defeated motion for class certification in case involving a nine figure plaintiffs' demand against owner of 350 unit apartment complex in Santa Monica, California; obtained dismissal of alleged claims for breach of implied warranty of habitability, public nuisance, fraudulent concealment, negligence, and unfair business practices and all class claims in Complex Los Angeles Superior Court action
  • Won $1,700,000 breach of contract judgment after two week Superior Court jury trial involving two of the nation's largest real estate developers; won appeal in which judgment was affirmed in full and review was denied in the California Supreme Court; collected over $2,000,000 after appeals were denied
  • Successfully resolved $11,500,000 dispute over the purchase price of a 350 unit apartment complex through mediation and binding arbitration between client, one of nation's largest pension funds, and leading real estate developer/manager
  • Won expungement of lis pendens that was preventing sale or refinancing of client's apartment complex and obtained order for recovery of all attorneys' fees, leading to dismissal of action by plaintiff and financial settlement
  • Won a three week jury trial co-tried in business fraud - partnership dispute leading to $2.32 million judgment; brought securities fraud action in aid of enforcement of first judgment leading to collection of entire judgment
  • Successfully resolved claim against real estate investment fund alleging alter ego liability as member of limited liability company for $13 million construction contract; case successfully resolved through mediation while motion for summary judgment was pending

For more information as to the services we provide to the Real Estate Industry, please visit our Real Estate Law page and/or contact Ryan Iwasaka.

Representative Experience

  • Won a litigation claim establishing validity of real estate secured lender's $3,363,000 claim against a shopping center over objection in bankruptcy case; recovered full claim for attorneys' fees in underlying action
  • Represented a developer in a 35-acre shopping center redevelopment project in Pomona, California; negotiated redevelopment agreements, subdivision and entitlement approvals, drafted land use restriction and operating documents, and negotiated and documented pad sales, ground leases and spaces leases
  • Represented Costco Wholesale Corporation in the preparation of environmental impact reports, related entitlements, zone changes, conditional use permits, general plan amendments, specific plans, and defending against litigation challenging the environmental reviews for a number of facilities; the facilities have included exurban, suburban and urban in-fill projects, some of which were financed entirely by private funds and some of which were financed by public-private partnerships; our work has also included Costco’s massive automated depot facilities, as well as over 125 stores and a variety of ancillary facilities
  • Represented El Segundo Media Center in 1.8 million-square-foot, technology office campus
  • Advised a publicly-held operator of high-end health and fitness clubs in selling selected clubs that operated primarily in the East to one of the operator’s shareholders for $80 million; as part of the sale, we also represented the company in refinancing $50 million of real estate-secured debt
  • Advised and represented Costco Wholesale Corporation in preparation of EIRs for its projects in La Quinta and National City, California, obtained approval by the respective city councils and projects were not legally challenged; this favorable outcome saved our client millions of dollars by its avoidance of potential traffic, wetlands, sensitive species, replacement of natural resources mitigation and other requirements
  • Represented the developers of the Montage Hotel site, a public-private partnership between the developer and the City of Beverly Hills, in preparation of the EIR; addressed complex urban in-fill issues including traffic, air quality and historic resources and the EIR successfully withstood legal attack by project opponents at the trial court and appellate levels
  • Represented a developer in the acquisition, redevelopment and disposition of Bella Terra Shopping Center, an approximately one million-square-feet project which was formerly known as the Huntington Beach Mall
  • In an eminent domain case brought by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Board to take land used by our client’s big-box retail operation, we used the leverage of a challenge to the agency’s right to take the property to obtain a settlement reducing to insignificance the amount of our client’s land being taken, we also imposed work rules on the agency that eliminated any adverse impact of the agency’s construction work on our client’s operations
  • In a series of lawsuits by citizens groups opposing development of a big-box retail store in the City of La Habra, we obtained a settlement of the first round of litigation and then a judgment, affirmed on appeal, in our client’s favor, on the second round of litigation, after one of the settling objectors reneged on the first settlement
  • During litigation controlled and financed by a neighboring property owner, we successfully defended in the trial court, and in the court of appeal, the approval by the City of El Segundo of a million square-foot, mixed-use development
 

Representative Experience

  • Represented Costco Wholesale Corporation in the preparation of environmental impact reports, related entitlements, zone changes, conditional use permits, general plan amendments, specific plans, and defending against litigation challenging the environmental reviews for a number of facilities, the facilities have included exurban, suburban and urban in-fill projects, some of which were financed entirely by private funds and some of which were financed by public-private partnerships, our work has also included Costco’s massive automated depot facilities, as well as over 125 stores and a variety of ancillary facilities
  • Crown Pacific Limited Partnership, represented integrated timber and lumber company in chapter 11 case and asset sales
  • Friede Goldman Halter, Inc., represented oil rig repair and construction company in chapter 11 case and multiple asset sales
  • Alameda Investments, LLC, represented liquidating trustee of land bank entity for one of largest privately held home builders in country
  • Represented a developer in a 35-acre shopping center redevelopment project in Pomona, California; negotiated redevelopment agreements, subdivision and entitlement approvals, drafted land use restriction and operating documents, and negotiated and documented pad sales, ground leases and spaces leases
  • Represent Community Dynamics, a developer of multifamily affordable and market rate housing projects throughout Southern California; handle negotiations with the City of Palm Desert on agreements and entitlements for a multiphase project on city-owned land
  • Represented Monrovia Nursery Company in the entitlement and master planning of a 1,250- dwelling unit, new urbanist community on one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels in the San Gabriel Valley; we are providing tactical expertise in successfully defeating the referendum challenge
  • Counseled Sunrise Desert Partners and Indian Ridge Land LLC on the development of the large master-planned community, Indian Ridge Country Club in Palm Desert, California
  • Obtained entitlements on behalf of Legacy Partners for an approximate 570-unit apartment project in Woodland Hills, California, and an approximate 190-unit apartment project in the Westwood area of Los Angeles
  • Represented real estate developer in negotiating and documenting construction and permanent real estate loan of $13 million for an upscale apartment complex in Panorama City, California
  • Represented Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in connection with the 600,000-square-foot expansion of the Fox Studios property in Century City, California
  • Represented the developer of the master-planned redevelopment of the former Ambassador College site in Pasadena, California, consisting of almost 2,000 dwelling units
  • Represented Tolkin Group in the development of Metlox Center, a mixed-use public-private project in Manhattan Beach, California. This project, and numerous other projects in the City of Malibu and elsewhere in the coastal zone, have required Coastal Act expertise
  • Advised and represented Costco Wholesale Corporation in preparation of EIRs for its projects in La Quinta and National City, California.  Obtained approval by the respective city councils and projects were not legally challenged. This favorable outcome saved our client millions of dollars by its avoidance of potential traffic, wetlands, sensitive species, replacement of natural resources mitigation and other requirements
  • Represented the developers of the Montage Hotel site, a public-private partnership between the developer and the City of Beverly Hills, in preparation of the EIR, we addressed complex urban in-fill issues including traffic, air quality and historic resources and the EIR successfully withstood legal attack by project opponents at the trial court and appellate levels
  • Achieved client goals in our representation of the developer of a golf course community opposed to a large-scale biosolid composting facility proposed by Waste Management; our opposition efforts on local, regional and statewide fronts led Waste Management to abandon the project
  • Represented a developer in the acquisition, redevelopment and disposition of Bella Terra Shopping Center, an approximately one million-square-feet project which was formerly known as the Huntington Beach Mall
  • During litigation controlled and financed by a neighboring property owner, we successfully defended in the trial court, and in the court of appeal, the approval by the City of El Segundo of a million square-foot, mixed-use development
  • Represented Los Encinos School in connection with the negotiation of guaranteed maximum cost construction contract
  • Negotiated stipulated sum construction contract for Inglewood Park Cemetery for the construction of a mausoleum
Representative Experience
  • Served as special CEQA counsel to the City Attorney of the City of Industry and the City on its proposal to construct a massive waste materials transfer facility using long-haul rail to remote disposal locations
  • Advised private developer of an approximately 600,000-square-foot industrial warehouse and distribution facility on how to address greenhouse gas emissions individually and cumulatively in the project
  • Represented the developer of former Boeing Challenger aerospace plant in Downey, California, which was proposed for multi-use retail, office, industrial and warehouse use
  • In ground lease interpretation litigation against the City of Redondo Beach, we obtained a settlement that resulted in resolution of nearly all disputed issues in favor of our client, the operator of a large marina in Redondo Beach Harbor
 
Representative Experience
  • Represented American Golf in the sale of Arrowhead Golf Club to the Florida Department of Transportation; the transaction was very challenging in having to structure and close a commercial transaction with a state agency that generally obtains real estate through condemnation
  • Retained by Los Angeles Country Club to advise on the design and construction of the Club's golf course restoration project; the project entails the complete restoration of the Club's North Course
  • Representing American Golf Corporation in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process regarding Westchester Golf Course near Los Angeles International Airport; along with Greenberg Glusker's Corporate Group, we advised AGC on entity formations and deal structure. If AGC is successful in being awarded the bid, we will negotiate the lease with the City of Los Angeles and advise on all aspects of the golf course restoration project
  • Negotiated loan modification agreements on behalf of the owners of golf courses in San Diego County and Northern Nevada; the transactions, among other things, resulted in the extension of the maturity date of the loans; the reduction of the interest rate of the loans; and the conversion of the required interest payments to a portion of net cash flow, with the balance of interest payments deferred until the extended maturity dates
  • Represented Sequoia/Canongate in managing Textron's golf course REO
  • Represented American Golf Corporation in the 2007 sale of the Las Vegas National Golf Club; the nearly $40 million, all cash sale price is one of the highest values achieved for a daily fee golf facility in the United States; the buyer was a consortium of local developers and the Bank of Phoenix provided the debt financing
  • Represented Joe Guerra, former CEO of American Golf Corporation, in the formation of a joint venture with Boston-based Parthenon Capital; we represented the joint venture, Sequoia/Canongate Golf, in its subsequent acquisition of over 26 golf courses, including its acquisition of "The Woodlands" in Houston, Texas, one of the golf industry’s largest transactions completed in 2007. The resort includes five golf courses, restaurants and hotel facilities
  • Represented American Golf Corporation in the sale to CNL and Eagle of a portfolio with 42 golf courses located in eight states throughout the United States
  • Represented American Golf Corporation in the sale to Century Golf/Walton Street of its Texas assets and operating group which included 16 golf facilities
  • Counsel in one of the golf industry’s largest transactions completed in 2007; represented Sequoia/Canongate in its acquisition of “The Woodlands,” in Houston. The resort includes five golf courses, restaurants and hotel facilities
  • Represented Sequoia/Canongate on all of its acquisitions since the company’s 2003 start up; client’s projected size is 26 golf courses by the end of 2008, which represents an aggregate transaction value of over $150 million
  • Represented American Golf Corporation in the sale of its entire Texas portfolio, approximately 27 courses, to Century Golf
  • Achieved client goals in our representation of the developer of a golf course community opposed to a large-scale biosolid composting facility proposed by Waste Management; our opposition efforts on local, regional and statewide fronts led Waste Management to abandon the project
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