We have the real estate, land use, finance, and construction law experience necessary to counsel owners, developers, and lenders through the most complex property, development, and financing issues. Our experience and knowledge covers all facets of commercial real estate transactions, including development, planning, and permitting, project and infrastructure finance, investment, leasing, acquisition/disposition, alternative real estate finance, and municipal finance. We also have extensive experience and expertise in environmental and renewable energy matters.
Our real estate section is the largest group of attorneys dedicated to real estate matters in Nebraska. The number and diversity of these attorneys results in a breadth and depth of expertise that allows the group to provide exemplary client service—coast to coast—on a wide range of issues.
The attorneys in our real estate section understand the intricacies of real estate law and have advised clients in each of the following areas.
Commercial Real Estate Development
Real estate development is a complex and varied enterprise. Baird Holm has expertise in all facets of development, from land acquisition and assembly, financing and incentives, land use planning and zoning, development and construction, to litigation defense if a controversy arises. We provide a "one-stop-shop" for the commercial real estate developer, planner and builder.
Zoning and Land Use Planning
Our team has extensive experience in zoning and land use matters. One of our attorneys is a former city planner; another is a licensed architect. We have the practical experience, the legal knowledge and skill, and the political expertise to help a developer or other entity successfully navigate a zoning and permitting process, to support the creation or amendment of plans and regulations, and to defend a project or municipality in zoning or land use litigation.
Our attorneys understand that commercial leasing is not "one-size-fits-all," and we work with each client to identify specific needs that must be addressed in the client's commercial lease. We represent local, regional, and national landlords and tenants in structuring, drafting, and negotiating leases for a broad variety of transactions, including office, retail, industrial, build-to-suit leases, ground leases, and subleases. We also represent landlords in connection with commercial lease defaults, workouts, and evictions.
Real Estate Lending and Finance
We represent lenders, borrowers, investors, and developers in connection with a broad range of financial transactions, including asset-based lending, real estate acquisitions and development, construction loans, agribusiness finance, credit-tenant lease financing, trade finances, financing for asset and stock acquisitions, mezzanine financing, transactions involving new market and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, and private equity investments. Our attorneys have negotiated, documented, and managed every element of a financial transaction for billion dollar syndicated deals, as well as small-cap traditional financing.
Real Estate Investment Entities
Real estate ownership is more complicated than ever as real estate investors strive to limit their personal liability, reduce the tax consequences of investing in real estate, and create an investment structure that meets the competing needs of multiple investors. We understand these complexities, and have the ability and experience to identify, form, and help manage the most appropriate investment entity based on the needs of each client, whether it is a limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership. We create the appropriate governance documents and tailor them to meet the specific concerns of a real estate investor.
Environmental Permitting and Compliance
The regulatory atmosphere regarding environmental law is complicated and always-changing. Our attorneys have expertise in both toxic tort and contamination-type matters, as well as wetlands and natural resource matters. We have experience with federal and state agencies with respect to permitting, compliance, and responding to and defending complaints or alleged violations. Our attorneys have negotiated and obtained natural resource permits for many projects, including large residential developments, industrial facilities, and renewable energy facilities.
Our renewable energy practice group has extensive experience, dating from the infancy of ethanol in the 1970s, across a full range of industries and issues. We represent owners, lenders, investors, agri-producers, developers, and other key participants in all forms of the renewable energy business. We represented the developer of Nebraska's first privately developed Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) wind energy project, an 80-megawatt wind farm near Bloomfield, Nebraska, as well as the Laredo Ridge wind project near Petersburg, Nebraska. We are currently working on all aspects of the Broken Bow project near Broken Bow, Nebraska, and the Springview project, which is the first "small renewable" wind project developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District. We also represented developer interests in the drafting and negotiation of Legislative Bill 1048, Nebraska's wind energy export legislation, and we continue to represent these interests before the Nebraska Legislature.
Tax Increment Financing and other Economic Incentives
We have represented developers in obtaining tax incentives at the local, state, and federal levels. We make sure lenders understand and properly secure real estate loans in which tax incentives are critical to the deal. We have represented clients with respect to many different tax incentives, including: the Nebraska Advantage Act; Tax Increment Financing ("TIF"); Historic Tax Credits; Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; New Markets Tax Credits; U.S. Department of Agriculture funding and loan guarantees for renewable energy projects; the Nebraska Rural Community Based Energy Development tax exemption, and city, state, and federal grants.
Our attorneys have represented numerous buyers and sellers in maximizing tax benefits available pursuant to Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. We have participated in a wide range of 1031 exchanges and reverse 1031 exchanges, serve as Qualified Intermediaries, and prepare exchange documentation that ensures a fast and successful closing process.
Who We Represent
The attorneys in our real estate section have, and presently:
- Prepared legislation for the passage of the Historic Property Restoration and Reuse Act to support and foster economic development and historic preservation in Nebraska;
- Served as counsel on the redevelopment of a 59-acre Veterans Administration campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, including an 80,000 square-foot veterans' outpatient facility, a medical office building, housing, and retail uses;
- Represent clients in all aspects of leasing, permitting, environmental review, and development of over 250 megawatts of wind energy generation facilities;
- Advised a client on all legal matters regarding real estate issues, land use planning, and construction of a new 116-bed women's hospital and adjacent medical office building in Omaha, Nebraska;
- Advised a client on all legal matters regarding the acquisition, land use planning, and construction of a new elementary school and a new middle school;
- Advised a client regarding the acquisition of 5.75 acres of property in Omaha and related land use planning for construction of a training facility;
- Successfully defended a client in litigation regarding the development, permitting, and environmental review of a 1,015-acre home golf course community in Solano County, California;
- Successfully defended a client in litigation regarding a 148-unit apartment and retail project in Berkeley, California;
- Represented a real estate private equity fund in the acquisition and leasing of office buildings and retail shopping centers;
- Negotiate retail, office, and industrial leases for landlords and tenants;
- Represented numerous national and state banks in their corporate office leasing and retail branch development work; and
- Obtained wetland and natural resource permits for a large industrial processing facility.