Thompson Hine Acquires Seven-Lawyer Real Estate Finance and Development Practice

0
65
Deborah Z. Read

CLEVELAND–Thompson Hine announced that it has expanded its real estate finance capabilities with the addition of a seven-person team, including four partners, to the firm’s Real Estate practice in Cleveland.

Partners William R. Weir, David M. Lewis, Allyson J. O’Keefe and Christopher J. Diehl have joined the firm from Porter Wright, adding nearly 80 years of combined experience to Thompson Hine’s Real Estate group. Also joining are associates Mitchell R. Prentis, Casey M. McCullen and Brittany T. Chung.

“This is a dynamic team with considerable skills and experience. They enhance our already deep and broad national real estate practice, positioning Thompson Hine to offer our clients a wider variety of capabilities to handle complex real estate transactions,” said Thompson Hine Managing Partner Deborah Z. Read.

The team has decades of experience advising on the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits, as well as proven strength in representing developers. “This is a very timely addition,” Read added. “Their significant expertise in the tax credit space is valuable to clients as more projects are expected to require tax credit enhancements as we approach a challenged real estate market.”

Read believes it will become increasingly vital to offer clients sophisticated tax credit counsel as competition in the real estate market intensifies and projects supported by tax credits will have the highest chance of success. The firm expects that affordable housing will be a growth area, filling an important societal need over the next decade and beyond.

“There are definite synergies between this new group’s clients and our existing clients,” said Tom Coyne, Real Estate practice group leader. “The team complements our existing finance capabilities by adding a broader range of experience in complex structured real estate finance and expanding our tax credit practice. This expertise will also be valuable to Thompson Hine’s existing investor-side clients in their development projects, which typically involve an array of tax credit programs.”

The team regularly represents lenders on major projects throughout the United States. Recent projects include office building to multifamily housing conversions valued at $65 million and $40 million; office, retail and multifamily housing developments valued at $120 million, $110 million and $90 million; and world headquarters construction projects valued at $135 million and $75 million. The group has a significant national practice, with projects including a $300 million lifestyle center in Phoenix, a $260 million lifestyle center in Los Angeles, a $290 million office, retail and multifamily housing development in Dallas, and a $190 million office, retail and multifamily housing development in Philadelphia. In addition, the team represents lenders on hundreds of tax credit projects throughout the country, including projects utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (9% and 4%), New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, and they have extensive experience representing developers in connection with projects supported by Historic Tax Credits and/or New Markets Tax Credits.

“We are excited to join Thompson Hine’s well-established Real Estate practice,” said Weir of the group’s decision to join the firm. “The firm’s platform enhances our potential to increase work on a national basis and on a broader range of transactions, including those involving real estate investment trusts (REITs) and complex bond financing. Thompson Hine’s national footprint, particularly its offices in New York, Chicago and Atlanta, provides important expansion opportunities for us. Finally, the firm’s wholly owned subsidiary, Project Management Consultants (PMC), which provides owner’s representation services and public and private financing consulting, will be an excellent resource for our developer clients.”

Following are brief descriptions of the new partners’ experience:

William R. Weir’s practice focuses on the representation of banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions in real estate lending. He has extensive experience with construction and permanent financing, CMBS loans, affordable housing tax credit financings, and mezzanine and subordinate debt.

David M. Lewis has deep experience representing financial institutions in tax credit financings throughout the country, including construction projects supported by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits. In addition, he represents lenders in real estate transactions with complex structures including tax increment financing, public debt, and intricate capital stacks. Lewis also represents developers in connection with projects that involve Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits.

Allyson J. O’Keefe focuses her practice on real estate development, real estate finance and tax credit financing. She represents commercial lenders and developers in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of a range of transactions, including the acquisition, financing, sale and disposition of real estate developments.

Christopher J. Diehl represents banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions in commercial lending transactions. His areas of concentration include construction and real estate financing (including tax credit financing), health care lending and complex construction financing.

Thompson Hine’s combined Real Estate and Construction practice groups, together with Project Management Consultants, now include over 70 members exclusively dedicated to the real estate and construction industries. The Real Estate and Construction groups are ranked in the top tier by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. Thompson Hine represents clients in all segments of the real estate industry across the United States and abroad, with a focus on developers, financial institutions, corporate owners, real estate investment trusts (REITs), institutional investors, and private equity funds, as well as other public and private investors, developers, managers and owners of commercial real estate.