Jennings Strouss has an extensive real estate practice, representing clients in every segment of the real estate industry, including owners, lenders, borrowers, investors, developers, contractors, brokers, property managers, title insurers, escrow agents, municipalities, and syndicators.
The attorneys in our real estate practice are well-versed on the full spectrum on a wide range of real estate transactions, including acquisition, development, and disposition of real property; financing; title insurance; syndications; leasing; construction, renovation and restoration; tax-deferred exchanges and other tax issues; subdivisions; eminent domain and condemnation; and real estate litigation.
The real estate practice of Jennings Strouss has received numerous accolades, including a Metropolitan Tier 1 ranking in Phoenix, Arizona for Real Estate Law and a National Tier 2 ranking for Litigation – Real Estate in the 2019 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” and being voted as the “Best Real Estate Law Firm” in AZ Foothills’ “Best of Our Valley” awards in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Construction, Renovation, and Restoration
Architectural and construction contract documents raise a variety of legal issues. Our attorneys have substantial experience in representing all of the players in the construction industry, including owners, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, project managers, and subcontractors. They assist in negotiating the standard industry form contracts or preparing project specific forms.
Jennings Strouss is preeminently qualified to represent government agencies in eminent domain and condemnation actions relating to public projects. Our attorneys represent government agencies in related matters every day and have the experience and resources to provide effective and efficient representation, from design review through trial.
Our goal is to help keep public projects on time and on budget. We work collaboratively with agencies and their design teams, including right-of-way professionals and appraisers, to help minimize project impacts and costs and avoid litigation while optimizing preparation for any unavoidable condemnation suits. Our extensive experience in the public arena affords us an understanding of and appreciation for the political and economic sensitivity that often surrounds a public project.
Our opponents know that our experienced team of attorneys cannot be bullied or bluffed. They know we take cases to trial when necessary. They respect our knowledge of the many intricacies of condemnation law that may not be apparent even to experienced attorneys who dabble in condemnation. They know we can and will spot flaws in appraisals that others might miss because we read appraisals every day with an eye to cross-examining that appraiser.
Jennings Strouss has the expertise to advise accurately and fully educate our clients as to eminent domain and condemnation law and procedure, realistic schedules for acquisition or possession, risks and costs of a project or individual acquisition, advisability of settlement or trial, and litigation budgets. Our attorneys assist with an agency’s coordination with stakeholders, compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, and preparation of project documentation, including procurement by alternative delivery methods. They also assist with relocation appeals when a person or business displaced by a project files for administrative review in court.
The firm has experience condemning all kinds of property, including, for example, vacant land, single family homes, apartment and condominium complexes, high volume retail businesses, commercial buildings, churches, open pit mining operations, orchards, dairies, ranches, and functioning utilities, to name a few. Our attorneys’ representation of condemning agencies has included acquisitions for, among other things:
- freeways (including greenfield), highways, roads, parkways, bridges, traffic interchanges, and related facilities
- light rail and transit
- high voltage transmission corridors
- high capacity, long distance pipelines
- public buildings and grounds
- flood control
- water and wastewater treatment
- sewer and water lines, including force mains
- wetlands and environmental mitigation
- parks and open space
- airports and related facilities
- elimination of legal nonconforming uses
- resolution of undocumented right-of-way
Jennings, Strouss attorneys can help clear right-of-way, acquire property, and deliver your public project on time and on budget. Delivering property for public projects cheaper, better, and faster based on extensive knowledge, long experience, and unmatched resources is our mission.
On behalf of both landlords and tenants, Jennings Strouss negotiates and documents leases for office, industrial and retail projects. We prepare “standard form” leases for smaller tenants and also negotiate the more sophisticated lease requirements of national credit tenants. Jennings Strouss has been involved in some of the most unique ground leasing projects in Arizona, including leasing of both private and public lands. We have considerable experience in modifying ground leases from earlier eras. As a result, Jennings Strouss is well positioned to assist in leasing and financing of those projects in today’s market.
Real Estate Acquisition, Development, and Disposition
The firm has extensive experience in the purchase, development, and sale of improved and unimproved land for commercial, industrial and residential uses. Our experience includes negotiating and documenting contracts for the acquisition of property, resolving survey and title-related problems, overseeing environmental due diligence, and securing governmental and regulatory approvals.
Real Estate Financing
Our attorneys represent lenders and borrowers in financing both the acquisition and development of shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, apartments, golf courses, industrial buildings, residential subdivisions and other projects. They have extensive experience in documenting commercial real estate loans for major local institutional lenders as well as out-of-state lenders. Our attorneys also work with numerous financial institutions and insurance companies with Arizona real estate portfolios in the areas of loan modifications, restructurings and workouts, foreclosures, receiverships and bankruptcy.
Real Estate Litigation
Jennings Strouss represents developers, shopping centers, office complexes, and other commercial clients in virtually all types of commercial lease disputes. Our attorneys handle litigation matters as simple as forcible detainers to more complex lease interpretation issues, such as rental adjustment and continuous operations provisions. They represent developers in disputes with homeowners’ associations (and vice versa) over covenants, conditions, and restriction (CC&Rs). They also handle disputes involving adverse possession and easement claims and virtually all other title issues, including escrow and title insurance claims. The firm also defends real estate brokers and trustees in professional liability claims.
Our attorneys advise developers on all aspects of residential property developments, including master planned communities, condominium projects, apartments, planned unit developments, and homeowner associations.
Jennings Strouss has experience with virtually all aspects of federal, state, and local tax law. The attorneys in our tax and real estate practices collaborate to advise clients on sales and use tax and property tax issues. They have assisted clients in structuring a number of transactions that permit a developer to take advantage of certain favorable tax treatments under Arizona “possessory interest” tax laws when new development occurs within a city’s redevelopment district.