Thomas Kabel, Butzel Long Photo

Thomas A. Kabel concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate and real estate-related finance. His clients include developers, property owners, lenders, lessors, lessees, and other real estate entities of all sizes in a variety of industries. He has been involved as lead counsel and principal attorney in numerous significant complex real estate transactions in Michigan and throughout the country. Mr. Kabel is a Vice President and serves on Butzel’s Board of Directors. 


For more than two decades, Thomas Kabel has counseled clients in all facets of acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing, and development of real property. He has extensive experience representing commercial lenders in conventional financing and has also served as bank and bond counsel on numerous industrial revenue and other tax-exempt financings.

In addition to his experience representing clients in commercial real estate matters, Mr. Kabel also has experience representing Michigan universities and community colleges in various financing transactions, including tax-exempt bonds, tax anticipation notes, financing under Michigan's New Jobs Training Program and financing with the Michigan State Building Authority. He is certified by the National Association of Development Companies (a trade association of companies that have been certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide funding for small businesses) to close SBA loans under the SBA's 504 Loan program.

No matter the size or complexity of a transaction, Mr. Kabel’s clients have come to depend on his specialized legal expertise to navigate every aspect required in commercial real estate transactions. From drafting and implementing intricate financial structures on a variety of developments to navigating greenfield and brownfield projects large and small, including technical and retail centers and residential housing projects, he is renowned in the industry. He has been recognized time and again by numerous respected legal publications for his expertise in Real Estate Law.

Mr. Kabel has been an integral part of several major development projects in Michigan. His involvement is noteworthy, as each project entailed considerable complexity and the drafting of sophisticated agreements. He served as part of the bond team representing Oakland County in connection with its issuance of $18,000,000 of bonds to assist with the financing of the Michigan Motion Picture Studio in Pontiac, Michigan. He also served as part of the team representing the developer in its $190,000,000 renovation of the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit which consisted of numerous layers of financing and included conventional loans, state and federal historic tax credits, state brownfield credits, conservation easements, and various other incentives. He additionally represented the City of Detroit Housing Commission in its major renovation of the Jeffries Housing project through the use of federal HOPE VI loans.

Thomas Kabel is a longstanding member of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Kabel has served in many leadership roles for the Real Property Law Section over the years, culminating in his elevation to Chair of the Section for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. He is also a member of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Mr. Kabel is a Shareholder based in the firm's Troy office. He frequently shares his knowledge with clients, other lawyers, and industry professionals while serving as presenter at numerous seminars and other continuing legal education programs throughout the year and as author of a variety of articles pertinent to the real estate industry, including Equitable Subrogation: Why the Refinance Lender's Security Interest May Not be as Secure as it Thinks, Michigan Real Property Review.

Primary Practice Areas



Wayne State University Law School 1999, J.D. (cum laude)

Grand Valley State University 1995, B.S.



  • American Bar Association - Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan - Real Property Section; former Chair 
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law, 2016-2024

Oakland County Executive's Elite 40 Under 40, Class of 2014

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Senior Statesperson Real Estate, 2015, 2018-2023

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star in Real Estate, 2012

Michigan Super Lawyers, Real Estate, 2013-2023

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law, 2011-2012, 2014, 2016-2018, 2020-2023; Banking & Financial Service Law, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021

Senior Articles Editor, Wayne Law Review, Wayne State University Law School


  • Acted as principal attorneys for the developer of a complex $180,000,000 historical rehabilitation, conversion, retrofitting of a 32 story jewel in downtown Detroit, including all aspects of financing
  • Acted as lead counsel for the conversion of a former housing project in the City of Detroit into multi-use residential property under the HOPE IV Implementation Grant Mixed Finance federal program
  • Represented developer in negotiation and financing of land acquisition from Downtown Development Authority and acquisition of the hotel from prior owners
  • Represented hotel owner to bid in and purchased all hard assets of bankrupt onsite restaurant and obtained a full release from lease
  • Represented an international logistics company in a lease of 1,086,000 square foot manufacturing facility for supplier services
  • Lead lawyers for conversion of a City of Detroit housing project into multi-use, residential property under federal program

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