Clients know they can trust the attorneys that comprise the Butzel Real Estate Practice Department to provide a broad range of capabilities and deep experience when they need it. Real estate developments and transactions continue to grow in variety and complexity and often require the creation of sophisticated financial instruments and leases and can include navigating intricate zoning, condemnation, and tax issues, mineral rights concerns, environmental assessments, and permitting requirements. Our industry-leading attorneys possess a nationally-recognized depth and breadth of experience and the resources to address all aspects of real estate matters, regardless of the size or complexity of the transaction. We have the legal acumen to traverse the public dollars arena-efficiently and effectively.

We have represented clients in numerous substantial real estate developments and transactions occurring over the last decade. The Butzel Real Estate team has experience handling virtually every type of project. Our experience ranges from major urban redevelopment and downtown office facilities projects to greenfield development of office, industrial, research and technical centers, retail centers, hotels, residential properties, development of community projects, to spearheading tax increment finance and signature incentive programs. As a large firm, we’re able to provide our clients with the advantage of a cross-disciplinary team approach in handling the most complex real estate-related matters. Our real estate team frequently collaborates with the attorneys in various of our practice specialties across the firm.

Our attorneys regularly share their knowledge with clients and others to provide updates in the law and other news pertinent to the real estate industry via Butzel Client Alerts and through a variety of speaking engagements. We’re proud that the firm and individual members of our Real Estate team have been named among Michigan’s leading real estate law firms and lawyers by respected legal industry publications.

Representative services include:

  • Entity selection and formation
  • Acquisition and disposition
  • Corporate real estate issues
  • Development, architectural, and construction contracts
  • Land use restrictions
  • Financing and syndication
  • Tax-related issues
  • Leasing of offices, retail stores, restaurants, warehouses, and full buildings on behalf of landlords or tenants throughout the country
  • Planning, zoning, and government relations
  • Publicly financed development
  • Environmental regulation
  • Brownfield redevelopment
  • Easements and boundary issues
  • Historic preservation issues
  • Condominium development and conversion
  • Waterfront development
  • Condemnation/eminent domain
  • Homeowner association issues
  • Brokerage and property management
  • Foreclosure, workouts, and bankruptcy
  • Litigation/disputes

Practice Leadership


Areas of Concentration

Alerts & Publications

Client Alerts

News & Events


Speaking Engagements


  • Leasing of numerous offices on behalf of major advertising clients throughout the country
  • Lease dispute for major exposition center
  • Leasing of retail and commercial space on behalf of Landlord
  • Represented not-for-profit institutions in connection with the disposition of its headquarters, a 250,000-square foot commercial condominium unit
  • Negotiated restaurant leases on behalf of landlords or tenants throughout the country
  • Representation of tenant in subleasing 170,000 square feet to social service organization and negotiation of complex arrangements to obtain landlord’s consent
  • Represented developer of waterfront residential condominium development
  • Represented an independent school in connection with the unwinding of transfer of development rights
  • Negotiations with landlord on behalf of tenant regarding violation of exclusive use clause
  • Obtained dismissal by summary judgment in a quite title action
  • Negotiated synthetic lease transactions
  • Negotiated Retail Store leases on behalf of landlords or tenants
  • Served as counsel for the acquisition of multiple parcels of land for major mixed use residential/commercial development
  • Served as counsel for the acquisition of vacant land and related construction financing
  • Lead lawyers for conversion of a City of Detroit housing project into multi-use, residential property under federal program
  • Successfully negotiated multi-party settlement in complex real estate transaction
  • Leasing - Landlord's counsel
  • Developed and negotiated industrial lease for major manufacturers
  • 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
  • Created loan/financing structure for capital acquisition and industrial expansion for Canadian and U.S. structure and operations
  • Litigated lease disputes on behalf of tenants concerning operating expenses in connection with lease audits
  • Represented Shopping Center landlords and tenants for national retail and big box stores as well as smaller and more local retail stores
  • 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
  • Negotiated the acquisition of a 230,000 square foot industrial facility on behalf of a major Chinese purchaser
  • Multiple relocations throughout the East Coast
  • Represented not-for-profit corporations in connection with the sale to another not-for-profit corporation of a building leased to a bankrupt tenant that agreed to vacate
  • Acted as lead counsel in negotiating and structuring large industrial design/build lease, including coordination of all aspects of financing and project oversight
  • Negotiated the purchase of a building and assumption of indebtedness for major health care organization
  • Represented The Trust for Cultural Resources in connection with the collection and administration of tax equivalency payments payable to the Trust by the owner of the privately-owned portion of an expansion undertaken by The Museum of Modern Art
  • Represented not-for-profit corporation in connections with leasing, including 200,000-square foot office lease, broadcast leases and licenses and retail lease for street-level studio
  • Negotiated numerous lease transactions for national & international locations
  • Leasing for multinational investment company in NY, Chicago, San Francisco, Hong Kong and London
  • Complex, multi-continent acquisitions of companies for an international polymers manufacturer
  • Multiple retail property transactions throughout New England for a national retail tenant.
  • Represented the sellers in connection with the sale of the build-operate-transfer franchise for a state highway in California.
  • Lease for insurance company
  • Leasing - Land Lord Counsel
  • Sale of property for development in Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Leasing - Landlord's counsel
  • Represented hotel owner to bid in and purchased all hard assets of bankrupt onsite restaurant and obtained a full release from lease
  • Subleased space for sub-tenant
  • Represented developer in negotiation and financing of land acquisition from Downtown Development Authority and acquisition of the hotel from prior owners
  • Responsible for formulating and drafting legislation that created The Trust for Cultural Resources of The City of New York, a public benefit corporation authorized to issue tax-exempt bonds to benefit cultural institutions in New York City.
  • Represents lender for more than ten years in connection with a loan secured by One Liberty Plaza, including numerous extensions a bankruptcy filing
  • Represented 112,000 square foot corporate office and R & D complex; represented foreign purchaser in all aspects of transaction
  • Leasing of an entire Shopping Center on behalf of landlord
  • Leasing of major New York City office building on behalf of Landlord
  • Represented developer of numerous hotel development projects including acquisitions, financing, operations, licensing and sales
  • Represented an international logistics company in a lease of 1,086,000 square foot manufacturing facility for supplier services
  • Negotiated the 8th largest leasing transaction in New York City on behalf of a financial services tenant
  • $200,000 judgment for lessor in commercial lease dispute; litigation counsel for real estate investment firm
  • Real Estate - Leasing for tenant
  • Purchase of land for construction of office building
  • Representation of lender in mortgage transactions in amounts from $150 million to $1,500 million, secured by "trophy" office buildings, hotels and industrial properties
  • Represented national carrier with regard to Cell Tower leasing
  • Negotiated the acquisition of a 150,000 square foot industrial facility on behalf of the purchaser
  • Negotiated construction and development contracts for commercial office building
  • Prevailed on Motion for Summary Disposition on behalf of our client, an anchor tenant in a shopping center, and against the landlord who claimed wrongful termination of the lease
  • Negotiated cell tower leases on behalf of landlords or tenants
  • Leases & Sub Leases
  • Leasing - Land Lord Counsel
  • Represented LG Chem in the acquisition of land, obtaining various government grants and tax incentives and the drafting and negotiating of the construction contract for a $303 million advanced lithium ion battery manufacturing facility.
  • Obtained dismissal by summary judgment in a quiet title action
  • Represented lender on a loan, originally in the amount of $480 million, secured by Tower A in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan
  • Represented client in purchase of $17.5 million residential duplex in New York, involving NYC Zoning Resolution research and advice.
  • Negotiated price reduction of mortgage loan balances and sales of shopping center properties
  • Purchase of land for residential development
  • Negotiated long term mortgageable ground lease on behalf of developer for construction of physicians office building adjoining surgical center
  • Negotiate and complete deed in lieu of foreclosure for financial lender.
  • Represented the South Street Seaport Museum and its affiliates in ground lease negotiations to preserve Seaport District and develop Seaport Marketplace
  • Representation of Pittsburgh business group and major foundation in conversion of movie palace to opera house and development of office building.
Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.