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Shopping Center & Retail Development

With a history of getting deals done and projects completed, our multi-disciplined team provides transactional guidance and project-based solutions, guiding clients through the complex legal, environmental and tax issues that are unique to retail development ventures. We understand the development community and its needs — not only in the real estate aspects of the acquisition but also in dealing with REITs, department stores, big-box retailers and the lenders. We also have the connections in each of our locations to secure the permit and zoning application approvals, tax abatements and economic incentives necessary to bring our clients’ project objectives to fruition.

We have developed a reputation as one of the leading firms representing developers and mall owners in retail chapter 11 cases throughout the United States. We have played a significant role in shaping landlord protection in some of the largest retail cases. Most important, we pride ourselves on providing the responsive service and local market knowledge you’d expect from a boutique real estate firm, but with the resources, experience and strategic reach you can only get from a nationally recognized, full-service law firm.

Key Contacts

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John I. Cadwallader


Columbus, OH

A smiling woman with medium-length hair wearing a black blazer and a necklace with circular elements.
Christina M. Sprecher

Practice Group Leader

Cincinnati, OH

Florence, KY

Learn More

Rich Resources

Our team frequently engages attorneys from the firm’s related practice groups in order to provide comprehensive, collateral resources for client projects. Many of our environmental lawyers, for instance, have technical backgrounds and bring a practical, user-friendly approach to solving the complicated environmental law problems common to a number of large-scale real estate developments.

Representative Experience

We have the connections in each of our locations to secure the crucial local government approval of permits and zoning applications (including appeals) on the time-sensitive basis that developers require and to skillfully obtain tax abatements and financial incentives.

  • We represented national in-line mall tenants, helping them to create standardized lease documents for use throughout the country, and we have represented “big-box” retailers in power centers and other kinds of retail developments throughout the country. We work regularly with both inside counsel for our larger retailer clients and have also served as the outside lead real estate counsel where the retailers did not have an inside legal staff.
  • We have substantial experience in dealing with the lending communities. We regularly represent our developer clients in loan transactions extended by both banks and the investment banking community in conduit financings securitized on Wall Street.
  • We negotiated the financing documents in connection with securitized financings on loans ranging from $5 million to $150 million. The financings have involved both the negotiation of the loan documents necessary to securitize the loans and also the joint venture documents to accommodate the equity side of the transactions when our clients formed joint ventures with equity partners.
  • We provided the required bankruptcy/nonconsolidation opinions from our Financial Restructuring Team in connection with the securitized loans. We understand our developer clients’ borrowing needs, and we assist them in obtaining the kind of financing necessary to close their transactions.
  • We successfully secured real property tax assessment reductions for a variety of retail properties, including vacant land, strip centers, enclosed malls and “big-box” facilities. We are able to obtain significant tax reductions for our clients by leveraging our expertise and knowledge in this area with our relationships with local appraisers and brokers and our national network of valuation consultants.

Industry Connections

Our team regularly attends and participates in numerous national, state and local meetings sponsored by the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute and a variety of other trade and business organizations. We are passionate about working with our clients in the real estate development area, and we keep current with regional and national trends that are helpful to our clients.

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