Explore Our Capabilities

Development Services

Overview

Parker Poe’s Development Services Industry Team takes great pride in our history of helping clients structure, negotiate, and close commercial and residential real estate transactions. With more than 45 dedicated attorneys in seven offices across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, our deep bench of experience helps us achieve desired results for our clients at any stage of the development life cycle. We represent residential, commercial and multi-use developers, owners, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, and lenders – we have seen every side of a deal.

With attorneys whose practices are focused on transactions as well as disputes and regulatory matters, for both buyers and sellers, we are ideally positioned to partner on a variety of development projects and assist with all related matters. We can advise on any single service below or help you navigate the entire life cycle of your real estate project.

Services

Real Property Assets

Parker Poe’s Development Services team helps any commercial or residential development project get started with the acquisition, assessment, and financing of a real property asset.

We have assisted clients in the acquisition of raw land to be developed for future residential multifamily complexes, single-family subdivisions, mixed-use developments, retail developments, hotels and resort properties, medical offices and facilities, build-to-suit manufacturing operations, distribution centers, renewable energy projects, student housing, and more. We have also helped clients acquire existing properties for redevelopment, including properties of all asset classes, distribution facilities, office and industrial parks, government-owned land, residential housing, and mixed-use developments.  

Along with representing the interests of commercial and industrial developers in their acquisitions, we also have experience representing real estate investment trusts (REITs), institutional investors, pension funds, public and private companies, hospitals, and municipalities that are acting as developers in a project. 

The acquisition and project finance services we provide include:

  • Land assemblages
  • Environmental assessments, including regulatory and compliance counseling
  • Letters of intent
  • Earnest money
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Nondisclosure agreements 
  • Development agreements
  • Interim construction and permanent loans
  • Equity investment/financing 

Feasibility & Entitlement

Every development project has a vision. Parker Poe’s Development Services Team measures success in our ability to see that vision through, protecting the project’s interest while maximizing value.

Our attorneys specialize in land use law to support the legal entitlement process, a stage considered by many as the most high-stakes and variable of the development life cycle. The entitlement process differs dramatically between various states and municipalities. By drawing on the resources, relationships, and experience of the firm’s Government & Municipalities industry team, our attorneys have insight and familiarity at the municipal level that help us navigate the different rules and regulations – as well as the preferences – of various review boards and decision-makers.  

The entitlement services we provide include:

  • Zoning: conducting the process from application to securing approval before town councils, boards, and commissions
  • Existing entitlement review for acquisition and disposition 
  • Zoning variances and special-use permits 
  • Site plan, subdivision, and recombination advice
  • Establishing and vacating easements 
  • Easement agreements
  • Encroachment agreements

Development Approvals

As an extension of the entitlement phase, our attorneys work alongside the entire development team – including the planners, architects, and engineers – to make sure the desired plan receives government approval. Our attorneys advise on securing the appropriate agreements, variances, restrictive covenants, encroachments, easements, and other approvals necessary to get the site plan approved so that building permits can be issued without delays. We also help to address any environmental concerns brought up by the review board.

In addition to the services offered in the entitlement phase, we provide:

  • Drafting and review of restrictive covenants, including commercial and residential declarations 
  • Utility approvals
  • Transportation and transit approvals
  • Landscaping and appearance approvals
  • Annexation, infrastructure, and development agreements

Funding

Parker Poe attorneys have closed thousands of commercial real estate transactions over the years and bring perspective from all sides of the deal. Drawing on the resources, experience, and connections of our Financial Services industry team – which has worked with almost every major bank’s commercial lending teams in the Southeast – we know what to expect to ensure a smooth closing. We coordinate the transaction and navigate issues related to title, title insurance, inspections, deeds, liens, condemnations, property valuations, and more.

Construction

When it is time to begin construction on any development project, Parker Poe is equipped to coordinate all of the legal aspects of the build. Our top-ranked construction attorneys understand fully how the construction and development industries work. They have spent years building relationships and working on projects with some of the best design and construction teams in the Southeast.

More than any other phase in the development life cycle, we know the construction phase has the tightest margins and timelines. We draft, negotiate, and review contracts for design and construction with a goal to protect the future interests of the project. We handle every type of contract and agreement, including:

  • Design agreements
  • Construction agreements, including prime contracts, trade contracts, subcontracts, supplier agreements, and materials storage agreements
  • Finished product, barter and countertrade agreements

Our team places a major emphasis on providing preventative counseling and advice, with the goal of avoiding counterproductive, costly disputes and litigation on issues such as: 

  • Payment and contractor claims
  • Scheduling and delays
  • Defective construction and warranty obligations
  • Design defects
  • Liens
  • Building codes and other regulations

If disputes do arise, the Development Services industry team includes highly skilled construction and real estate litigators that have represented clients in mediation, arbitration, and claims in federal and state courts in the Carolinas and Georgia. Our attorneys also regularly appear before government regulators regarding licensing and building code issues.

Asset Management

Once construction is complete and the property opens, we advise on any legal issues that arise from the continued ownership and operation of a real estate development. This includes ongoing regulatory compliance, tax planning strategies, refinancing, and drafting and negotiating leases (as discussed in our next phase below). 

If the property owner has assigned a property management firm, Parker Poe attorneys work alongside that firm to support the services it provides, including preparation, negotiation, and review of leases, vendor agreements, property tax advice, and management contracts. Our Development Services industry team includes attorneys that are skilled in all areas of real estate litigation, including landlord/tenant disputes as well as creditors’ rights and bankruptcy.

Sale & Leasing

The commercial leasing team at Parker Poe has great depth, versatility, and experience in creating solutions to clients’ challenges. We work with owners of real estate developments and properties to understand their leasing standards, guidelines, and goals.

We have experience assisting clients in a variety of lease needs, including retail leases, subleases, ground leases, build-to-suit and retrofit-to-suit leases. Whether our clients are corporate property owners, private real estate investors, or developers that continue as owners, we have experience working with extensive real estate portfolios and support whoever is charged with the leasing function, including in-house counsel, real estate management teams, or property management firms. We handle the leasing from the letter of intent through lease negotiations, tenant improvements, guaranties, financing, and third-party approvals.

Parker Poe’s team is strong in document preparation and due diligence and pragmatic in lease negotiations. Our attorneys are deal-makers with keen business acumen who will work hard to negotiate advantageous leases for your development or property. Because our team has years of experience in representing landlords, tenants, and lenders, we understand the interests of all parties and are skilled negotiators in deals between invested parties.

When a developer or other property owner is ready to sell, we handle the legal aspects of the sale or disposition of a development or property in much the same way we did the acquisition. Now acting as seller’s counsel we deploy the same services and resources for our clients to help them recognize the full value of their real property assets. 

Representative Experience

Novel Stonewall Station
Charlotte, N.C.
Lead Attorney: Alan Dexter

We served as real estate counsel for Novel Stonewall Station by Crescent Communities, Uptown Charlotte’s premier mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Commercial condominium regimes separate vertical project elements on 5.3 acres: 459 upscale apartments in mid- and high-rise buildings above anchor Whole Foods Market and related retail, and two 181-room hotels above restaurants and complementary retail. Reciprocal easements govern internal roads, shared utility corridors, and parking in a 10-level, 1,350-space deck. Connection agreements with the city provide elevated platform access to Charlotte’s Blue Line light rail system.
(See coverage in the Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer.)

Fenton
Cary, N.C.
Lead Attorneys: Russell Killen and Jamie Schwedler

We are representing Columbia Development on a 95-acre parcel project owned by the State Property Office in Cary. This site will house 1 million square feet of office space, 820 residential units, plus retail and a hotel. For this project, we are advising on all municipal rezoning work, including negotiating provisions for zoning overlay district and collaborating with town council and adjacent property owners. We also represent the developer in commercial leasing transactions. In addition, we are negotiating economic incentive packages, including advice on local taxes and contracts, and advising on trademarks, public relations, and branding.
(See coverage in The News & Observer and the Triangle Business Journal.)

Vermillion Village
Huntersville, N.C.
Lead Attorney: Tom Quirk

We are serving as real estate counsel on the transformation of a vacant property into a major mixed-use project that will help spur redevelopment in downtown Huntersville. The project will ultimately boast 400 residential units combining apartments and townhouse complexes and 165,000 square feet of grocery store-anchored retail space in multiple free-standing buildings. Our work includes the acquisition of the property from the town, negotiation of a joint venture agreement for the development of the retail parcels, advising on Brownfields and other environmental matters, and the negotiation of restrictions with the town, as well as easements and commercial use declarations.
(See coverage in the Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer.)

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Professionals

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