Real Estate and Development

Since its inception, the Hardwick Law Firm has creatively represented public and private clients in all aspects of real estate transactions throughout the nation.  For it, the seasoned and innovative attorneys in the Real Estate Practice Group at the Hardwick Law Firm have earned a reputation for excellence and have been recognized as leaders on a national, state and local level, including Chambers USA, a recognized international attorney review publication, Best of the Bar, and by Thomas Reuters as Kansas/Missouri as Super Lawyers.

The Real Estate Practice Group has significant experience representing and assisting clients in a wide range of commercial, residential and industrial real estate matters.  Its broad experience has touched upon such things as structuring transactions, negotiating purchase and sales contracts, reviewing and securing favorable title insurance coverage, leading closings, sales and acquisitions, negotiating and drafting commercial leases, sale-leaseback transactions, strategic site selection and development, intergovernmental development agreements, public/private real estate partnerships, property development, management and franchising agreements, condominium creation, platting, sales, and management.  Whether our client is a national developer with a multi-million dollar project or a small business wanting to develop a single site and open a franchise, the Hardwick Law Firm offers a menu of relevant expertise.

With an understanding of the inner workings of City government, the Hardwick Law Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group also has significant experience successfully and expediently handling land use issues such as platting and re-platting land, securing zonings and rezonings, permit approvals, street vacations, amending land use plans, and establishing residential subdivisions. Our Real Estate Practice Group is also engaged in negotiating and preparing AIA and construction contracts and addenda on behalf of our clients. In addition, our attorneys have prepared numerous hotel, industrial and housing related blight and conservation studies that are often statutorily required for developers seeking financial incentives. We have also served as commissioners to adjudicate eminent domain property valuations.

Our recognized expertise and proven ability to work closely with cities, economic development groups, zoning commissions, local politicians', and stakeholders are instrumental to the success of our clients’ real estate projects.

The Hardwick Law Firm’s experience is vast. A mere handful of examples of the Real Estate Practice Group attorneys’ experience include the following:

  • Lead legal counsel to Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri related to development of Missouri riverfront in urban core. Project involves planning, zoning, covenants, incentives, and title cure issues and acquisitions, as well as, negotiating and drafting financing and development agreements with private developers and city for large-scale mixed use, commercial, residential, and hotel projects.
  • Lead counsel in the development of a national corporate headquarters and parking facility project involving incentives, development commitments related to construction of new hotel facility and expansion of convention center, release of property from bonds encumbering the site, and a complex public-private partnership requiring negotiation of favorable schedule for payments in lieu of taxes and claw-back provisions.
  • Developer’s counsel for several HUD multi-family and senior 4% and 9% affordable housing developments throughout Chicago and the States of Missouri, Indiana, and New York. For one such development, held lead role in development of 60-unit senior facility utilizing HUD Section 202 project. Representation involved all legal work related to land acquisition, zoning, platting, construction contracting, architectural contracts, preliminary closing with HUD, and structuring permanent project financing, and financing opinions.
  • Counsel for bi-state compact on real estate and regulatory issues for $177 million airport expansion project involving acquisitions from numerous federally regulated property owners.
  • Obtained tax exempt status for a client and prepared and negotiated numerous and complex cooperative agreements among and between the client developer and HUD, the City, and the state Housing Development Commission related to substantial real estate redevelopment initiative.
  • Primary development counsel to re-developer of 90-acre urban development. Representation included obtaining a bevy of land use and development approvals, City sponsored financing, land use plan amendments, parcel development agreements, negotiations with stakeholders, coordination with the Department of Natural Resources, condominium creation, securing and documenting real estate incentives, and traditional real estate contract and closing services.
  • Co-counsel on 1,000 room hotel redevelopment project. Representation included land assembly, complex title and survey review, negotiation of purchase agreement, and structuring of financing structure with local government to support development initiatives.
  • Legal counsel to Dormitory Authority for the State of New York, the largest bond issuer in the United States, to secure financing for New York University, Skidmore College, and Rockefeller University, among others, needed for student housing and campus real estate development projects. Projects included improvements for new facilities, renovations, land acquisitions, and new equipment. Served as the primary liaison to investment bankers on financings.
  • Primary legal counsel to municipality developing 1,000-acre rail transload facility. Collaborated on strategy for development, and negotiated and drafted documents to address regulatory, real estate, rail development, haulage, rail switching, rail maintenance, and related rail service needs.
  • Legal counsel to the City of Gary, Indiana on strategy for 40-unit affordable multi-family housing redevelopment project, including import of HUD guarantee and terms of facility tax abatement and payments in lieu of taxes agreements. Representation includes analysis of economic impact of development to City.
  • Primary outside legal counsel for state university system on development and construction of hundred+ units student housing complex. Representation included legal counsel for borrower of industrial development authority bond issue, complex guarantee structuring, negotiation and drafting of 99-year ground lease, long-term development and management agreements, and lender agreements related to letters of credit and environmental mandates.
  • Lead legal counsel to student housing developer to secure contribution tax credit and other approvals needed for construction of 140-unit student housing facility and parking garage for dental, nursing, and pharmacy schools in collaboration with state university system, City, charitable fund and other governmental stakeholders.
  • Legal counsel to Kansas City, Missouri School District Building Corporation in its management refinancing initiatives related to district-wide real estate portfolio.
  • Legal counsel to developer in its acquisition and redevelopment of historic Federal Courthouse owned by the General Services Administration. Representation included negotiating and documenting complex public-private and intergovernmental agreements involving the GSA, the City, and Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, and the U.S. Department of Interior, drafting deeds and restrictive covenants, obtaining zoning and financial incentives to make possible a $30M+ historic redevelopment and tax credit project. Representation also included preparing all documentation and legal opinions related to issuance of 4% low-income housing credits (LIHTC) issued by state Housing Development Commission.
  • Representation of housing cooperatives and large-scale multi-family developments and other property owners on matters related to landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosure, eviction, replevin and other areas which include the recovery and/or possession or real and personal property.
  • Development counsel to affordable housing developer in obtaining 9% low-income housing tax credit for redevelopment of blighted site-based Section 8 apartments. Work included assistance on preparing complex application to state Housing Development Commission and advocacy to political officials for priority-ranking on City’s project priority list.
  • Representation of national television corporation on development of local affiliate station. Legal work included negotiation of purchase agreement, approvals by City of multi-million dollar bond issue and sale-leaseback agreements, negotiation and preparation of “claw-back” agreements, real estate, and bond closing documents, tax agreements and cooperative agreements with taxing jurisdictions, as well as complex covenants related to broadcast frequency signals and interference with flight pattern for breaking news helicopter.
  • Sole legal counsel to developer of retail shopping center and multiple pad sites near Kansas City, Kansas NASCAR Speedway. Handle lending agreements, covenants and non-competes, real estate purchase and sale agreement, brokerage agreements, build-to-suit construction contracts, and commercial leases.
  • Primary development counsel on $100M expansion of existing pharmaceutical development. Representation involved negotiation of sale-leaseback agreements, bonds, and incentives between developer, municipality, and taxing jurisdictions, as well as complex PILOT and school foundation formula grant agreements.
  • Lead counsel on development of state-of-the-art commercial building and public garage in industrial district. Drafted and negotiated cooperative, code, and intergovernmental agreements needed to provide for bond issue and issuance of contribution tax credit through state Development Finance Board.
  • Represent international aggregate mining corporation to negotiate the purchase of significant acreage, some un-annexed, required for $100M facility redevelopment and expansion. Work included all zoning and special permits, coordination with state environmental agency, negotiating and documenting public/private partnerships, identifying project financing structures, drafting landfill gas agreements and representing on the strategic development of alternative fuels projects and facilities. Engagement included serving as borrower’s counsel on bonds utilized for project financings, coordination of tax classification of assets with county assessor, establishment of tax increment financing district to provide gap incentives for future phases of project, and lead role at all related public hearings required to secure permit, zoning, and project approvals.
  • Represented major corporations and small companies in all issues related to permitting, purchase, construction and leasing of cell towers. Representation typically required negotiations with stakeholders and advocacy before governmental tribunals.
  • Assisted numerous start-up companies, including home health care provider and restaurants, identify and secure proper sites, manage build-out of property, secure project financing, and negotiate critical franchise rights on favorable terms.
  • Drafted numerous blight and conservation studies—all as precursors to filing for public incentives for property development. Properties included a multi-parcel industrial complex, urban hotels, commercial buildings, and historic conversions for affordable housing.
  • Draft multi-party tenant-in-common agreements with rights of first refusal and options on resort and timeshare properties.

The combination of our thorough understanding of the laws and regulations that affect land development matters, such as the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and our broad experience in the public sector have resulted in enduring client-attorney relationships that enable the Hardwick Law Firm Real Estate Practice Group attorneys to successfully manage complex land use matters, across the country.