Practice Areas

Real Estate - Non Litigation

At Johnstone Adams, we close real estate transactions on a weekly basis.  We represent buyers and sellers of property in all manner of transactions with valuations ranging upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars.  We handle all phases of zoning changes and regularly appear in front of the zoning commission and the city council.  We are experienced in dealing with wetlands and water runoff issues, as well as environmental protection and drafting the necessary indemnities to ensure all parties are comfortable with the transaction.  Our experience also includes the knowledge of the necessary remediation to successfully transfer properties that have been used for dry cleaning establishments and gas stations.

In addition to providing a full spectrum of real estate legal services to developers, buyers and seller, we also represent institutional lenders in both permanent and interim financing.  Our taxation attorneys also regularly assist our real estate clients with finding the best tax answers in their transactions.

Johnstone Adams attorneys routinely assist in the development, construction, purchase and sale of regional shopping malls, regional shopping centers, office complexes and apartments. We render extensive services to landlords and tenants in negotiating commercial leases in all types of complexes.

Snapshot of Strengths

Our real estate attorneys’ practice group strengths include: 

Featured Client Stories 

Overcoming Challenging Closing Obstacles

Our corporate client was selling a large commercial office building located in downtown Mobile, Alabama.  After months of ongoing negotiations, we were finally scheduled to close when outstanding mortgages were discovered on the building.  Tracking the current holder of these dated mortgages posed a challenge as the mortgages were assigned to differing entities over time.  

Johnstone Adams approach and solution: Through extensive research, we discovered that the mortgages were currently held by a related party mortgagee, creating various potential tax issues at this late stage in the transaction.  Johnstone Adams was able to tackle these complex tax issues, and acting quickly, successfully negotiated a resolution between its client and the mortgagee, with the client ultimately compensating the mortgagee for a release of the lien.

Outcome: This agreement still required shareholder approval, however, so Johnstone Adams worked tirelessly to draft and circulate the necessary documents for shareholder approval and to stay on schedule for closing. Shareholders from both corporations were scattered throughout the United States, making obtaining signatures incredibly challenging under the time constraints, but Johnstone Adams worked diligently to secure the necessary signatures to obtain the release and close the transaction on time.  


Multiple Tenants, Corporate Dissolution

We were engaged to represent two entities who desired to sell their collective 50% interest in a major outlet mall development to a national outlet mall owner and developer for approximately $60 million. Due to the size of the transaction, the due diligence requirements were considerable, but they were magnified considerably because of the type of property.  

Johnstone Adams approach and solution: With numerous tenants, we had to review each tenant’s rent roll, lease, common area maintenance charges, and title work. The transaction negotiations were further complicated by the fact that the selling entities were to be dissolved immediately after the transaction, limiting indemnity obligations and options. 

Outcome: As a result, the parties negotiated the use of multiple escrow accounts that terminated after different periods of time.  Johnstone Adams recommended the dissolutions to avoid the double-taxation of certain gains. By dissolving the selling entities prior to year-end, the shareholders were able to take advantage of S Corporation tax reporting principles to offset some of the gain with each shareholder’s increase in the tax basis of his, her, or its stock.  

Next Steps

When you need to purchase, sell, lease or rezone property, Johnstone Adams real estate attorneys have the necessary skills to help you meet your objects quickly.  Our attorneys can also assist lenders and provide representation on litigation, environmental and taxation matters.  Call on us to schedule a convenient time to discuss your project.

Practice Group Attorneys

Charles Bailey
I. David Cherniak
Rick A. La Trace
Spencer Larche
Wade Perry Jr.
Charles Simpson
R. Gregory Watts
Jessica Welch