Winstead’s Real Estate Practice Group serves as a leading resource for both national and regional companies. With more than 80 real estate attorneys across nine offices, Winstead’s experience spans the full spectrum of real estate services. The group’s collective experience allows us to achieve desired results at any stage of the real estate cycle in both stable and challenging economic times.
Our client list includes many of the largest and most active real estate companies, institutional investors, mortgage lenders and loan servicers in the United States, as well as individual investors and entrepreneurs. Unlike many law firms, Winstead has an active Construction Practice, Entitlement/Land Use Practice and Leasing/Asset Management Practice, enabling us to represent our clients through all phases of sophisticated real estate transactions.
In recognition of the caliber of our attorneys, Winstead is listed among the top-rated real estate practices by Chambers and Partners USA Guide, and a number of our attorneys are members of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. Our attorneys have also been recognized as among the Best Lawyers in America and as Texas Super Lawyers.
Click here for a list of contacts for the Real Estate Practice Group.
Real Estate Service Areas:
Winstead construction attorneys have extensive experience drafting and negotiating contracts for use in the construction process. From design/engineering/consulting agreements to construction contracts to close-out documentation, Winstead understands the importance of contractually defining rights, responsibilities, and expectations to reduce risk throughout any project. The substantial experience of Winstead’s Construction Practice assists public and private owners, developers and large contractors to reduce project risk in sports, transportation, airport, hospital, industrial and multi-family projects. Its transactional concentration is complimented with a well-seasoned group of construction litigators whose knowledge and experience is highly regarded for producing positive outcomes for Winstead clients when arbitration or litigation is necessary. (Read More)
Winstead has a long and rich history of representing corporate users of real estate in all of their facility’s needs. We routinely work with the C-Suite executives of major private and public companies in an advisory role, assisting these clients in strategically meeting their real estate needs. In connection with such representation, Winstead attorneys have assisted many of these clients in negotiating economic grants and incentives with the State of Texas and local municipalities in connection with opening and relocating major facilities. Whether assisting a company with the relocation of its corporate headquarters, the expansion or contraction of its geographic footprint or addressing its balance sheet needs through strategic restructuring, Winstead attorneys have experience in navigating the legal and business issues corporate users of real estate encounter.
Examples of some of the more high-profile clients for whom Winstead has been involved in such corporate facilities work include the following:
- Comerica Bank
- Pizza Hut of America
- TRT Holdings, Inc./Omni Hotels, Inc.
- Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (Parent of TGI Fridays)
- Bank of America
- Dean Foods
- Adams Golf, Inc.
- Fossil, Inc.
- Texas Independent Bank
Data Centers & Telecommunications
Winstead’s Telecommunications Practice Group is composed of seasoned attorneys with years of experience representing national broadband and wireless communication companies, national communications service providers, regional bell operating companies, competitive local exchange carriers, internet service providers, wireless data transmission companies, and other entities engaged in furnishing products and/or services to the telecommunications industry. For our telecommunications clients, Winstead offers superb legal representation, including the leasing, licensing, and permitting of wireless communication facilities, such as cellular towers, stealth communications structures, in-building systems, distributed antenna systems, multiple host systems, and building and rooftop communications facilities; the management of multiple phases of large lease amendment projects for the deployment of new communications and support equipment and technologies, including PCS, LTE, and AWS; advice and counsel with respect to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; public and private financing (including debt, equity and hybrid instruments); corporate governance; securities law compliance; bankruptcy and insolvency; labor problems, employee benefits; intellectual property; environmental law; real estate; public law; governmental relations; antitrust law; litigation; and taxation. We also counsel clients in connection with structuring and negotiating the full range of transactions encountered in the telecommunications industry, including master lease agreements; collocation, in-bound, and new build cellular tower lease agreements and amendments thereto; lease agreements with airports, municipalities, and local utility providers; commercial technology, internet, video, and cable television service contracts; “indefeasible right to use” agreements; “outsourcing” agreements; licenses to acquire, develop, or transfer intellectual property; consulting agreements; employment agreements; asset purchase/lease agreements; service provider agreements; asset/facility management contracts; customer/vendor agreements; and strategic alliances.
Winstead assists clients in seeking economic development assistance for corporate relocations and development projects. Headquarters, residential, office, retail, mixed use and industrial projects benefit from Winstead’s experience in drafting and negotiating tax abatement agreements, tax increment financing documents, Chapters 380 and 381 agreements, municipal management districts and other special district arrangements, and other forms of development agreements. Our attorneys advise clients on deal making strategies with local government entities, the legal form and content of the documentation and the successful navigation through the political process.
Energy/Oil & Gas Real Estate
Winstead’s Energy attorneys regularly handle real estate transactions ranging from the leasing of a few acres to the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of producing wells and/or pipelines. Winstead’s experience extends across a broad spectrum of transactions varying in complexity and size from thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars, transcending geographic boundaries including almost every petroleum-producing state in the continental United States, as well as Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental considerations are involved in every real estate transaction. Winstead has the requisite environmental experience to fully evaluate environmental issues involved in the acquisition, disposition and financing of both improved and undeveloped properties. See the attached link for a fuller discussion of Winstead’s environmental practice. (Read More)
Gas Stations/Convenience Stores
Many of our firm’s real estate practice strengths are brought to bear in our nationwide representation relative to gas stations and convenience stores. Winstead’s real estate practice in this area has encompassed transactions and operations across the country including the sale and purchase of these facilities as well as their initial development. Our representation has included owners, operators, lenders, investors, managers, refiners and jobbers. Our range of real estate services include legal representation relative to the sale and purchase of gas station and C-store facilities, development and land use matters, environmental concerns, financing and investment representation, due diligence analysis and representation as to properties, facilities and legal structure, ground leases and other operational agreements, PMPA matters, and negotiation of industry special documents (e.g., fuel supply, dealer agreements, etc.).
Healthcare Facilities Real Estate
Whether working with hospitals, physician groups, third party developers, lenders or investors, Winstead attorneys bring a distinctive blend of real estate excellence and healthcare industry acumen to each project they encounter. Our healthcare real estate clients include for-profit, non-profit and public hospitals, physician groups, developers, operators, investors, and lenders of every type of medical facility along the healthcare continuum of care, including medical office buildings, ambulatory surgery centers, specialty hospitals, acute care hospitals, LTACHS, and rehabilitation hospitals. Our Healthcare Facilities Real Estate Practice is also active in the representation of assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, continuing care retirement communities and senior living facilities. (Read More)
Hospitality & Leisure (including restaurants)
Winstead attorneys understand the unique challenges facing the hospitality and leisure industries, as well as the nuances of its various components. Because we understand the business, we are skilled at helping our clients find that delicate balance between business operations and member/guest relations. Our attorneys represent the developers, owners, managers and lenders of hotels, resorts, restaurants, golf courses (public and private), private clubs, marinas, vacation ownership properties and other hospitality and leisure properties throughout the United States and the world. Understanding that these projects involve dynamic operating businesses and not just real estate assets, we provide business-oriented solutions to the issues our clients face across the hospitality and leisure spectrum.
Our hospitality and leisure practice extends to the following types of transactions:
- Golf Courses (public and private)
- Private Clubs
- Lodging – Hotels and Resorts
- Convention Center Hotels and related amenities
- Sports Facilities and Teams
- Mixed-Use Developments
- Vacation Ownership
For owners, developers and users of industrial properties and portfolios, Winstead’s real estate practice specializes in the acquisition, leasing, disposition, financing, construction, development, and specialty needs of industrial facilities, such as rail service, transportation, security needs and heightened environmental requirements. Our legal experience coupled with our understanding of the financial and operational aspects of industrial properties allows Winstead to assist clients to improve asset value and maximize returns. The Winstead team of professionals is available to guide clients through the entire lifecycle of an industrial asset; from initial assessment, development or acquisition to asset management and the implementation of a disposition strategy.
Leasing & Asset Management
The lease is the lifeblood of commercial real estate. Understanding this important principle, Winstead’s Leasing & Asset Management Industry Group has developed a national reputation for value-added service. The depth and breadth of our group allows us to draw upon our experience in virtually any type of transaction. Whether your project is office, retail, warehouse or mixed-use, and whether you are the landlord, tenant, broker or manager, our attorneys have the experience to help you achieve your objectives. This experience includes not only traditional space and ground lease transactions, but also more sophisticated work such as build-to-suits, multi-use developments, corporate headquarters leases and other special use leases.
Winstead’s multifamily practice has included over $5 billion in acquisitions and development transactions over the past 3 years, covering more than 20 states. We have significant experience in mixed-use transactions, portfolio transactions, urban multifamily development, ground lease transactions and tax abatement transactions. Land assemblage, zoning and land use entitlement, construction and disposition are customary parts of our multifamily practice. Our multifamily focus includes borrower representation in a large volume of agency financing transactions with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, preferred equity and mezzanine financing transactions, securitized financing products, life company financing and construction financing. We assist clients in connection with structuring for advantageous transfer tax and mortgage tax results for multifamily refinancing, acquisitions and dispositions. Our attorneys consider involvement in the multifamily industry as an important part of our legal services, providing our group with an understanding of our clients’ market and industry needs and sensitivities.
Planned Communities, Mixed-Use & Condominium
From start to finish and beyond, our attorneys have handled the largest number of planned community, mixed-use and condominium projects in the state of Texas and many unique projects nationwide. We offer 360 degrees of service as our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of project acquisition, development and post-completion management. We deliver results from project conception to completion. We assist developers, owners, investors and lenders with all aspects of development for planned communities, mixed-use projects, residential and commercial condominiums, hotels, and golf and resort communities, including both commercial and residential projects. We also offer innovative solutions to developer and resident-controlled associations throughout Texas and beyond, including communities comprised of single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes, and commercial and mixed-use projects. (Read More)
Public/Private Projects & Airport and Hanger Facilities
Winstead’s experience with PPPs gives us a sophisticated understanding of the issues related to private investment in public assets, including the structure and documentation of the various transactions, the origin of private sector profits, the role and responsibilities of the public sector, the measurement of value to both the general public and public agencies, and the allocation of risks. We also understand the multiple components of complex public-private ventures and the need to address relevant tax, corporate, finance, real estate and construction issues in these transactions. Our extensive experience in these transactions is the foundation for our clients’ investment in sports, airport, hospital and military family housing facilities.
Real Estate Development & Investments
From the acquisition and disposition of multijurisdictional portfolios and billion dollar developments to strategic tax credit counsel and environmental regulatory compliance, Winstead’s attorneys advise developers and investors across the full spectrum of commercial real estate challenges and requirements.
Real Estate Finance, Default Resolution & Servicing
Real estate finance, default resolution & servicing remain core focus areas at Winstead. Our clients include banks, insurance companies, investment advisors, commercial mortgage lenders, commercial mortgage servicers, private equity funds, bond insurers, and other lenders and borrowers of all types. (Read More)
Real Estate Litigation
When litigation is necessary, our attorneys work with clients to develop and implement an effective and efficient strategy. We have the breadth and depth to handle litigation and disputes involving real estate development, partnership matters, secured loans, commercial landlord tenant, environmental, condemnation and inverse condemnation, property tax, real estate title, lien validity and priority, curative matters, contracts, escrow, title insurance, RESPA, regulatory enforcement, easements, and real estate brokerage. (Read More)
Retail Centers, Outlet Malls & Specialty Venues
Winstead’s real estate practice provides legal experience in all facets of the retail spectrum. The Winstead team of professionals represent investors, owners, developers and users in the acquisition, entitlements, restrictive covenants, project development, utilities, land use, economic development matters, financing, leasing, asset management and disposition of a wide variety of retail, destination centers, mixed-use and restaurant/entertainment venues.
Sports & Entertainment Facilities & Other Public Venues
Winstead has an exemplary track record of success, experience and depth in real estate issues related to sports projects. From football stadiums to arenas, professional sports to university and college sports, our lawyers have handled virtually every legal aspect of stadium and real estate negotiation, financing and development. We have represented teams and team owners, sports authorities, colleges, and municipalities. Our lawyers have helped put together a number of significant stadium and arena deals around the country and internationally in partnership with many local and state governments, sports franchises, major sports leagues and university and college sports programs. We have a thorough understanding of what to do and how to do it. (Read More)
Student Housing presents a unique opportunity for its owners and operators. Operating real estate within a student population, or in combination with an educational institution, will often give rise to issues beyond the scope of a more traditional real estate transaction. Winstead represents investors, lenders, contractors, developers and managers in all aspects of student housing on a national basis. This collective experience allows us to offer the knowledge necessary to assist clients with all aspects of student housing investments, including unique vendor relationships, intellectual property issues, timing of population turnover, coordination with mixed-use projects and cooperation with education institutions.
Structuring of any real estate project requires significant input from our tax lawyers. The tax considerations may include the choice of entity, the utilization of equity vs. debt, special allocations to provide certain partners with increased loss sharing or developers with capital gain instead of ordinary fee income, tax-free as opposed to taxable transfers of property and distributions of financing proceeds, and the ultimate taxable or tax-free exit strategy for the project. All of these issues may be affected by state tax issues, the participation in a project by tax-exempt investors or foreign investors, and the issuance of “profits interests” or promotes to service partners and their key employees. Our tax attorneys also can provide advice on various vehicles that are utilized to raise additional project capital, such as the formation and operation of funds, public and private REITs, and projects utilizing the various tax credits authorized by Congress. Finally, for those projects that do not achieve their intended success, our tax attorneys are very experienced in the tax issues and planning associated with workouts, modifications of debt and bankruptcy. (Read More)
The ownership, control and use of water as a resource is multifaceted and often requires experienced water law practitioners. We navigate through the dense thicket of state and federal common law, statutory enactments and administrative rulings related to water law. We provide clients with strategic counsel on legal, legislative, regulatory and business issues concerning the four interrelated components of water law—water rights, water and sewer utilities, water districts/public finance and water marketing. Winstead’s water law practice has represented such companies/issues as chemical plants, cities, quarries, power companies, waste companies, city officials, municipal governments, plant explosions, TCEQ Hearings and developers.
Zoning, Land Use, Entitlements & Government Approvals
Attorneys in Winstead’s Zoning & Land Use Practice represent clients concerned about the protection of property rights, the enhancement of value of real property, development entitlements, and related land use matters. Our representation involves analyzing and resolving issues concerning land acquisition, annexation, zoning, subdivision/platting, code compliance, infrastructure construction, and other development-related issues. Developments often require special agreements with governmental entities, including but not limited to economic development alternatives, infrastructure participation, and similar issues.