Real Estate & Development
"The firm understands transactions at a business level and provides a service that is relevant."
- Client Testimonial, Chambers Canada
The Cassels Brock Real Estate & Development Group is one of the leading practices in Ontario. Our accomplished team of lawyers, which includes our Municipal, Planning & Environmental group, provides expert and practical advice to a diverse group of clients.
We have demonstrated expertise in all areas of real estate, leasing, and development law. Our depth of experience in real property law enables us to serve a wide range of clients, including municipalities, Crown corporations, educational and other public institutions, national retailers, financial institutions, real estate investment trusts, commercial and real estate owners, managers, developers and builders.
Our Group’s broad and varied practice touches on virtually all areas of commercial real estate activity, including:
Commercial Acquisitions and Dispositions
Our lawyers have provided real estate expertise in respect of many prominent commercial transactions, including the following representative examples:
- Acting for a university on a complex ground-lease proposal to redevelop lands for residential, retail and hotel use
- Acting in conjunction with an acquisition of a parcel of land for construction of a film studio targeting large-scale film production
- Acting on behalf of professional sports teams in the acquisition and development of arenas
- Acting for a syndicate of lenders on a complex project financing of a major regional shopping centre
- Acting for a major Canadian retailer in the acquisition and development of its “big box” locations in shopping centres throughout the country
- Acting for a REIT in respect of its property acquisitions including office and industrial properties throughout the country
Land Development Industry
Our Land Development Industry lawyers provide advice on all types of development projects from initial acquisition and site selection, through the planning approval process, to ultimate construction and/or disposition.
Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in working for both public institutions and private enterprises in all aspects of the development and construction process. We regularly represent clients before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly the Ontario Municipal Board), as well as other administrative tribunals and at all levels of the court system.
Read more about our Land Development Industry Group.
Members of our Group regularly provide advice with respect to financing including all aspects of development, construction and permanent financing, leasehold financing and syndicated loans.
We have experience acting for lenders on numerous financings including:
- The $180 million financing for the acquisition of a portfolio of office buildings
- The $190 million financing for the construction of a hotel
- The $79 million financing for the acquisition of a portfolio of industrial buildings
- The $50 million financing of a portfolio of multi-family residential buildings
- The lenders with respect to large financings to a REIT of leasehold interests in multi-residential complexes throughout the GTA
- Ontario Realty Corporation with respect to its agreements for province-wide facilities management
In connection with commercial leasing, we advise landlords and tenants of institutional, office, retail, shopping centre and industrial premises as well as healthcare facilities on a full range of leasing services including:
- Structuring and documentation for all types of leases as well as restoration obligations at lease conclusion
- Negotiating ground leases
- Structuring of joint ventures
- Advising on financial matters including tax allocation and cost recovery
- Advising on insurance matters
- Advising on risk management
Examples of our transactions in this area include:
- Negotiating on behalf of a developer a long-term lease from York University for the construction and development of its arena facility known as the Ice Gardens
- Acting for St. Michael’s Hospital in its real property and leasing matters
- Representing various health care clients including Whitby Mental Health Centre, Trillium Gift of Life Network, Northeast Mental Health Services and Rekai Health Centre on a variety of real estate-related matters such as divestitures, acquisitions and lease work
We represent lenders in connection with the enforcement of their security against defaulting borrowers, with an eye on helping lenders maximize their debt recovery. Our experience includes:
- Reviewing pricing and market value assessments
- Drafting notices of sale and writs of possession and seizure and sale
- Drafting statements of claim and issuance of demand letters
- Acting on sales of security properties by mortgages in possession
- Initiating proceedings for possession and taking possession of properties
- Listing, negotiating, and conducting the sale of the property
- Pursuing claims for deficiencies after the sale of properties
- Issuing statutory notices for mortgage default
- Acting on the discharge of mortgages
- Contesting defended mortgage recovery actions
- Receiving reinstatement/redemption proceeds
- Undertaking bankruptcy proceedings against guarantors and borrowers
- Advising on alternative methods of obtaining possession of security properties