Real Estate Transactions: ‘We Believe in Leading by Example,’ Says Greenberg Traurig

The below responses are from Greenberg Traurig shareholders Nancy Lash and Gary Saul, who serve as co-chairs of Greenberg Traurig’s Miami real estate practice.

What are some of your most satisfying successes of 2021, and why?

2021 was another record year for Greenberg Traurig’s real estate practice team in South Florida. We advised on a number of noteworthy deals, including Penn-Florida Cos.’ $335 million refinancing package for the completion of Via Mizner in Boca Raton, AIR Communities’ $222.7 million purchase of a 700-unit apartment complex in Pembroke Pines, Swire Properties’ $174 million sale of the East Hotel in Miami, and the $133.5 million sale of 4 West Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale.

We also advised the school board of Miami-Dade County on various public-private partnerships to repurpose under-utilized government land into mixed-use projects. In a similar vein, we represented Adler Group and 13th Floor Investments in negotiating a long-term lease from Broward College for a multifamily project on its central campus and helped the same developers win approval for the final phase of the Link at Douglas, a mixed-use, transit-oriented project at the Douglas Road Metrorail station in Miami. In addition, our condominium group advanced the growth of luxury-branded residences, linking some of the world’s best-known brands—Aman, Baccarat, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis—with multiple developers working on residences and hotel projects throughout Florida.  

Florida’s real estate market is now among the hottest in the country. What are your thoughts on that?

We are thankful that many more people now know what we always knew: Florida isn’t just about great weather and beaches; it also has a great quality of life and is a wonderful place to live, work and play. A defining characteristic of the current influx of new residents to Florida is that many are entrepreneurs and business owners, and they’re bringing their families and businesses with them. That influx is spurring demand in all real estate categories, which is good for South Florida. We look forward to the next wave of innovation as developers find creative ways to make use of limited space in the market. 

What does it take to become a trusted real estate/transactional lawyer in Florida?

Hard work, dedication and consistency. At Greenberg Traurig, we pride ourselves on working hard for our clients, day in and day out. We understand their business and provide them with the legal guidance needed to solve problems and meet their business goals. We also are fortunate in that we can leverage our global platform to serve clients wherever they need us. It’s why many of our real estate clients have worked with the firm for decades. 

Dealmakers are extraordinarily busy people. What must firms do to ensure that they remain engaged with pro bono work, their communities and their families?

So much of it comes down to culture and fostering a spirit of service, be it service to clients, the community or one’s own family. Greenberg Traurig has a long tradition of supporting important causes in South Florida—not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s at the core of who we are. Our attorneys regularly provide leadership, pro bono legal assistance and financial support to local and national charitable organizations, including Americans for Immigrant Justice, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and United Way Miami. We believe in leading by example. Our shareholders and practice group leaders donate significant time and resources to community and pro bono efforts and oversee initiatives within the firm.

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