Acquisition & Dispositions


Ulmer & Berne attorneys have extensive experience in the acquisition, development and sale of real estate, including commercial, residential, retail, industrial, office, apartment, restaurant, shopping center, mixed-use, school, hotel, and condominium projects. We use a multidisciplinary approach and call on attorneys in the firm’s other practice groups where needed to provide specialized expertise in areas such as environmental compliance, tax analysis, construction contracts and litigation, mortgage financing, equity investments, ERISA compliance and bankruptcy transactions.

The firm is regularly engaged by the world’s largest restaurant company. To date, Ulmer & Berne has handled the disposition of more than 1,000 owned and leased locations in almost every state in the U.S. for this client.

Press Release Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the promotions of five of its attorneys to partner. They include Daniel Gottesman, Richard Hamilton, Jr., Jesse Lipcius, Brad Sobolewski, and Ulmer’s General Counsel, Kenneth Zirm. In addition, Ulmer also elevated associate Evelyn Holmer to counsel. Lipcius is based in...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to name Mary Forbes Lovett chair of the firm’s nationally recognized Real Estate Practice. Ms. Lovett, a partner in the firm’s Cleveland office, represents developers, nonprofit organizations, lenders, and investors in a wide variety of urban development projects utilizing federal and state historic, low...

Representative Experience

  • Serving as general counsel to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Authority (CFA), the governmental authority whose Board of Directors is appointed by the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the Mayors and Managers Association of Cuyahoga County.
  • Represented two national real estate developers in the purchase of 18 tenant-in-common interests in six shopping centers located in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This transaction involved 12 tax-free exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Represented the seller in the subdivision, development, and sale of 119 residential subdivision lots.
  • Represented the buyer in the purchase of a 250-room hotel in a southwestern suburb of Cleveland.
  • Represented a Northeast Ohio school district in the acquisition of property for its new high school facility.
  • Represented a leading national bank in its purchase of branch sites throughout Northeast Ohio.
  • Participated in reverse 1031 exchange transactions worth $8 million involving the sale of a parking garage in exchange for property leased to a public company and a shopping center in Cape Coral, Florida.
  • Represented a commercial real estate firm in the sale of two nationally known drug store locations in the Baltimore, Maryland area. The transaction, part of a 1031 exchange, involved the sale of limited liability company membership interests in two separate companies that in turn owned the real property and improvements.
  • Represented a joint venture between a national housing developer and local partners in the acquisition of a 242-acre site in San Antonio, Texas, and its development of an upscale residential and mixed commercial use property. Our services have included purchase negotiations, due diligence assistance, negotiation of joint venture agreements, and review of loan documentation. For the same client, we have provided acquisition, construction, financing, and due diligence related services in connection with more than 36 affordable housing developments throughout the United States.
  • Represented the seller in the $22.75 million sale of a 150-unit apartment building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Represented the buyer of a 65-acre parcel near Dayton, Ohio for the development of a lifestyle shopping center in conjunction with the development by the seller of a state of the art multi-screen cinema. Our work includes the drafting of agreements to tie the two projects together as an integrated development.
  • Represented the seller in a $1.2 million disposition of real estate together with a forward build to suit exchange under Internal Revenue Code 1031.
  • Represented a partnership, the seller, in the sale of a local shopping center.
  • Represented the developer in the purchase of a local hotel for $700,000.
  • Represented a national pizza chain in the sale of 35 leased and owned restaurants to a franchisee.
  • Served as special counsel to a St. Louis-based ski resort operator in its acquisition of two Northeast Ohio ski resorts.
  • Completed the $2.57 million purchase of a commercial building in Youngstown, Ohio.
  • Represented the seller of a 12.5 acre parcel of undeveloped real estate in Twinsburg Township, Ohio, for approximately $900,000.
  • Represented the purchaser of an eight-acre parcel in Lyndhurst, Ohio, for residential development.
  • Represented one of Northeast Ohio’s largest real estate brokerage firms in its sale to a nationwide real estate brokerage firm in a management-led buyout.
  • Represented two franchisors on the sale of 17 franchise stores to a new franchisee.
  • Represented several national real estate developers on transactions involving development sites, shopping center, and industrial facilities.
  • Represented a national bank in the purchase of a branch site in Sheffield, Ohio.
  • Represented a nationally-accredited business school with facilities in 18 cities throughout the United States in the acquisition of property in North Olmsted, Ohio, to be used for a private business and technical college facility.
  • Represented a local community college in several major real estate acquisition and construction projects, including the west campus technology center and the corporate college in Westlake, Ohio.
  • Represented the owner of an apartment complex in the $2.4 million sale to a local government for a major redevelopment project.
  • Represented a national bank in the acquisition of retail branch sites in Wadsworth and Chardon, Ohio.
  • Represented several national developers in the sale and disposition of five retail shopping centers with an aggregate value of more than $20 million.
  • Handled all the legal work for the purchase, construction and financing of a Valley View, Ohio, headquarters office, manufacturing, and warehouse facility for a manufacturer.
  • Represented a national developer in the acquisition of a major development site in Ft. Worth, Texas, valued at $8 million, and the sale of two projects with a combined value of $12.5 million.
  • Represented the purchaser in the acquisition and financing of a $4.1 million apartment community with more than 140 units.
  • Represented the purchaser in the acquisition and financing of two Euclid Avenue commercial buildings. The buildings, purchased with loan and grant funds from the city of Cleveland, are part of the purchaser’s efforts to revitalize the midtown corridor east of downtown Cleveland.
  • Represented the purchaser in the acquisition of a $2.1 million office building in the Columbus, Ohio area.
  • Represented a local non-profit, private school in the acquisition of property for the construction of a new facility and related bond financing.
  • Represented a purchaser in the acquisition and financing of a $1.2 million restaurant property.
  • Represented a national fast food franchisor in the sale of 19 company-owned stores to franchisees and the sale of six additional locations.
  • Managed a three-part transaction on behalf of multiple parties where the buyer acquired a shopping center in North Olmsted, Ohio, and then completed a like-kind exchange of a half interest in the shopping center for a commercial building in Mentor, Ohio.
  • Represented an apartment owner in an $11.8 million acquisition and financing of an apartment community in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Acted as counsel to a developer in the purchase, finance and development of a 100-unit, single-family residential development in the Cliffview neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The 11-acre project, financed in part with grant funds from the city of Cleveland, will be jointly developed by one of the area’s largest homebuilders and two local non-profit community development corporations.
  • Acted as buyer’s counsel in the negotiation of the purchase of a 251-unit Section 8 apartment complex.
  • Represented the seller in a $2.3 million sale of a 56-unit apartment complex where the purchaser assumed the first mortgage on the property. The transaction also included partial financing by the seller.
  • Represented a national fast food franchisor in the sale of six company-owned stores and the purchase of one store.
  • Represented the purchaser of a grocery store-anchored shopping center in Page, Arizona, in the purchase and debt financing of the shopping center.
  • Represented the purchaser in the acquisition of a two-acre parcel of commercial land in Twinsburg, Ohio.
  • Represented a national bank in the purchase of branch sites in Broadview Heights and Aurora, Ohio.
  • Represented the seller in the $2 million sale of an office/warehouse building in Painesville, Ohio.
  • Represented the buyer in the $1 million purchase of a 17-acre parcel for a residential development in Brunswick, Ohio.
  • Represented a national financial institution in the purchase of an outparcel for a branch office in Avon, Ohio.
  • Represented the seller in the $740,000 sale of a piece of commercial real estate on which a Skyline Chili franchise is located.
  • Represented the seller in the sale of a UPS Store franchise.
  • Represented the buyer in the purchase of a retail store specializing in needlepoint supplies and accessories.
  • Represented the lender in the $16 million acquisition and condominium conversion of a 196-unit apartment complex.
  • Represented an affiliate of a local plant and flower company in the tax-deferred like-kind exchange transaction that enabled the client to move its floral wholesaling business to a brand new facility.
  • Closed a transaction involving the purchase of membership interests in a limited liability company that owned certain real property in connection with a 1033 exchange, which is a tax-deferred transaction involving the disposition of property through or under the threat of eminent domain, casualty, etc.
  • Managed a tax-free exchange of multiple apartment projects, worth more than $60 million, involving the liquidation of various partnerships and the refinancing of apartment projects with HUD and various insurance companies.
  • Structured the sale of a 66,000-square-foot shopping center in Canton, Ohio, as a tax-deferred, section 1031 like-kind exchange.
  • Represented a national fast-food chain in a 1031 exchange of one its properties. The transaction involved the acquisition of three new sites on a tax-free basis with the completion of a new building on one of the sites.
  • Represented a taxpayer in a reverse like-kind exchange in which the taxpayer was seeking to defer gain on a commercial property sold after the taxpayer purchased the replacement property. The transaction is utilizing a “parking arrangement” in which a third party holds the replacement property pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2000-37.
  • Represented the city of Youngstown in the land acquisition and construction of a $35 million downtown convocation project.
  • Represented land owners in the sale and/or development of unimproved property near the turnpike interchange in Perrysburg, Ohio.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest banks in sale of $115,000,000 subsidiary headquarters complex.