Creative Representation | Expert Litigation

Areas of Transactional Real Estate Practice

Acquisitions and Sales

Financing

Construction Contracts

Office and Industrial Leasing

Retail and Commercial Leasing

Bartko Zankel handles the full range of real estate matters for clients, including tenants, property owners and commercial developers nationwide. We have extensive experience with real property acquisitions and sales, real estate financing, ground leasing, retail, office, industrial and outlet leasing, commercial and industrial construction projects, environmental assessment analysis, title review, architecture and construction contracts, reciprocal easement agreements, lease restructuring and disposition, operating expense analysis and tenant-in-common agreements.

We have one of the strongest retail leasing practice groups in the country, representing major retail tenants including Ross Dress For Less (including dd’s Discounts), H & M, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Gap (including Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix and Piperlime), Nike (including Converse and Hurley), Cole Haan, PetSmart and Ralph Lauren.

We have represented national retailers, developers and REITs in acquisition and sales transactions, including the drafting of purchase, development and construction agreements for corporate headquarters, distribution centers, warehouse facilities and office projects as well as due diligence and title review.

We have represented institutional lenders and borrowers in financing office, industrial, retail and residential projects throughout the United States, including the drafting and negotiation of loan and loan defeasance documents, preparation of legal opinions involving secured transactions, review of title matters and due diligence review. Our attorneys handle real estate loan workouts and have represented clients in restructuring loans with commercial lenders, including modifications and adjustments of principal balances. We maintain relationships with other real estate professionals and can assemble a team of experts to advise financial institutions with respect to troubled loans, REO and loan restructuring when borrowers are in bankruptcy, to serve as asset managers, receivers and bankruptcy trustees, and to provide litigation support for real estate related litigation involving financial institutions.

We also represent developers and REITS in office and industrial leases and financings. In addition, we have expertise in industrial, restaurant and non-standard occupancy arrangements.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Represented The Gymboree Corporation in the negotiation of the lease for its new headquarters in San Francisco
  • Represented Ross Dress for Less, Inc. in the negotiation of the lease for its corporate headquarters
  • Negotiated retail leases throughout the U.S. for over 50 million square feet of retail space
  • Coordinated all legal work for the land use planning, acquisition, financing and development of three regional distribution centers totaling over 3,800,000 square feet for a major publicly held company. Oversaw the land acquisition, financing and planning approval process, including resolving land use and environmental issues, as well as negotiating construction and architectural management contracts and continuing to assist in the ongoing construction process
  • Represented the landlord of the largest high-rise multimedia building in San Francisco in leasing and telecommunications matters
  • Represented Ross Dress for Less, Inc. in the bulk acquisition of 37 retail leases from Albertson's
  • Negotiated major industrial warehouse/office lease for a national retailer
  • Developed global construction and architect forms for The Gymboree Corporation, Ross Dress for Less, Inc. and DSW Shoes

We have experience with the major issues relating to commercial leasing, including the pass-through of operating and capital expenses and costs associated with compliance laws, property tax reassessments and the impact of real property tax issues on lease transactions, the role of the real property secured lender in an owner's leasing program, the consequences of bankruptcy in commercial lease transactions including strategies for both landlords and tenants, the impact of environmental regulations and the presence of hazardous materials on lease transactions, security and premises liability issues, and contractual remedies and unlawful detainer procedures in commercial lease disputes.

Our attorneys include the former chairperson of the San Francisco Real Estate Roundtable, a former director of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Francisco, a former General Counsel of CB Richard Ellis, two former in house attorneys of Gymboree and a former Associate General Counsel of the Gap, Inc. Real Estate Law Department. We are active members of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). Our attorneys have authored many publications relating to commercial leasing, including a leading primer, Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases. Our attorneys have been speakers about retail leasing, reciprocal easement agreements and purchases and sales agreements at the ICSC Law Conference, the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), CLE International, State Bar of California Education Institute, Commercial Real Estate Institute, the PLI Retail Leasing Conference and the California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB).

Transactional Real Estate Articles

  • Underestimates of CAM May Lead to Allegation of Fraud by Katherine Oberle, published by Retail Law Strategist (2014)
  • The New LEED for Retail Certification ‒ Can It Improve Your Bottom Line? by Katherine Oberle, published by Chain Store Age (2011)
  • CEB, Ground Lease Practice, Chapter 8, Use Clauses by Theani C. Louskos (2009)
  • Unique Issues and Major Differences between Retail and Office Leasing by Theani C. Louskos This article, which appeared in the Spring 2004 edition of the California Real Property Law Journal published by the State Bar of California, highlights the key differences in negotiating retail and office leases