More deals and regulations could be a boon to real estate attorneys

Posted on July 22, 2013

The rebound in the commercial property market and new energy efficiency measures that are being implemented across the country are leading to new opportunities for commercial real estate attorneys. With markets picking back up and foreclosures going down in states like Nevada that were hit hard by the economic downturn, and environmental regulations being passed by major cities all over the U.S., lawyers who handle commercial real estate are seeing their business pick up as they seek to help clients handle new deals and increased oversight on the amount of energy their buildings are using.

Nevada’s commercial real estate market making a comeback
Nevada, like many Western states, was hit hard by the financial downturn, leading to a record number of foreclosures. But these days, instead of restructuring debt, commercial real estate attorneys in cities like Las Vegas are finding themselves back to negotiating new deals, according to Vegas Inc.

The casino industry has helped to spearhead the recovery trend, with the purchase of the failed Echelon resort on the Strip by a Malaysian group that intends to turn it into a Chinese-themed casino, Vegas Inc reported. But other properties have been moving as well, with purchases and resumption of work on unfinished projects leading the way. The Desert Blue timeshare development is back in full gear after sitting fallow for four years. And work on an unfinished residential, retail and office project, recently re-christened the Gramercy, is back underway.

Energy regulations bring more work
In Boston, where the office market has also been making a comeback after a run of difficult years, the city isintroducing new mandatory energy usage reporting for non-residential buildings over 35,000 square-feet and multifamily buildings with more than 35 units, according to The Energy Collective. In doing so, the city is following the example set by other large cities in the country, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Mandatory energy reporting in buildings is a somewhat controversial topic among real estate professionals, meaning that lawyers who have a strong grasp of how those regulations will be implemented are potentially in line to expand their operations.

From Las Vegas to Boston, the commercial real estate market is on the rebound. At the same time, state and municipal governments are looking to find ways to reign in energy usage, with commercial real estate being a top target in that effort. Those factors are combining to provide new opportunities for commercial real estate lawyers to be part of brokering new deals and helping clients navigate their way through increased environmental regulation.