Real Estate


A wide variety of clients in the real estate industry turn to the Real Estate Law Department of Ervin Cohen & Jessup for legal counsel. Our clients are engaged in construction, development, lending, brokerage, leasing and other aspects of real estate, and include commercial developers, large and small corporations and real estate lenders, brokers, investors and title insurance companies involved in real property matters throughout the United States.

Services for the Real Estate Industry

Attorneys in our Real Estate Law Department frequently lecture and publish in the field of commercial real estate law, and provide clients with real estate counsel in the following areas:

  • Purchase, sale, lease, planning, subdivision, development, construction, operation and financing of office buildings, hotels, shopping and industrial centers, single and multi-unit residential projects and other types of commercial, investment and residential properties
  • Construction and permanent financing and syndications
  • Loan workouts
  • Entitlements
  • Development and acquisition services
  • Tax planning services
  • Specialized, low income, HUD and other grant and subsidy programs
  • Construction and public works
  • Litigation representation
  • Land use, entitlements and environmental services including CEQA, EIRs, ADA, development agreements and historical preservation
  • Property management and broker agreements
  • Title and survey analysis and title insurance requirements
  • Contractor, engineer, architect and construction management agreements
  • Community redevelopment agency acquisition agreements and owner participation agreements
  • CC&Rs, REAs and adjoining landowner agreements
  • Tax-deferred and “tax-free” like-kind real property exchanges
  • Acquisition and sale of REO properties

We also represent clients before all applicable governmental agencies, including zoning authorities, the California Coastal Commission and other regulatory bodies.

Commercial Finance

ECJ’s attorneys regularly advise on a broad range of complex financing transactions involving secured and unsecured financing at all levels of the capital structure. We have advised lenders, borrowers, note purchasers, lessors and lessees on transactions for acquisition, bridge, project finance, lease, reorganization, recapitalization and working capital purposes. We bring extensive experience and a practical approach to each transaction, understanding that our clients not only demand and deserve superior quality representation in closing their transactions, but also need their counsel to be efficient and cost effective.

In the real estate lending area, ECJ represents a wide range of commercial banks and other financial institutions with construction lending, senior secured financing, conventional long-term secured loans, participation loans, tax-exempt financings, affordable housing financing, loan work-outs and other lending transactions. Our unique skills allow us to use our knowledge and experience in representing major financial institutions on sophisticated transactions as well as provide value and benefit to smaller organizations due to our efficiency and affordable rates.


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EB-5 Practice

EB-5 Practice

The EB-5 Program was first established by Congress in 1990, and is intended to "stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors." For those who qualify, EB-5 is an interesting and cost-effective way to infuse vetted foreign investment dollars into new construction and redevelopment projects.

Typically, EB-5 foreign investment capital is accessed by developers through loans at a cost well below current market rates. When it is the right fit, EB-5 projects drive development opportunities while creating important new jobs often in rural areas or areas with high unemployment rates. As a result, the program has broad political support from both sides of the aisle.

Successfully managing EB-5 projects requires a unique blend of legal, business, and political acumen. No other firm is as well situated to manage this process than Ervin Cohen & Jessup. Our attorneys have specific experience overseeing some of the most significant EB-5 projects in the country.

What we do

ECJ’s EB-5 team works with clients to create strategies to bring EB-5 funding into their projects, then continues to work with them to ensure those projects are completed successfully. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating all aspects of the EB-5 process as lead counsel, and, as necessary, managing and overseeing work with approved regional centers, economists, and specialty immigration counsel;
  • Negotiating various aspects of EB-5 deals between our clients and regional centers, development partners, and often additional creditors; and
  • Drafting critical documents necessary to “paper” an EB-5 project, including offering materials, loan and agency agreements, and corporate structuring documents, among other things.

    Representative Matters

    $165MM Biofuels a new 65 MGY facility in Jamestown, North Dakota
    Sourced and negotiated a $75MM EB-5 loan on behalf of Midwest AgEnergy to complete the capital stack with a construction loan obtained from local Farm Agricultural Bank. Project opened successfully and has been operating since 2018.

    650 unit Student Housing project in College Station, Texas
    Sourced and negotiated a $49.5MM EB-5 loan on behalf of a client developing student housing. Phase one and two of construction completed and fully leased.

    123 key Upscale Boutique Hotel in Santa Barbara, California
    Successfully represented a client in an approximately $135MM total project cost hotel development with a funded $55MM EB-5 loan (partial bridge loan). EB-5 loan was projected to be increased to $75MM after first I-526 approval.

    Residential marina, retail and 84-unit housing development in Marin County, California
    Successfully represented a client in a $22MM EB-5 funded loan with a land/construction loan closed earlier with Colony Capital.

    1650 residential lot infrastructure project in Prince George County, Maryland
    Successfully represented a client in a $55MM EB-5 funded loan (with bridge financing) and EB-5 loan was increased to $75MM after first I-526 approval.

    • $2.5BB hotel and condominium project in Los Angeles, California
    Successfully represented a client in a $450MM EB-5 funded loan. Project has been completed.

    • 333 room Marriott hotel, 550 space parking garage and 150 unit apartment project in Omaha, Nebraska
    Successfully represented a client in a construction loan and a fully negotiated TIF loan and $36 MM EB-5 funded loan.

    Hotel redevelopment in Beverly Hills, California
    Assisted Oasis Holdings with a multi-phase EB-5 capital raise in excess of $150MM. Money was deployed as part of the financing that is funding the redevelopment of the current construction of Waldorf Astoria adjacent to the Beverly Hills Hilton.

EB-5 Professionals

Jonathan R. Bloch, Partner

Elizabeth A. Dryden, Partner

Austin Vick, Associate

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