Real Estate

Is Our Territory

Real Estate2020-10-22T05:23:20+00:00


Since its founding in 1982, Ball Janik LLP has become widely recognized for the depth, breadth and impact of its experience in real estate law. Combining big-picture strategic counsel with comprehensive technical skills, our real estate attorneys have helped reshape the landscape of the region. We serve public and private clients in all phases of commercial and residential development, commercial leasing, commercial acquisitions and dispositions, financing and equity arrangements, and restructuring and workouts. The Real Estate practice works seamlessly with Ball Janik’s land use, environmental, and litigation professionals to solve regulatory challenges, structure and finance deals, and resolve disputes.

Our peers and clients interviewed by Chambers USA say we are “highly responsive, top-flight deal-makers with a passion for solving problems.” We have been ranked in the top band by Chambers USA every year Chambers has reported in Oregon. We have been named as the 2011 “Oregon Real Estate Law Firm of the Year” and we were considered the “Best Law Firm in Oregon for Real Estate Work 2009/10” according to Corporate International Magazine.


Commercial Development

The Real Estate practice group represents leading and emerging developers, property owners and public agencies in the acquisition, disposition, development, construction, permitting, financing, management and leasing of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use projects. We have worked on some of the most complex residential and commercial development transactions in the region including the Rose Garden Arena, South Waterfront, Cascade Station, Bridgeport Village, the Vancouver Conference Center, and Seattle Seahawks Stadium.

Eminent Domain

Our litigators have represented property owners and governmental bodies in condemnation and property acquisition matters. In one trial, we secured a jury finding of just compensation for real property on behalf of a local school district for approximately 50% of the value requested by the property owner. In another trial, we achieved a jury verdict of $756,000 in lost value after the City and the local transportation district restricted the main access to our client’s commercial property.

Commercial Leasing

The real estate group represents leading and emerging developers, property owners and public agencies in all aspects of commercial leasing.

Industrial Parks

Our clients include numerous national developers, one of the nation’s largest REITS focused on industrial property, and regional industrial developers with substantial real property holdings.


We represent owners of office buildings in Oregon, Washington and California, including central city office towers and suburban office and flex buildings. In recognition of our substantial expertise in this area, our firm has assisted in the preparation of form purchase agreements and leasing agreements for the Portland Metropolitan Area Building Owners and Managers Association and the Commercial Association of Realtors® Oregon/Southwest Washington.


We represent owners of various types of retail centers, including power centers, life style centers, grocery-anchored shopping centers and strip mall centers in Oregon and Washington. We have negotiated leases and purchase agreements with many national retailers and also represent a range of retail tenants.

Financing and Equity Arrangements

The Real Estate practice has extensive experience in formation and management of limited liability companies and other ventures, and in assisting borrowers and lenders with all forms of real estate financing vehicles. We also have experience in the formation of real estate equity funds.

Debt Financing

We assist borrowers with property in Oregon, Washington and California in the negotiation of real estate secured loans from insurance companies, national banks, conduit lenders and regional banks, as well as through bond financings. This practice includes the negotiation of loan documents as well as the issuance of legal opinions. The firm also represents institutional lenders, including regional banks.

Equity Financing

We assist clients in the formation of real estate entities and joint ventures. Our work in this area includes the preparation of entity documents and other contracts under which equity interests are syndicated, preparation of investor disclosure materials, tax planning and compliance with exemption provisions under federal and state securities laws and federal investment company regulations.

Residential Development

The Real Estate practice has broad expertise in representing developers, homeowners’ associations, real estate brokers, property owners and purchasers in all phases of residential development, sales and acquisitions.

Multifamily and Condominium Development

We represent clients in the acquisition, development and financing of condominiums, townhome projects, apartments, and other multifamily and mixed use residential complexes in Oregon, Washington and California. Our experience includes all phases of land acquisitions, land use approvals, and negotiating and structuring debt and equity financings. We also provide tax counsel, loan documentation, condominium and homeowners’ association documentation for newly constructed and conversion condominiums, and HUD, VA and Fannie Mae filings. We have significant experience negotiating development agreements with local governments and master developers for projects within planned unit developments.

Planned Communities

We represent many of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent residential and subdivision developers with projects throughout Oregon and Southern Washington. Our work has included negotiating land acquisition agreements, obtaining land use approvals, providing tax planning services, reviewing and negotiating loan documents, preparing governing documents and form sale agreements for owner associations, and providing general advice to developers during the development, sales, management and turnover processes.

Specialty Areas

The Real Estate practice group has represented a wide range of industries involved in real estate investment and development. We have developed special know-how in all phases of the real estate business, from land use entitlements and environmental reviews to licensing, construction, eminent domain, loan workouts and taxation.

Construction and Design

Our representation in the design and construction contracting field has covered a wide range of projects, including high-technology plants, office parks, hotels, high rises, residential subdivisions, conference centers, condominiums, education facilities, prisons, and sports stadiums. In addition, we represent major contractors and subcontractors, including one of the largest electrical contracting firms in the nation.

Construction Disputes

We aggressively prosecute and defend all types of construction litigation such as bid protests, lien claims, impact/additional compensation claims, warranty claims, and construction defect disputes.

Destination Resorts

Ball Janik LLP has experience in every aspect of destination resort entitlement, having obtained permits for the majority of the destination resorts in Oregon. These include Brasada Ranch, Caldera Springs, Pronghorn, the Running Y Ranch and Tetherow. Our lawyers have assisted clients in every aspect of destination resort development, including obtaining destination resort overlay zoning for land; complying with all aspects of the Oregon destination resort statutes; obtaining all required local land use approvals and permits; assisting in documenting bonding for required improvements so that the resort may proceed before all construction is complete; satisfying all required mitigation obligations, including wildlife, transportation and water; setting up master associations and sub-associations, including declarations of covenants, conditions and restrictions, that comply with the Oregon Planned Community Act; and preparing timeshare and condominium documents that are approved by the Oregon Department of Real Estate.

Energy Generation

We represent power generators (including natural gas powered and wind powered facilities) in the acquisition, permitting, development and financing of power generation facilities. We also have extensive experience helping clients obtain the permits, approvals and real property rights required to operate energy facilities.

Entitlements/Land Use

We represent clients in a wide variety of local, state, and federal matters in all land use aspects of project development. The firm has both an urban and rural practice and obtains entitlements for downtown office buildings, residential planned unit developments, destination resorts, industrial parks, retail centers, college campuses, medical and research campuses, as well as energy facilities. Our attorneys regularly appear in local land use hearings, at Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals, and in the appellate courts.


In addition to representing land use applicants in local proceedings and appeals throughout Oregon, our attorneys have significant experience in environmental and natural resources law, including water law, wetlands, water quality, endangered species, historic preservation, National Environmental Policy Act and redevelopment of contaminated properties.

Fuel Facilities

We represent fuel distributors, jobbers and fuel facility operators in the acquisition, redevelopment, environmental remediation and compliance, financing, leasing and sale of service stations and other fuel facilities. In addition, our representation of fuel facility buyers and sellers routinely encompasses the acquisition and sale of related businesses such as convenience stores and automobile service centers, as well as the negotiation of fuel distribution and supply agreements involving all of the major oil companies serving the Pacific Northwest.


We assist owners in the development, acquisition, financing, renovation and sale of a broad variety of hospitality facilities, including nationally flagged hotels, boutique luxury hotels, resort hotels and convention and conference center hotels. In connection with our hospitality practice, we have negotiated franchise and management agreements with most of the regional, national and international hotel companies. Our representation of hotel owners includes workouts and the negotiation of leases and other contractual arrangements with restaurants, parking facilities and providers of other hotel amenities.

Medical Facilities

We have experience representing medical services providers in the acquisition, development, permitting, leasing and disposition of property. We helped one client acquire land for a new hospital in Vancouver, Washington and another substantially expand its existing facilities in the City of Portland’s South Waterfront District.

Natural Resources/Timber

We assist clients in a broad variety of transactions involving natural resources. We have represented individual timberland owners as well as private and publicly traded timber companies in the acquisition, sale, exchange and harvesting of timber and timberlands, in transactions ranging from a few thousand dollars to several hundred million dollars.

Public/Private Partnerships

We regularly represent both private parties and local, regional and state agencies with respect to real estate, land use, business and transactional matters, including complex development projects. The firm’s work in this area includes the representation of private developers, cities, state agencies, universities, development authorities, school districts, special services districts and port authorities.

Real Estate Disputes

We represent parties in all forms of real estate dispute resolution, including property acquisition and sale disputes, title and boundary disputes, easement disputes, partition actions, contaminated property problems, judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions, eminent domain proceedings and commercial landlord/tenant disputes. Our experienced litigation team helps clients resolve disputes in a variety of litigation venues, including arbitrations, court actions, and administrative proceedings.

Real Estate Licensing and Compliance

We assist developers, real estate brokers, contractors, mortgage brokers and other real estate professionals in meeting and understanding licensing compliance requirements within Oregon and Washington.

Tax Disputes

We have represented clients in property tax appeals and administrative tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue, and have represented clients in tax litigation in the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and several U.S. circuit courts. Our tax controversy representations in the real estate area have involved issues such as identifying the true owner of property, disputing the existence of cancellation-of-indebtedness income, allocating costs among components of a real estate development, and interpreting IRS procedures regarding the current deduction of estimated future development costs.

Tax Incentives

We assist developers and owners in determining what local, state and federal tax incentives are available for various projects. Our work in this area includes analyzing and creating Enterprise Zones, obtaining approvals under Oregon’s Strategic Investment Program, obtaining New Market Tax Credits and Business Energy Tax Credits, and advising clients about state property tax exemptions available during project construction.

Tax Planning

We assist owners (including tax-exempt owners) and developers in structuring transactions to minimize and defer taxes. Our tax-related services include choosing the appropriate form of ownership entity, optimizing ownership and financial structures, structuring financial and contractual relationships between service providers and capital investors, and identifying tax-minimization opportunities in valuations and cost allocations. We also assist investors in troubled real estate projects with planning exit strategies to maximize the tax benefits of their losses.

Tax-Deferred Exchanges

We assist buyers and sellers of all types of real estate in structuring their transactions as tax deferred exchanges, including exchanges ranging from garden variety forward exchanges to unusual and complex reverse construction exchanges and syndicated tenancy-in-common exchanges. Our experience in this area allows us to implement virtually any type of exchange transaction while providing valuable pre-exchange strategic planning and realistic tax risk analysis.

Telecom and Utilities

We represent both owners and providers in connection with negotiation of license and easement arrangements for telecommunications, cable and utility services. Our clients have included owners converting space to telecommunication hotels, developers of new facilities requiring utility infrastructure, collection companies, and owners approached by telecommunications companies for use of space in and on their buildings.


The Real Estate practice has successfully handled loan workouts for a wide variety of regional lenders and borrowers. We also represent purchasers of distressed properties and loan portfolios and assist these clients with workouts of troubled loans and enforcement of defaulting loans.

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