Real Estate: Construction

Venable lawyers work with the construction industry’s leading players on all types of matters. We represent owners, contractors, consultants, sponsors, insurers, and financiers. Our practical, hands-on understanding of our clients’ businesses is our core strength and has proved critical to our success.

Our lawyers have experience in all stages of the life cycle of construction projects, from initial financing and structuring to preparing bidding documents; negotiation of contracts with architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, and others; contract administration; dealing with casualties during construction or operations; dispute resolution; and completion. We have developed custom forms of agreement for the various types of contract structures which our clients may consider (e.g., lump sum, design/build, construction management, and management contracting). We are also leaders in understanding how Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other green issues impact projects and legal agreements.

Our Team

  • Counsel to one-third of publicly held REITs in America
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers:
    • Seven members
    • Two past presidents
  • American Bar Association:
    • Current member of the ABA House of Delegates
    • Current Chair of the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession
    • Former Chair of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Practice Focus

  • Acquisition and disposition
  • Condominiums/cooperatives
  • Construction contracts
  • Environmental concerns
  • Hotel management agreements
  • Joint ventures
  • Like-kind exchanges
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Stock purchase agreements
  • Biotechnology
  • Build-to-suit transactions
  • Government
  • Ground leases
  • Office
  • Retail and restaurant
  • Warehouse/industrial
  • Defeasance
  • Hedges/swaps
  • Mezzanine financing
  • Mortgage lending/borrowing
  • Sale/leaseback
  • Securitized lending
  • Strategies for dealing with distressed real estate
  • Tax-exempt bonds
  • Tax increment financing
  • Tax planning for real estate transactions
Real estate related taxes
  • PILOT agreements
  • Recordation and transfer tax planning
  • Tax exemptions
  • Zoning and land use

Project Types

  • Biotech laboratories
  • Condominiums/cooperatives
  • Hotels/resorts
  • Industrial properties
  • Mixed-use urban land development
  • Multifamily housing
  • Office buildings
  • Residential communities
  • Retail properties
  • Shopping centers
  • Telecommunications facilities

Client Focus

  • Banks
  • Brokers
  • Developers
  • Hospitality companies
  • Investors
  • Lenders
  • Life insurance companies
  • Pension funds
  • Property managers
  • REITs
  • Retailers
  • Syndicators
  • Telecom and utility companies


  • Represented Rapoca Energy in negotiations with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) culminating in a $108 million contract with Rapoca’s successor, Bizzack Construction, LLC, to design and build the 6.2-mile U.S. Route 460 Connector Phase 2 in Buchanan County, Virginia. The contract is notable for its use of “coal synergy,” a delivery system that substantially reduces road building costs
  • Represented the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank). Such work recently included the World Bank’s leasing of an entire office building in Washington, DC’s central business district to the United States of American acting through the General Services Administration (GSA) for use by the State Department. Such transactions involved negotiation of a complex long-term lease for more than 463,000 square feet of space between a sovereign state and an international organization during a challenging political environment for federal government leasing
  • Represented OTO Development LLC in connection with an acquisition and construction financing loan in the amount of $74,400,000 for the construction of a Hampton Inn in Times Square
  • Represented a museum owner in negotiating $90 million cost plus guaranteed maximum price contract to construct a new museum in Washington, DC
  • Represented a prominent private equity company’s hotel division in negotiating agreements for procuring architecture, engineering, construction, construction management, and interior design services for its nationwide portfolio, counseling client on claim and dispute resolution, and representing client in litigation
  • Prepared and negotiated the construction management agreement in connection with the design and construction of a $400 million ethanol and cogeneration plant in the Caribbean. Venable prepared and negotiated the EPC contract and CMA on behalf of the project’s owner
  • Represented Jazz at Lincoln Center regarding all aspects of the design, construction, and financing of a $200 million performance facility in Time Warner Center, a large-scale mixed-use condominium project in New York City, including issues relating to a fire and related water damage to adjacent units during construction
  • Represented the New York Public Library with respect to the numerous renovation projects at its landmark main building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the construction of the Bronx Library Center, and many other construction projects at its branch libraries and other facilities


  • Construction Executive, The Top 50 Construction Law Firms, 2021 (Venable was ranked #10)
  • Chambers USA
    • REITS: Maryland Counsel, Nationwide, 2012 – 2023
    • Real Estate, Washington, DC, 2012 – 2023
    • Real Estate, Maryland, 2012 – 2023
    • Real Estate, Northern Virginia, 2008 – 2010, 2016 – 2021
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers
    • Best Law Firms, Real Estate Law (Tier 1), National, 2011 – 2020, 2022, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Real Estate Law (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Real Estate Law (Tier 1), Washington, DC, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Real Estate (Tier 1), National, 2011 – 2019
    • Best Law Firms, Eminent Domain and Condemnation (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Land Use and Zoning Law (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2017, 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Real Estate Law (Tier 2), San Francisco, 2020, 2022 - 2023
  • Legal 500
    • Real Estate Law, 2016 – 2018, 2021
    • Real Estate - Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), National, 2016 – 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2006 – 2008, 2012, 2014, 2020 – 2022 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)