Real Estate Law

This course examines, through the lens of the legal documents involved, the real estate law concepts relevant to the development, acquisition and operations of real estate ventures.  We will review the major stages of commercial real estate projects including securing control of land, sourcing and raising equity, completing predevelopment steps such as agreements for design and construction and obtaining governmental permits for both initial construction and adaptive reuse, securing construction financing, leasing and other aspects of operating the project, and realizing capital returns from refinance and/or sale.  A focus of the course will be an in-depth examination of public laws regulating real estate development.  We also will consider steps which may be taken in the legal arena when the unexpected happens and a deal goes sideways, such as bankruptcy or litigation.   

For each stage, we will analyze core real estate law concepts in actual negotiated agreements, including purchase and sale contracts, joint venture agreements, construction and design contracts, construction loan agreements, tenant leases, and permanent loan documentation. The course will include a mix of lectures, discussion of transaction documents and other course readings, individual exercises, and panel discussions with real estate professionals involved in major projects in the greater Boston area. A highlight of the course will be team mock negotiations and role-playing exercises relating to securing control of the land, formation of a joint venture, construction loans, and leasing.

The course goal is to enable students to get deep inside the series of transactions–and their legal documentation—involved in real estate projects, to understand key business and real estate law issues embedded in the legal documents, to gain familiarity with how these issues are commonly resolved, and to recognize how to manage legal risk and the risk/reward calculation.

Students who took SES 5434 cannot take this course for credit.