Venn Law Group’s Commercial Real Estate practice group provides extensive experience and a practical approach to help real estate developers, buyers, sellers, investors, landlords, tenants, brokers, corporations, and financial institutions in a variety of real estate matters across the Southeast.

The varied backgrounds of our team members include experience in acquiring, financing, developing, selling, and leasing commercial real estate of most types, from office buildings to industrial sites, from shopping centers to mixed-use developments, and from residential subdivisions to mobile home parks.

When client needs demand, we draw on the expertise of other VLG colleagues in the Taxation, Litigation, Corporate practice groups to provide comprehensive commercial real estate counsel.

Areas of Focus

  • Real estate acquisition and disposition
  • Retail, office and industrial leasing
  • Development, construction and permanent financing
  • Tax deferred exchanges
  • Administrative compliance for brokers (real estate license law)
  • Ground leases and sale-leaseback transactions
  • Zoning and land use regulation
  • Real estate due diligence investigations
  • Easements, restrictions and other development agreements
  • Joint venture and partnership agreements
  • Local Counsel Legal Opinion Letters (NC and SC)

Representative Matters

  • Representation of a large home furnishings retailer in the acquisition and leasing of sites across the Southeast. Our work includes negotiating of leases (for leased locations), and purchase contracts, conducting due diligence, negotiating financing documents and handling closings.
  • Representation of retail landlords in connection with all leasing at their shopping centers (totaling over 1MM square feet).
  • Formation and management of “family offices”, including the purchase, sale, leasing and development of family assets.
  • Representation of regional developers in connection with the acquisition, development, planning, financing, leasing and disposition of projects.
  • Representation of regional home builder in connection with the acquisition of land and lots for development/construction.

Helpful Links


For the unwary businessman, commercial real estate transactions present much more risk than residential real estate transactions. While the law provides significant protections for buyers and renters of residential real estate – sellers and landlords must make substantial disclosures and are limited in their ability to impose risks and liabilities on buyers and tenants. However, for commercial real estate transactions, the law presumes that buyers and tenants are more sophisticated than the average consumer and, accordingly, offers them less protection. Without close scrutiny of a lease or purchase and sale agreement, a buyer or tenant may find themselves on the hook for repairs or fees or might walk blindly into a situation that would have been disclosed in a residential context.

Unlike sales of real estate, which require an attorney under North Carolina law, leases can be drafted and signed without an attorney. This may seem appealing at first, as leasing real estate often appears less complicated than buying it. But, leases can contain any number of terms and concepts that can, by their presence or by their absence, work against the interests of one or both parties. Such concepts and terms include TICAM payment and calculation, options to extend the lease, allocation of maintenance responsibilities, guarantees, and exclusives. Any one of these, if overlooked or improperly addressed in the lease, can be a source of serious conflict between landlord and tenant. That’s why you should involve an experienced real estate attorney from start to finish. To learn more about common leasing issues, click here.

Title insurance helps ensure that you are the owner of the purchased property and nobody, other than named individuals, has any claims on the property superior to yours. Additionally, it will protect you against loss if someone other than the persons named turns out to have rights or claims to the property that diminishes its value. To learn more about title insurance, click here.

While it may seem like a minor detail, the way a property owner takes ownership of the property is crucial to the success of many real estate transactions. Owners can choose to take title to property individually or as any number of legal entities, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Additionally, businesses must usually decide whether to take ownership of property themselves or create an affiliated or subsidiary entity to own the property. Owners should consult with accounting and legal professionals before making a decision – the choice of entity carries important implications for taxation, liability, lending, and control of the property. To learn a little more about the options available, click here.

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