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The firm’s real estate practice recently provided counsel on a joint venture between developer Jonathan Rose Companies and JP Morgan Chase on title and construction loan closings for a mixed use redevelopment project in South Orange. The project will consist of a 215 unit LEED certified apartment building, retail space, and a 500+ space parking facility, a portion of which will be available for public use.  

Last year, partners Robert S. Goldsmith and Kenneth T. Bills successfully negotiated an amendment to the Redevelopment Plan for the area, a Redevelopment Agreement, and a Financial Agreement with the Township of South Orange Village.

A team consisting of Jack Fersko, Mr. Bills and Charles J. Wilkes subsequently advised on the transfer of property to the firm’s client pursuant to the Redevelopment Agreement.  They also negotiated a $38.5 million construction mortgage loan for the project, which required the expertise of attorneys from several other practice areas within the firm.

Partner Meryl A.G. Gonchar obtained land use approvals for the project in 2013.  Partner Hal W. Mandel prepared the operating agreement for the acquisition vehicle.  Partner John H. Hague negotiated the agreement with the prospective operator of the parking facility, and partner David B. Farer assisted the team in resolving environmental issues that threatened to derail the construction financing in the weeks leading up to closing. 

The closings represent a major milestone for the project and a significant step forward for South Orange’s downtown redevelopment.