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Stephen J. Ismert


Stephen, a partner with more than 25 years of experience, focuses his practice primarily in the areas of finance, real estate and secured commercial transactions. He advises large public REITs, banks, institutional investors and lenders in the sale, acquisition, disposition and financing of national real estate projects and business loan transactions. Stephen also counsels lenders and owners in a wide range of real estate and building development projects, including multi-family and senior housing, shopping centers, hotels, public buildings, golf courses and health care facilities. In addition, he represents closely-held entities in connection with joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, capital formation and corporate governance as well as general corporate transactions and business legal forms. A trusted business advisor, he helps clients structure, close and complete projects efficiently, while staying focused on his clients’ business objectives.

  • Representation of institutional lenders and banks in connection with project and construction financing, revolving credit facilities, mezzanine loans, complex cash flow and lockbox arrangements, credit enhancement and letters of credit.
  • Counsel to a variety of public REITs in the purchase, financing and disposition of over $1.5 billion in real estate and real estate loans in 2017-18 alone.
  • Notable 2017 and 2018 transactions include acquisition of $170 million, 875 unit apartment project in Fairfax County, VA; sale and carry-back financing of $50 million hotel project in La Jolla, CA; sale of $160 million, 750 unit multi-family project in Philadelphia, PA and represented the lender in a $67 million construction loan for the redevelopment of the Christ Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) in Orange, CA.
  • Counsel to a regional health care provider in the development and financing of a regional hospital, medical campus and surgery centers and related leasing transactions to health care service providers.
  • Closed more than 30 forward and reverse 1031 exchange transactions for buyers and sellers in 2017 and 2018 totaling more than $400 million in value involving new and assumed GSE debt.
  • Prepares and negotiates land purchase and build-to-suit-lease development agreements for senior housing projects and reciprocal easement and use agreements for ground-up development and construction of power centers, condominiums, multifamily, assisted living and mixed-use development projects.
  • Representation of banks and non-bank lenders in restructuring loans, creditors rights, deed-in-lieu transactions and foreclosures and bankruptcy matters.
  • Serving as corporate counsel for a successful software development company including development and negotiation of software license and consulting agreement forms, start-up debt and equity financing, stock option plans and shareholder agreements.

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law, 2023-2024