Our real estate attorneys handle a full range of complex and sophisticated transactions involving real estate development, construction and development loans, loan restructurings and work-outs, acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing and equity investments. Its clients include landowners, developers, banks and investment banks, investment firms, property managers, insurance companies, architects, construction contractors and others involved in all facets of the real estate industry. Primary areas of focus include:
Acquisitions and Dispositions
The Firm has extensive experience counseling developers, investors, owners, builders and other institutional clients in all aspects of the acquisition and conveyance of all types of real property, including office buildings, hotels, shopping malls, apartment complexes, undeveloped land, golf courses and other types of commercial and residential projects. The Firm also has substantial experience in evaluating, negotiating and drafting ground leases.
Commercial and Construction Lending
Since its inception in 1989, the Firm has represented borrowers, lenders and investors in the structuring and delivery of financing for numerous types of projects. The Firm represents clients in all aspects of real estate finance, including construction loans, development loans, permanent mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, tax-exempt and taxable bond financings, and the management of loan pools and portfolios. The Firm has counseled clients on the construction, development, financing and refinancing of office buildings, hotels, shopping malls, apartment and condominium complexes, mixed-use developments, residential developments, undeveloped land, golf courses and other types of commercial and residential projects.
Condominium and Community Associations
- Development and Registration
- Homeowners’ Associations
M4 maintains a highly respected condominium and community association practice with substantial experience in all aspects from advising on governance documents and issues to assessments, enforcements and litigation. Our team will work with your management or board of directors on all operational matters, as you administer the affairs of your association.
Our attorneys are experienced in preparing deeds and other conveyancing documents compliant with applicable laws in connection with transfers of real property in Hawaii. Clients have included title companies, mortgage companies and developers of subdivisions or condominiums.
M4’s real estate attorneys have extensive experience in advising clients affected by environmental regulations and environmental issues in their businesses and real estate transactions, and have represented a diverse mix of environmental clients in such matters. Our attorneys have extensive expertise in representing clients and handling environmental matters involving a wide range of federal, state and county departments agencies (including the Hawaii Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Land Use Commission, the Hawaii Office of Planning, and various county departments and agencies). Our attorneys are experienced in negotiations with administrative agencies and providing legal advice regarding a wide variety of environmental issues affecting our clients’ businesses and real estate transactions, including: (1) environmental management of businesses and facilities, including legal services for regulatory compliance and reporting; (2) environmental impact statements, environmental permitting including working with environmental consultants in preparation of required reports and applications for permits under RCRA, FIFRA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act (NPDES and NPS – Storm Water Permits), SARA Title III, and State of Hawaii Land Use and Coastal Zone Management Rules; and (3) environmental issues in real estate transactions including real estate acquisition and sales, leasing and condominium transactions, construction contracting, title matters, land use, financing workouts, and regulatory compliance matters.
In addition, M4’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group – Environmental, also represent clients in environmental litigation, including administrative proceedings, criminal investigations, citizens suits and lawsuits.
Land Use and Entitlements
The Firm’s land use attorneys counsel developers, property owners, architects, contractors and institutional investors in all areas related to land use, including site acquisition and assembly, zoning and permitting, environmental matters, SMA permits, conservation district use permits, historic preservation, development agreements with governmental authorities, subdivision approvals, water rights and Native Hawaiian rights.
Residential, Retail & Commercial Leasing
The Firm has a well-established practice in representing landlords, tenants, developers and lenders in connection with the leasing of office, retail and other properties, including the negotiation and management of long-term ground leases. The Firm’s leasing practice includes advising fee owners, ground lessees and ownership associations in rent renegotiations and arbitrations.
Residential, Commercial and Hotel Development
The Firm’s development group has substantial experience counseling developers, property owners and institutional investors in the development of sophisticated projects. The Firm has managed the development of hotels, office buildings, condominium projects, mixed-use projects, multifamily residential developments, golf courses and numerous other substantial real estate projects.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing property owners and developers with respect to subdivision developments. We assist such clients in preparing and filing applications for subdivision approval, as well as other land use permits and approvals, required under applicable subdivision laws at both the state and local levels. We represent the clients in administrative hearings and other proceedings relating to such applications and provide assistance in evaluating and complying with applicable requirements of subdivision laws and related laws affecting land development.
Title and Escrow
Every investor knows that a clean, clear title is absolutely essential. It is important to have a lawyer who knows the questions to ask and the problems to look for when ensuring a title will stand up to legal scrutiny. A real estate investment needs the stability and security of a clear title.
Establishing escrow accounts assures all the parties that the agreed-upon financial resources are readily available. A sound legal agreement can establish how the escrow account will be managed, and when and how funds will be released. This protects buyers and sellers during the purchase process. Escrow accounts also protect the project owner and contractors who are fulfilling contracts.
- Represented owner/developer in the planning, development, financing and construction of large condominium projects on Oahu.
- Represented foreign bank on the agreed sale of a luxury resort hotel on the Big Island
- Represented foreign bank with respect to numerous borrowers involving numerous properties located in Hawaii and Guam.
- Represented one of Hawaii's most successful and well-known commercial property and residential condominium developers on restructuring a $113.5 Million loan.
- Advised clients on the complex issues presented by ground leases in the State of Hawaii.
- Development and amendment of declarations and bylaws
- Assessments and collections
- Dispute resolution
- Financing of projects and repairs
- Construction defects and liability litigation
- Enforcement of covenants and restrictions
- Litigation: administrative proceedings, criminal investigations, citizens suits and lawsuits involving underground storage tanks, hazardous waste cleanup and remediation, cost recovery and cost allocation, asbestos remediation, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Solid and Hazardous Waste Act (RCRA), environmental impact statement related issues, toxic tort and environmental product liability litigation cases.
- Permitting: working with environmental consultants in preparation of required reports and applications for permits under RCRA, FIFRA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act (NPDES and NPS - Storm Water Permits), SARA Title III, and State of Hawaii Land Use and Coastal Zone Management Rules, and environmental impact statements under the Hawaii EIS Law and Federal National Environmental Policy Act.
- Management: management of businesses and facilities, including legal services and assistance for regulatory compliance and reporting, audits, assessments, risk management analysis, regulatory compliance under various environmental laws, including hazardous waste regulations, underground storage tanks, asbestos and occupational safety and health laws, and remediation of affected properties, including hazardous waste and unexploded ordinance (UXO) removal.