Real Estate & Municipal

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial transactions frequently involve parties who are sophisticated, driven, and creative. Their legal advisors should be of the same mindset. At Cooper & Riesterer, our real estate attorneys have the expertise and experience to anticipate and find solutions to issues in your deal before they arise. We accompany you through all aspects of your commercial real estate transaction — from arranging bank loans to carefully examining purchase and sale agreements, to allocating risk and drafting closing documents. Our real estate attorneys represent buyers, sellers, builders, developers, lenders, landlords, brokers, tenants, and homeowners’ associations. If problems arise, we have the background and motivation needed to find, or create, a resolution that allows the deal to proceed. We take a business approach to real estate.

Our range of commercial real estate services for businesses and individuals is comprehensive. We focus on protecting our clients’ interests in every aspect of commercial real estate law including:

  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Land contracts, mortgages, and other Seller financing
  • Bank loan negotiation and review
  • Commercial leases, tenants and landlords of single-tenant and multi-tenant buildings
  • Title issues
  • Land use, zoning and boundary disputes
  • Environmental compliance and risk allocation
  • Franchise buildouts
  • Apartment and restaurant owner issues
  • Commercial Real Estate Broker’s Liens
  • Industrial development and use issues
  • Foreclosures and lender workouts
  • Tax-foreclosed properties
  • Property tax appeals
  • Avoiding capital gains taxes on reinvested property (1031 tax deferred exchanges)

Our experience in commercial real estate law enables us to anticipate potential problems so they don’t become unpleasant realities. When unexpected pitfalls do arise, we have the knowledge and skill necessary to resolve problems efficiently and cost-effectively. In our years of practice our real estate attorneys have become well known and trusted within the community and among colleagues.

Residential Real Estate

When it comes to real estate, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is dangerous. At Cooper & Riesterer, PLC, we are well aware of the unseen factors involved with purchasing or selling a home, or other residential property. Zoning and municipal regulations may dictate permissible uses such as whether an accessory structure can be built or whether you can operate that business from your home. Access to lakes, roads, or parks may inhibit intended development, use, or create title concerns. The need for an attorney who is skilled in avoiding surprises and working through problems is critical. At Cooper & Riesterer, we work to protect your rights and investment in your home, cabin, vacation home, investment property, or farm. We are the leaders and known experts in this legal area, frequently being called upon to educate property owners, lenders, Realtors®, and fellow attorneys on new legal developments and strategies.

Our real estate attorneys represent buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, homeowners’ associations, brokers and Realtors® in a full range of residential real estate concerns, such as:

  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Closing document review
  • Title issue resolution and quiet title actions
  • Seller disclosure issues
  • New home construction
  • Land contracts, mortgages, and other Seller financing
  • Easements, deed restrictions, maintenance agreements
  • Riparian/water law issues
  • Land use, zoning and boundary disputes
  • Shared Driveway and Private Road Maintenance Agreements
  • Homeowners’ associations—bylaw drafting/interpretation, deed restrictions, liens,
  • Landlord/tenant—lease drafting and eviction
  • Construction disputes and construction liens
  • Realtor® commission disputes (Procuring Cause arbitration)
  • Avoiding capital gains taxes on reinvested property (1031 tax deferred exchanges)
  • Foreclosures and lender workouts
  • Property tax appeals

Whether you are seeking to buy or sell a home or want to develop a tract of residential property, speak with a residential real estate attorney at our firm first. With decades of experience, we help our clients avoid 30-year-long headaches.

Development and Construction

Building a house on sand is a foolish risk. Entering into a construction contract without the guidance of an experienced real estate attorney is equally risky. At Cooper & Riesterer, PLC, we place you on firm legal ground. Our attorneys advise and support developers, builders, investors, and property owners with their development and construction projects from start to finish—from land acquisition and financing agreements, to negotiations with municipalities and drafting of development documents, like Master Deeds. We specialize in all aspects of construction law and skillfully advise builders, contractors, lienholders, laborers, suppliers, and property owners during each phase of the project. When problems are presented, we look for creative resolutions and approaches to facilitate the deal. But in cases where litigation is imminent, our attorneys have the ability and knowledge of local courts to take that representation to the next level.

Cooper & Riesterer is known in the building community and by fellow colleagues as a trusted and skilled resource in this intricate area of the law. Our attorneys are regularly asked to educate property owners, lenders, Realtors®, and fellow attorneys the basics and new developments in this area of the law. As a result, we have a wide-range of development and construction services to support your project including:

  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Condominium development, new construction and condo conversions
  • Planned unit developments (PUDs)
  • Project planning, site acquisition, government and regulatory approval
  • Construction disputes and construction liens
  • Land contracts, mortgages, and other Seller financing
  • Bank loan negotiation and review
  • Easements, deed restrictions, maintenance agreements
  • Environmental compliance
  • Title issues
  • Land use, zoning
  • Deed restrictions
  • Shared Driveway and Private Road Maintenance Agreements

Our experience in construction and condominium law enables us to recognize and address potential problems before they become unpleasant realities. We have the experience and knowledge base to resolve problems efficiently and cost-effectively.

Zoning & Municipal Law

Two neighbors coexist peacefully until one of them decides to open a dog shelter and rescues 20 dogs, and the other complains to the local municipality about it. Zoning ordinances and municipal regulations often dictate the use possibilities for residential and commercial real estate. Whether you are grateful for an ordinance, or frustrated by it, often depends upon what side of the property boundary you are on. At Cooper & Riesterer, PLC, we understand these ordinances intimately. We represent and advise both municipalities and private individuals and business through these various regulatory schemes. As experienced municipal attorneys, we keep up-to-date on important local zoning issues and changes in the law. When we are not acting as municipal counsel, we appear regularly before local City, Township, Planning Commission, and Zoning Boards on behalf of our clients. We have the local edge you need to achieve your goals.

Our Cooper & Riesterer attorneys provide guidance and advice to townships on all aspects of municipal law including:

  • Zoning and general law ordinance drafting and adoption
  • Ordinance enforcement and litigation
  • Conditional rezoning agreements
  • Inter-municipal agreements and infrastructure development
  • Municipal bond considerations and ballot proposals
  • Land Divisions
  • Site Plan, Special Use, and Variance request legal reviews
  • Policy and Bylaw development
  • Right to Farm Act and Freedom of Information Act
  • Employment law issues
  • Zoning and Tax Appeal defense
  • General advise to all boards, commissions, and committees

We also use our extensive knowledge and experience to help our commercial and residential real estate clients navigate safely through their zoning-related matters including:

  • Site Plan and Special Use approvals
  • Variances and other Zoning Board of Appeals requests
  • Rezoning requests and Conditional Rezoning (contract zoning)
  • Condominium (Master Deed) approvals and negotiation
  • Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)
  • Land Divisions
  • Ordinance violation or enforcement defense
  • Zoning Appeals
  • Marijuana Regulation

We advocate strongly on behalf of any client with the goal of allowing them to do as much as they can with their property, but at the same time educating them on where any applicable limits may lie.

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