Real Estate

At Ferrari Ottoboni Caputo & Wunderling LLP, experienced attorneys deliver expert representation, advice and counsel in a broad range of sophisticated real estate transactions, as well as associated land use, zoning, environmental, business organization planning and formation, and real property tax issues. Decades of specialized law practice, along with applied knowledge of the real estate markets, help us advance our clients’ interests on a cost-effective basis in the following areas:

  • Purchase, Sale and Exchange
  • Development and Construction
  • Leasing
  • Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Law
  • Real Property Tax Issues

Having represented all sides of virtually every type of real estate transaction over the years, our attorneys have gained valuable insights into these concerns, and our clients enjoy the benefits of these insights as we help them navigate the entire process from the initial stages of a transaction through its conclusion and beyond.

Purchase, Sale and Exchange

Our attorneys regularly handle the purchase, sale and exchange of all types of commercial real estate, including office buildings, shopping centers, apartment complexes, mixed-use projects, and industrial and manufacturing facilities. We review, negotiate, and draft agreements for a wide variety of real estate transactions, including disposition and development agreements, purchase and sale agreements, option agreements, secured financing agreements, and cotenancy agreements.

Development and Construction

Our practice includes all phases of development, from land acquisition through entitlement, project finance, build-out, leasing, and sale of the project. This expertise includes the representation of California community college districts in the commercial development of their surplus lands through the use of long-term ground leases and other similar vehicles, including analysis of the financial and legal implications of such projects, together with advice and counsel on related public agency law matters, including Brown Act issues, conflict of interest issues, Civic Center Act issues, Public Records Act issues, public financing issues, and public contracting issues.

We also have substantial expertise in providing legal services related to construction matters, including the representation of owners, landlords, tenants, architects and contractors. We write construction agreements tailored to specific types of projects, and assist at every stage of the construction process with preparation, review, revision and interpretation of form construction contracts, including those created by the American Institute of Architects. Finally, we work with all parties to attempt to resolve mechanic’s lien claims and other construction-related disputes.


Our law firm represents both landlords and tenants in a wide variety of leasing matters, providing advice to a broad range of businesses in their lease transactions. Our leasing practice covers the includes negotiation, structuring, and documentation of long-term ground leases, commercial, retail, industrial, office, and shopping center leases, and ancillary agreements, including subleases, tenant improvement agreements, guaranties, property management agreements, nondisturbance and subordination agreements, and licenses. We advise clients on property management issues as well. Finally, we also counsel clients in leasing matters involving bankruptcy, unlawful detainer and eviction proceedings.

Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Law

Our land use and zoning practice encompasses providing expert advice and representation to owners, developers and investors in navigating their projects through the intricacies of the approval process, including planning, entitlements, protecting property rights, permitting, and development/redevelopment. We advocate aggressively for our clients through all governmental processes, including public hearings, in obtaining governmental approvals and agreements. We also assist owners and developers respect to general plan amendments, specific plan approvals, zoning approvals, subdivision and parcel maps, exactions, development agreements, use permits, redevelopment agreements and other entitlements in support of their property interests. In addition, we make regular appearances in front of local agencies and defend property owners and their projects against various challenges. We also represent clients in controversies with local governments, including compliance with the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, and Proposition 218.

In addition, we work with property owners and developers in their dealings with both federal and state environmental regulations, including, inter alia, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). In these matters, we seek to help owners and developers comply with the myriad of regulatory obligations that they face and to minimize their environmental liability and the expenses associated with clean-up and remediation projects.

Real Property Tax Issues

Owners of real estate must, by necessity, address a variety of tax issues relating to their real property ownership. Our attorneys have great depth of experience working with the various tax issues facing property owners, and provide valuable insight and assistance to property owners in planning and providing for their real property tax matters. These include the planning and structuring of Section 1031 federal income tax-deferred exchanges of real property, taking advantage of the ad valorem real property tax advantages of, inter alia, Propositions 13 and 58, and pursuing real property tax assessment appeals.


By Daniel Gonzales
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