Real Estate Finance

Future-focused, business-grounded advice and thoughtful solutions to help you structure, negotiate and close complex real estate investment finance deals.

Our approach

The commercial real estate market is enjoying resurgence in the U.S. Commercial mortgage-backed securities are predicted to reach up to $100 billion by 2020. Clearly the future is looking up.

As opportunities arise, you need a firm with collective knowledge and resources to help you anticipate and capture the market, prepare for and manage risks, forecast and overcome obstacles. Whatever kind of real estate finance you need, you need a partner who knows how to negotiate and structure any one of hundreds of complex real estate and financing deals.

We are industry leaders experienced in structuring and negotiating cutting-edge contracts. We do this for some of the world’s largest financial institutions, private equity funds and investors seeking to maximize and manage their investments in real estate.

From secured lending, to acquisitions and dispositions, our team handles billions of dollars in loan originations, restructurings and workouts, representing a broad scope of institutional investors in the U.S. and abroad.

Who we work with

  • We represent participants in capital markets transactions nationwide and globally, from investment banks and insurance companies to pension, private equity and hedge funds.


  • Chambers USA has ranked members of our team, with clients praising our “attention to detail, deep knowledge, responsiveness, and great value.”

Representative experience

  • Represented a major life insurance company as co-lender in an aggregate $1 billion loan that was secured by approximately 87 shopping centers containing “Market Basket” supermarkets located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
  • Represented the special servicer in the restructuring of a securitized loan in the original principal amount of $70 million. The loan is secured by the office building located at 1515 Market Street in Philadelphia. The loan was bifurcated into an A component and a B component, which B Component was subordinate to a preferred equity investment made by affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., a global investment management corporation.
  • Represented special servicer J.E. Robert Company, Inc. as lead counsel in workout negotiations involving a $195 million securitized senior loan that was secured by five furniture mart properties located in High Point, North Carolina.
  • Representation also included the sale of the properties, modification of the senior loan and assumption of the loan.
  • Represented New York Life Insurance Company and Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of America, as co-lenders, in the origination of a portion of a $590 million refinancing of the commercial condominium property located at 717 5th Avenue, New York City. New York Life and Teachers funded $300 million of such refinancing as a senior mortgage loan and an affiliate of Deutsche Bank funded the remaining $290 million as a mezzanine loan.

Transactions & Financings

Senior Housing News | July 22, 2020

Nixon Peabody client Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) was included in this roundup of notable deals for closing on the financing of two Boston-area properties that will help the organization with its post-pandemic future. Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks, and associates Ali Walendziak and Alexander Rosso were mentioned for representing HSL in the Randolph financing. Jeff Sacks and Affordable Housing & Real Estate associate Julie Hancock Stande were noted for representing HSL in the Brookline transaction. All the attorneys are based in Boston.

Treasury Offers Broad Opportunity Zone Investor Relief

Bloomberg Tax | June 05, 2020

This article quotes Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder on new Treasury guidance related to opportunity zone investors, noting what he’s been seeing in the space as well as issues that remain unaddressed.

D.C. Opportunity Zone Developer Closes Financing, To Break Ground Soon On 191 Apartments

Bisnow | April 23, 2020

This article, which mentions NP for representing the developer in the transaction, covers a $50 million financing deal that enables construction of a new 191-unit residential building in Northeast Washington, D.C. The deal team included Washington, D.C. partner Susanna Mitchell, New York City partner Meghan Altidor, and Boston associate Alexander Rosso, all of the Affordable Housing and Real Estate group.

The rent: To pay or not to pay? Amid coronavirus, that is the question for business across Chicago

Chicago Tribune | April 01, 2020

In this front-page article in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner David Allswang provided comments that commercial landlords are bracing for a significant drop in rent payments in April amid the coronavirus crisis, citing anecdotal data from commercial property owners in London.

COVID-19, executive orders and pending condo offering plans

New York Law Journal | March 23, 2020

In her latest “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley explains that the functions of New York government, including the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau, are still in operation during the coronavirus shutdown, as most state employees continue to work remotely.

4 Consideration for Investing in Opportunity Zones

Law360 | February 19, 2020

New York City Corporate partner Rick Cox provides commentary in this article about how managers of qualified opportunity funds can minimize conflicts of interest through organizational documents.

First take on final OZ regulations

Affordable Housing Finance | December 26, 2019

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder wrote this contributed article analyzing the final IRS regulations governing opportunity zones, the tax-advantaged investment opportunity created by Congress in 2017.

Unintended result of new rent law may be less home ownership

Crain’s New York | July 09, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley wrote this op-ed outlining how a new law designed to protect tenants may actually reduce home ownership opportunities in the city, due to a provision making condo conversions more difficult.

Opportunity Zone investing—How is debt handled in determining the basis step-up after 10 years?

Bloomberg Tax | May 15, 2019

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder wrote this contributed article explaining the math behind determining the fair market value of a qualified opportunity fund partnership interest after 10 years.

NYC Real Estate Week in Review

Law360 | March 04, 2019

Washington DC Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Susanna Mitchell is mentioned in this article for her representation of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging in a $21 million real estate transfer between two of its entities.

How driverless cars will reshape cities

Spectrum TV | January 08, 2019

Los Angeles Office Managing Partner Justin Thompson appeared in this live TV segment to discuss how the increasing number of driverless cars on the road will change the way cities operate.

10 takeaways from AHF Live

Affordable Housing Finance | November 15, 2018

New York City strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate practice group, says the new leadership of the House Appropriations Committee is likely to push the Department of Housing and Urban Development for additional financing for affordable housing.

The federal circuit vacates the Alta Wind decision

International Energy Law Review | October 31, 2018

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder authored this column about a recent Federal Court of Appeals ruling to overturn the Alta Wind decision, and its possible implications for the energy industry and projects involving government grants or tax credits.

NYC real estate week in review

Law360 | September 03, 2018

This weekly roundup of notable real estate deals mentions New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Joe Lynch’s work as counsel to affordable housing developer Breaking Ground in its $170 million purchase of a historic building in Brooklyn.

Behind the AG finance bureau’s master plan

The Real Deal | August 31, 2018

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley provides commentary in this article is about the impact of the New York Attorney General Real Estate Finance Bureau’s work to modernize operations, strengthen enforcement and broaden its scope.

The Jetson effect on transportation

The Bond Buyer | July 23, 2018

Los Angeles Project Finance and Public Finance partner Rudy Salo provides his perspective on how driverless cars will impact mass transit planning in this Bond Buyer podcast.

Ones to watch: real estate, architecture, engineering and construction

Long Island Business News | June 18, 2018

Long Island affordable housing and real estate associate Michael Webb is mentioned in this article as one of the publication’s “Ones to Watch,” a who’s who of rising professionals in the area.

Prospect of China tariffs rattle retail pros

Real Estate Finance & Investment | May 31, 2018

In the following coverage from Real Estate Finance & Investment, Chicago affordable housing and real estate partner David Allswang offers his thought leadership on some of the key issues addressed at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas.

ICSC: Retail shrinkage is necessary for sector evolution

Real Estate Finance & Investment | May 31, 2018

In the following coverage from Real Estate Finance & Investment, Chicago affordable housing and real estate partner David Allswang offers his thought leadership on some of the key issues addressed at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas.

Nixon Peabody scoops up P3, project finance pro in NY

Law360 | May 24, 2018

Media coverage of the arrival of New York City public finance and project finance partner Roderick “Roddy” Devlin continues with this profile in Law360, which highlights some of Roddy’s largest recent deals, including the $4 billion public-private partnership to upgrade New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Montana Highlights

Big Sky Business Journal | April 08, 2018

Nixon Peabody is mentioned in this roundup of major Montana business news for its representation of Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc., in its acquisition of Ruby Valley Bank in Twin Bridges, Montana. Nixon Peabody’s deal team was led by Public Company Transactions partner Lloyd Spencer and senior counsel Ray Gustini and included Public Company Transactions partner Sean Clancy, Real Estate partner Colette Dafoe, Energy & Environmental Group partner Jean McCreary, and Labor & Employment partners Jeff Gilbreth, Yelena Gray and Tom McCord.

Blank Rome, Nixon Peabody steer $53M loan for Bronx apartments

Law360 | November 27, 2017

New York City affordable housing partner Aaron Yowell counseled Park Management Inc. in its $53 million acquisition of a seven-floor apartment building in the Bronx serving lower-income renters.

Interest in historic preservation growing in Detroit

WDET-FM (NPR Detroit) | October 11, 2017

In this radio segment about the increase of rehabilitation investment and construction in Detroit over the past few years, Washington DC tax credit finance and syndication partner David Schon discusses how to take advantage of historic preservation tax credits for the city’s historical buildings.


Colette A. Dafoe

Office Managing Partner

Phone: 202-585-8393

Lori A. Bowman


Phone: 585-263-1638

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2020 as a national Tier 1 leader for Real Estate Law
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States 2016 for Real estate and construction—Construction (including construction litigation)
Back to top