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.

The Jetson effect on transportation

The Bond Buyer | July 24, 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 19, 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 | June 01, 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 | June 01, 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 25, 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 09, 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 28, 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 12, 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.

Industry leaders cautiously optimistic post-election

Affordable Housing Finance | November 21, 2016

New York City Affordable Housing strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen is quoted in this article about impacts the election may have on the New York City affordable housing industry. In the article, Deborah emphasizes that President-elect Trump knows real estate finance, is from New York, and likely understands the importance of affordable housing programs.


Colette A. Dafoe

Office Managing Partner

Phone: 202-585-8393

Paul E. Schrier


Phone: 415-984-8280

Lori A. Bowman


Phone: 585-263-1638

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 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)
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