Real Estate, Environmental, and Construction

  • Vapor Intrusion: Afraid to Inhale?

    March 26, 2017

    That’s understandable, given the recent publicity regarding vapor intrusion (“VI”).  Local evacuations of residences and businesses, the installation of vapor mitigation systems by governmental agencies, a joint VI initiative announced by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the State Department of Health and Human Services, and the MDEQ budget request to fund a […]

  • Recent Legislation Improves Michigan Brownfield Program

    February 22, 2017

    The “traditional” sources of funds for the development of real estate include senior debt and equity.  However, certain development projects would never launch without the use of additional funding mechanisms in the form of state or federal financial incentives.  These projects include sites with historic contamination, deteriorated infrastructure, and/or inadequate or obsolete structures, referred to […]

  • Reduce Risk While Raising Equity

    November 7, 2016

    (November 8, 2016) In the last blog post, we talked about senior debt as the primary source of development funds. Unfortunately for developers, senior debt is rarely sufficient to fund the entire project, and the next most common source of funding after senior debt is equity. Senior lenders will not close on the senior loan […]

  • Break Ground Using Senior Debt

    October 11, 2016

    (October 11, 2016) Real estate development generally is very capital-intensive and most developments are funded by a mix of capital types and sources.  Senior debt is usually the greatest percentage of the capital stack in real estate development,  and typically takes the form of a construction-to-permanent loan.  If the developer has not already acquired the […]

  • “Prevailing Party” Does Not Need to Win Claim to Collect Attorney Fees

    July 28, 2016

    (July 28, 2016) Can a party collect attorney fees available to “prevailing parties” under the Construction Lien Act without actually winning its lien foreclosure claim? According to a recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, the answer is “Yes” – at least when that party receives an arbitration award establishing that it proved a breach […]

  • Michigan Supreme Court Recognizes Municipalities’ Right to Adopt Local Prevailing Wage Ordinances

    May 18, 2016

    On May 17, 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in Associated Builders and Contractors v City of Lansing that local municipalities have the right to adopt local ordinances that govern the wages paid to third-party employees working on municipal construction contracts. The Court’s ruling overturned a nearly 100 year old case which had been used […]

  • Equipment Lessors Not Covered by Builders Trust Fund Act

    November 1, 2015

    Lamar Construction’s abrupt closure in July 2014 left many people to whom Lamar owed money (including employees, subcontractors and those who provided materials used on Lamar’s jobs) scrambling to try to get paid. Many of those creditors brought claims under Michigan’s Builder Trust Fund Act (“MBTFA”), which imposes a constructive trust on funds held or […]

  • Michigan Supreme Court Permits Homeowners to Recover Transfer Taxes

    October 6, 2015

    (October 8, 2015) This summer, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion in Gardner v. Department of Treasury, ruling that homeowners who can demonstrate, when they sell their principal residence, that the state equalized value (SEV) at the time of sale is less than or equal to the SEV at the time of their purchase […]

  • Listing Broker’s Liability for Failure to Disclose Property Defect

    March 4, 2015

    (March 4, 2015) Historically, Michigan courts have been reluctant to impose upon listing brokers a duty of disclosure to purchasers of real estate. However, two recent decisions by the Michigan Court of Appeals illustrate important exceptions to the general rule that listing brokers do not have a duty of disclosure to buyers.  Each case involved […]

  • A cautionary Tale for Residential Real Estate Professionals: Appraisal Contingency May Not Mean What you Intend

    February 16, 2015

    (February 16, 2015) Since the economic downturn and real estate mortgage crisis of 2008-09, it has become common for buyers and their agents to include a provision in a purchase offer for residential property which makes the agreement contingent upon the property appraising for an amount equal or greater to the purchase price. We have […]

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