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Varnum Team Surpasses $1 Billion in 2022 Real Estate and Finance Transactions

January 19, 2023

2022 was a robust year for the Varnum real estate and finance team of Tom Forster, Mike Romaya and Ed Gusky, who assisted clients in more than 50 successful real estate transactions and financings totaling in excess of $1 billion.

The team, led by Naples-based attorney Forster, represented clients in various acquisitions, sales, financings, private placements and joint ventures across multiple asset classes, including specialty automotive, multi-family, medical office, retail, industrial and office, located across 12 states.

Tampa Bay Business Journal recently recognized one of the deals – the acquisition of a former distribution center property in St. Petersburg to be redeveloped as a Tesla sales, service and delivery center – as a “Deal of the Year” in retail real estate. The $13.1 million transaction was recognized for “undertaking adaptive reuse of a 1970s industrial distribution center designed as a modern furniture store to meet the standards of a modern, high-tech Tesla facility – and doing it with an eye toward sustainability, efficiency and customer experience.”

Representative transactions of the Varnum team included:

  • Acquisition and financing of 10 health care properties on behalf of the operator. The transactions were coordinated among multiple sellers and states.
  • Acquisition on behalf of a developer of multiple redevelopment properties for use as automotive service, sales and collision centers for an EV manufacturer.
  • Acquisition and joint venture for redevelopment of a 100,000+ square foot industrial building.
  • Acquisition, 1031 TIC exchange and financing for a retail property, with very tight deadlines due to seller, lender and exchange timing.

Varnum provided various levels of representation including complex purchase and sale agreement negotiation with national sellers, buyers and counsel, joint ventures with institutional investors, preferred equity providers, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, as well as 1031 structuring, private placements, bridge financing and master leases. The diversity of clients and projects allowed the team to leverage their experience to obtain great results.

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