Guida, Slavich and Flores, P.C. helps clients deal with the environmental risks inherent in real estate ownership and management. Those risks can arise anywhere along the spectrum of owning, developing, and operating property and can affect owners, developers, lenders, sellers, buyers and tenants. Our clients range from international commercial developers to local neighborhood shopping center owners. We have a focus on:
We have particular expertise and experience in redevelopment projects and working with clients to bring contaminated property back into productive use. More
Municipal Setting Designations
While there is no way around the increased transactional costs and time involved with deals involving contaminated properties, a Municipal Setting Designation (“MSD”) for a contaminated site has the potential for both lowering the cost of site assessment and remediation and also speeding up the timeline to get a closure determination from the State of Texas, so deals can be completed. More
See our Representative Experience for a list of the firm’s real estate projects.
This is what Legal 500, a London-based publication, had to say about our practice:
Simply put, no other firm handles land use and environment-related real estate issues in Texas as directly as boutique player as Guida, Slavich & Flores. In Dallas in particular, as the market continues to boom the group has seen its level of activity rising, to the point where clients feel that ‘ the firm has such a heavy influence in MSD work, it’s hard to see far beyond them’.
MSDs - municipal setting designations - continue to be one of the core issues the practice addresses for its clients, and one of the disciplines in which its advantage over the competition is most pronounced. Although the group has been the prime exponent of working in this area in the Dallas region, as Houston has caught on to these designations, so the group’s net has been cast further afield. A classic example of the kinds of cases that the group has handled in this field is in a recent regulatory closure, utilizing an MSD, for a 35-acre assemblage of 16 urban tracts for commercial redevelopment.
Indeed, redevelopment has been the watchword for a large proportion of the group’s work, as MSDs have leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of redevelopment. This line of work stands in stark contrast to those firms who implement a land use practice as part of a service provided to large clients; this kind of work often takes a back seat. As a result, the firm is able to act in this niche area, and provide its unique service parallel to that offered by the market giants. In one example, the firm coordinated the investigation and regulatory closure strategies for over 900 operating oil-wells installed on a 2,500-acre site that was to be redeveloped for various uses. Clients point to this individual style as ‘ worthy of every praise it receives’, and say that ‘ the lawyers there are smart, available, energetic and, above all, they do things that others cannot’.
As green issues increasingly draw the attention of regulators and players in the market, the group’s positioning shows its value. For instance, the group addressed environmental issues impacting public-private partnerships’ town-center development, indicating the kind of work that is becoming more prevalent and more relevant to the various sectors looking to develop or redevelop in the state.
‘ We see them as the people the other firms go to for these specialist issues’, say clients, endorsing the group’s strong knowledge in such environmental matters. In another innovative piece of work, the group developed an environmental policy for a bank to manage environmental issues relating to collateral prior to lending and before and after foreclosure activities, demonstrating the range of work that current market trends are throwing up for the firm.
CLIENTS: Although the group occasionally works with lenders and borrowers on environmental issues, much of its work falls into the buyer/developer side of the client base. Two clients that stand out are Home Depot and Wal-Mart, both of which serve as examples of large national companies that have sought the attorneys’ counsel on building and developing on greenfield sites in the state.
INDIVIDUALS: Clients say name partner John Slavich is ‘ laser-accurate, and so sharp it’s unreal’, adding that ‘ he’s been with us since way back and he never lets us down’. Slavich has a diverse environmental practice, frequently working with companies to structure deals with environmentally impacted properties, and is generally known for doing more MSD work than any other lawyer.
David Whitten, another Dallas partner, has what clients refer to as ‘ a solid practice’ and is regarded as ‘ a fine counselor’. Whitten works with lenders and borrowers on the environmental issues associated with real estate transactions, giving a depth to the practice.
We invite you to contact one of our attorneys to discuss how we might assist you in addressing any environmental challenges or opportunities that impact your company’s interests.