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Infrastructure and Real Estate

Practice Group Leaders: Bruce Stachenfeld (Co-Chair) and Terri Adler (Co-Chair)

“Infrastructure” and “Real Estate” have always been moderately overlapping asset classes; however, the overlaps are becoming greater and stronger every day.  This is as different investment groups compete for many of the same investors and compete for many of the same deals.  Indeed, today, one man’s “Infrastructure” is another woman’s “Real Estate” and the converse.

Consider: Train Stations and Railroad Tracks – Data Centers – Logistics Centers – Industrial Buildings – Toll Roads, Bridges and Tunnels – Port Facilities (for tourists or commercial vessels) – Airports – Power Plants – conference centers – stadiums – and much more.  Are they “Real Estate” or are they “Infrastructure”?

The answer is pretty subjective.  If you are an Infrastructure fund and you want to invest in these assets then – surely – they are Infrastructure.  And, yes, if you are a Real Estate fund and you want to invest in these assets then – surely – they are Real Estate.

What does all this mean?

It means that some of our core Real Estate clients are gravitating towards assets that mostly people think/thought of as Infrastructure.

And it also means that some of the classic Infrastructure investment groups are gravitating toward assets that mostly people think/thought of as Real Estate.

For convenience we are calling these assets – that go both ways – “Infrastructure/Real Estate Assets”.

For this reason, we at Duval & Stachenfeld formed our specialized Infrastructure and Real Estate Practice Group to highlight our expertise.

This is a layup for us for four reasons:

First, as lawyers, we are not doing anything different from what we have been doing for years.  We have tens of billions of dollars experience in Infrastructure/Real Estate Assets, including:

  • Logistics/Industrial (both one-off’s and portfolios and platforms)

  • Data Centers

  • Port Facilities

  • Railroad Lines

  • Power Plants

  • Airports and Related Facilities

  • Conference Centers

  • Telecom Towers

Second, transactions of this nature play to our strength because they require creativity and business savvy as well as pure legal expertise.  They are rarely straightforward and, as investors (partially) switch into asset classes with which they do not have deep comfort and experience, having “business lawyers” will be of even greater importance.

Third, the Firm’s crown jewel is our joint venture/corporate real estate practice, and Infrastructure/Real Estate transactions will typically have intricate structures that will be conceptually within the rubric of so-called “corporate real estate”.  Complex and sophisticated financing is always a component of these transactions, which is another core expertise for our team, and since infrastructure projects occur all over the world, our cross-border capabilities in both corporate real estate and tax readily translate to this line of work. Finally, for transactions that have unique attributes – typically regulatory in nature, we have put together a network of local and specialty counsel that is able to advise on these particular areas.

Fourth, and finally, our focus on Infrastructure/Real Estate Assets will dovetail nicely with our core mission:

            “To Help Our Clients Grow Their Businesses”

This is for the – very – simple and obvious reason that the Infrastructure investors will need business advice and guidance pertaining to the Real Estate assets and introductions to the Real Estate players.  And the Real Estate Investors will need business advice and guidance pertaining to the Infrastructure assets and introductions to the Infrastructure players.  We will be able to provide unique and powerful guidance in these initiatives.

The D&S Infrastructure and Real Estate Practice Group is chaired by Bruce Stachenfeld and Terri Adler.  In addition, various real estate and tax partners are also members of the Practice Group.

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