Converting Distressed Real Estate Developments: Legal and Financial Considerations

Navigating the Zoning, Covenant, Lender and Successor Liability Complexities

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will examine the benefits and risks of converting distressed real estate developments to other uses, including rentals, fractionals, hotels and mixed use developments, and will explain the legal, financial and practical considerations for developers when converting the projects.


Nationwide, development projects initiated during the real estate boom now sit unfinished or vacant. To minimize their losses, many developers are converting distressed projects to a variety of different models, such as rentals, fractionals, hotels and mixed use developments.

The process of converting distressed projects is complex and fraught with legal pitfalls. Failure to adequately investigate zoning requirements can result in unusable property. Further, covenants attached to the original development may create roadblocks to converting the project.

Listen as our panel of experienced real estate attorneys explains the benefits and risks of converting distressed real estate developments to other uses. The panel will review the legal, financial and practical considerations for developers who are considering converting the projects to cut losses.



  1. Converting distressed developments — current market trends
    1. Condominiums and townhomes
    2. Subdivisions/single family homes
    3. Hotels
    4. Offices
    5. Age-restricted communities
    6. Retail developments
  2. Legal considerations when converting developments
    1. Zoning
    2. Covenants and conditions
    3. Use of amenities
    4. Lender/lien issues
    5. State laws governing fractionals and rentals


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How has the distressed real estate market impacted the building and sale of new development projects?
  • What are the options for developers and sellers stuck with distressed development projects and seeking to minimize their losses?
  • What are the legal and practical considerations for converting failed developments to fractionals, rentals, hotels or mixed use developments?


David A. Barksdale
David A. Barksdale

Ballard Spahr

He focuses on distressed real estate, real estate development, finance and construction, and secured finance. He...  |  Read More

M. Maxine Hicks
M. Maxine Hicks

Epstein Becker & Green

She has extensive experience in the acquisition, development, leasing, distressed assets, clubs and recreational...  |  Read More

Mel S. Weinberger
Mel S. Weinberger

Holland & Knight

He is the co-leader of the firm's Global Hospitality, Resort, and Timeshare Practice and has specialized in all aspects...  |  Read More

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