Commercial real estate, acquisition/disposition, development and permitting lead the list of experience that Debbie Horwitz offers clients. Debbie represents developers and owners of all types of real estate projects involving complicated structuring, development and finance issues. Chambers USA reports that "she makes difficult problems seem straightforward and resolves them with ease.” Debbie is a Director and Co-Chair of the firm's Real Estate group. She formerly served as Co-Chair of the firm's Multifamily industry group and on the firm's Executive Committee.
- Representation of Federal Realty Investment Trust in connection with multiple separate joint venture arrangements and the acquisition of a controlling interest in Plaza El Segundo in California. In connection with the acquisition, Goulston & Storrs provided counsel regarding the securitized lender’s consent to the equity transfer and various modifications to an existing $175M loan. This 381,000 sq.ft mixed-use retail and restaurant property is adjacent to an 8.1 acre developable land parcel, which was also acquired in the transaction. The project also included Brownfields redevelopment and significant tax compliance issues.
- Represented the purchaser of a multi-state 13 property multifamily rental portfolio from a large insurance company and simultaneous Freddie Mac financing on 11 of the properties and preferred equity investment on the entire portfolio (subject to new rules on preferred equity structures imposed by Freddie Mac just prior to closing). The transaction included structuring entity conversions and defeasance of nine loans held by three different servicers on the seller’s side, all of which had to occur in a single day simultaneously with the acquisition closing.
- Counsel to several leading national multifamily developers, including Archstone, Fairfield Residential, Hanover Company and Mill Creek Residential in the development and entitlement of thousands of housing units in Massachusetts (market rate and mixed income).
- Representation of Federal Realty Investment Trust in connection with creating the complex ownership structure for Assembly Row in Somerville MA. This mixed-use property is made up of multiple parcels and is entitled for up to 2,100 residential units, 1.75 M sq. ft. of commercial space, 512,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant and cinema space and a 200 room hotel. In addition, Goulston & Storrs provided counsel in connection with structuring a series of transactions with AvalonBay for AvalonBay to develop the first two parcels. Both will include both ground floor retail space and residential rental units above. This project also included Brownfields redevelopment, a new MBTA rail station, condominium ownership structuring, improvements to state owned parks, REIT tax and other compliance issues and retail leasing.
- Counsel to an owner of a large subsidized portfolio of multifamily properties in the Northeast, currently handling dispositions and refinancings involving HUD, state and local subsidy programs.
- In a first of its kind guaranteed secondary market transaction, represented State Street Bank and Trust Company in the acquisition of limited partnership interests in 11 low income housing tax credit partnerships from TIAA.
- Representation of Archstone in the acquisition of a long term ground lease with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for a complex mixed use development over a subway tunnel.
- Representation of Federal Realty Investment Trust in connection with the formation of a joint venture and acquisition of a controlling interest in Montrose Crossing, a 357,000 square foot existing shopping center with an adjacent developable parcel in Maryland. The $127M purchase also involved an $80M loan from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
- $100 Million redevelopment of HOPE VI Public Housing Project in Boston, MA for the selected private development team, involving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Boston Housing Authority, the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency and a major national syndicator of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
- Representation of a national REIT in the simultaneous acquisition of two properties and sale of 4 other properties in multiple states. The acquisitions involved assumptions of loans from Genworth and ING. The transactions also included complicated transfer tax issues related to the existence of long term ground leases on four of the properties. The transactions were structured as reverse tax free exchanges under Section 1031 of the IRC.
Professional and Community Involvement
- National Multifamily Housing Council Advisory Board
- National Multifamily Housing Council Workforce Committee
- National Housing and Rehabilitation Association
- American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
- Affordable Housing Business Coalition
- Steering Committee Against Repealing the Housing Law (Chapter 40B)
- Board of Directors, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
- Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
- Co-Chair, Combined Jewish Philanthropies' $42M Campaign, 2007-2008
- Real Estate Finance Association
- Board of Trustees of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston
Awards and Recognition
- Boston Top 50 Power Women in Real Estate, Bisnow, 2014
- Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™, Martindale-Hubbell®, 2013
- “America’s Leading Business Lawyers,” Chambers USA 2010-2015
- Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast, Real Estate, Martindale Hubbell®, 2011
- "Top Women of Law" Honoree, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2010
- 2009 Circle of Excellence Award, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
- Honored as a Heroic Woman, Jewish Family Service, 2009
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2005, 2012 - 2015
- 2000 Young Leadership Award Recipient, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
- Recognized as one of 40 of Boston's brightest and up-and-coming business people under the age of 40,"1999 40 Under 40," Boston Business Journal
- Martindale Hubbell® Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent TM