About Benzion J. Westreich

Benzion Westreich has helped bring to life some of the most complex real estate developments of recent years, including the construction of three multi-billion-dollar sports arena mixed-use complexes. In a business where events rarely unfold as planned, he anticipates potential problems and makes appropriate adjustments so that clients don't meet with unwelcome surprises. He counsels clients on all sides of transactions, (including lenders and borrowers, developers and equity partners, buyers and sellers and landlords and tenants), covering the full panoply and life-cycle of transactional real estate experience, including joint ventures, purchases, development and construction, financing, leasing, operating, selling, workouts/deed-in-lieus and bankruptcy.

Finding opportunities

Benny takes on a role for clients that goes well beyond just executing transactions and performing legal review. He keeps his eye open for opportunities, sensing the ones that will fit his clients' business goals. When high-profile problems arise, he advises clients on crisis management strategies. He views his role as a counselor in addition to being a lawyer. One of Benny's clients, in Chambers USA, described him as "…what I consider a business lawyer should be; he understands that it is key to find a compromise and not just be right." Private equity firms, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and individuals are among the investors that regularly turn to Benny for transactions involving all types of commercial and residential properties.

In a complex real estate project, such as the financing and construction of mixed-use facilities, Benny knows how to coordinate interlocking deal pieces involving multiple properties and uses, keeping an eye out for the long-term prospects, including ownership restructurings and bifurcations, refinancing and exit strategies. His work has also included public-private financings, which require careful attention to public relations as well as legal issues.

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"I have found Benny Westreich to be a world-class professional whose strategic thinking and execution is superb. I am always impressed by his integrity and wisdom. Aside from all that he does know in real estate and deal making, as well as numerous areas of transactional and constitutional law, he is honest and humble enough to direct me to the appropriate colleague when asked for advice outside his specific areas of specialty."
-- Simon Wiesenthal Center

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2019 and 2020 "Best Law Firms"
(Real Estate Law)

Practice Focus

  • Structuring of all elements of transactions, both the capital and equity stack and direct and indirect property ownership
  • Formation of all types of joint venture relationships, including co-investments
  • Real estate acquisitions and sales
  • Real estate financings
  • Managing and leasing property
  • Private equity investments in real estate, including public/private partnerships

Representative Experience

  • Financings/workouts
  • Represent various NBA and NHL teams in their acquisition, construction and long-term financing (including public/private financing) for arenas, ancillary facilities and mixed-use developments.
  • Represent lenders to NFL and MLS teams in their acquisition, construction and long-term financing for stadiums (usually note purchase structures, but including subordinate financings).
  • Represent a NYSE company in its secured and unsecured lending (ranging from $40 million to $600 million), including construction facilities and mezzanine loans.
  • Represented a major US investment bank in various real estate mortgage and mezzanine financing transactions throughout the United States (including, in many instances, equity participation features ranging from $30 million to $350 million). Transactions also included individual loan/loan portfolio sales and purchases (ranging from $10 million to $100 million).
  • Represent CIM Group as borrower in various real estate acquisition, development, construction and permanent financing transactions throughout the United States. 
  • Represent a NYSE company in the exercise of its rights under loan agreements (including land development/construction loans, environmentally impaired real estate, residential/condominium development and office/mixed-use projects).
  • Joint ventures
  • Represented the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings in separate joint ventures with third parties to develop, lease and operate office buildings and other mixed-use facilities at the Chase Center in San Francisco and the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
  • Represented numerous clients (including private equity funds, other institutional investors and private entities) and joint ventures to acquire, develop, construct and/or operate office, hotel, retail, residential and mixed-use projects in the United States.
  • Represented a private entity in the exercise and implementation of buy/sell transactions under JV documents.
  • Acquisition/disposition
  • Represented entities in the acquisitions/sales of fee interests in real estate projects across the United States, ranging from $1 million to $660 million.
  • Represented entities in the acquisitions/sales of REIT equity positions in major real estate projects across the United States (ranging from $100 million to $600 million).
  • Represented private and public entities in individual loan and in loan portfolio sales and purchases (ranging from $10 million to $100 million).
  • Represented Stonebridge Holdings Inc. in the ownership, operation, financing and development of medical office buildings in California.
  • Ground leasing
  • Represented the Golden State Warriors in setting up a ground lease structure for their retail at Chase Center and implementing the structure.
  • Represented a real estate investor in a ground lease to a communications/ technology company of more than 5,000 acres for development and testing of autonomous vehicles. 
  • Represented a corporation in the Times Square Redevelopment Project. *
  • General leasing
  • Represented the Golden State Warriors (as one of the majority owners) in leases to Uber at the Chase Center of approximately 600,000 square feet and in pop-up leasing and in specialty leasing and licensing, including to Fanatics, Mina and Tyler Florence (including profit-sharing elements).
  • Represented a major insurance company in its national leasing program, which included creation of form of general tenant response and of architect and construction contracts. *
  • Represented CIM Group as landlord in the leasing of retail shopping centers. *
  • Represented numerous private and institutional tenants in negotiating leases for space ranging from 25,000 to 800,000 square feet. *
* Experience prior to Katten

Presentations and Events