Daniel K. Wright, II | Attorney | Brouse McDowell | Ohio Law Firm
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Daniel K. Wright, II

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Biography

Dan is a partner in Brouse McDowell’s Real Estate & Construction Practice Group. He is a nationally recognized transactional lawyer who has represented major clients across the country. He is frequently involved in large, high-profile matters, and adds significant depth to our practice.

Known as a strategic thinker, Dan is highly regarded for his ability to structure complex commercial transactions with multiple parties. Having worked through numerous business cycles over the past thirty years, Dan offers his clients the insight and practical business judgment gained in handling sophisticated transactions over many years. This experience allows him to identify potential problems quickly, and to then craft cost-effective solutions that meet his clients' needs.

He is an authority on the development of shopping centers, office buildings, hotels and urban mixed-use projects, and lectures at national and regional conferences on such topics.

The breadth of Dan’s experience includes work on projects from pre-development through the operating phase to ultimate disposition. His subspecialty areas of practice include: real estate development and finance; acquisitions, dispositions, and exchanges; all types of leasing (including ground leasing, anchor/department store and other major tenant leasing), as well as the renewal, renegotiation and restructuring of leases; design and construction contracting; zoning and land use planning; tax increment financing; public-private partnerships; joint ventures; environmental mitigation and remediation; bankruptcy/insolvency proceedings, debt restructuring and workouts; lobbying and crisis communications; property management and operations; and related litigation.

Dan also frequently lobbies federal, state, and local officials on behalf of individual clients and industry groups and regularly represents clients before government boards and agencies. He recently authored two amendments to the Ohio statutes governing port authorities, which serve as the key economic development agencies in the State of Ohio. In 2013, he was instrumental in the passage of what has become known as the Ohio Non-Recourse Mortgage Loan Act, Ohio Revised Code §1319.07(B), which outlaws certain unfair and deceptive business practices in the mortgage loan arena. In recognition of his leadership and experience in this area, the International Council of Shopping Centers appointed Dan as the chair of its Ohio Government Relations Committee in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Dan provides business and transactional counsel to a wide variety of clients in the non-profit, healthcare, retail, office, hospitality, restaurant, industrial/commercial, and residential sectors, including public and private entities, families and individuals. 

He spent 12 years with The Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, then the largest owner/manager/developer of enclosed regional shopping malls in the world, where he was responsible for all legal work in connection with the development of eight super-regional shopping centers and four urban mixed-use projects. While with DeBartolo, he also led a team of eight attorneys in the restructuring and collateralization of over $4 billion in secured and unsecured debt to 12 of the largest banks in the country, and played a key role in the transfer of 52 regional and super-regional malls and 11 community shopping centers as part of the formation of a new REIT, DeBartolo Realty Corporation (NYSE:  DRC), in a transaction valued at over $1 billion.  He was integrally involved in DeBartolo’s merger with Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), then the two largest owners of enclosed regional shopping malls in the world. 

Subsequently, Dan was a partner in Arter & Hadden LLP for five years and, thereafter, was a partner in Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP for eight years, before joining Brouse McDowell.

Dan is AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 Peer Review Rated through Martindale-Hubbell.
 

 

  • Biography

    Dan is a partner in Brouse McDowell’s Real Estate & Construction Practice Group. He is a nationally recognized transactional lawyer who has represented major clients across the country. He is frequently involved in large, high-profile matters, and adds significant depth to our practice.

    Known as a strategic thinker, Dan is highly regarded for his ability to structure complex commercial transactions with multiple parties. Having worked through numerous business cycles over the past thirty years, Dan offers his clients the insight and practical business judgment gained in handling sophisticated transactions over many years. This experience allows him to identify potential problems quickly, and to then craft cost-effective solutions that meet his clients' needs.

    He is an authority on the development of shopping centers, office buildings, hotels and urban mixed-use projects, and lectures at national and regional conferences on such topics.

    The breadth of Dan’s experience includes work on projects from pre-development through the operating phase to ultimate disposition. His subspecialty areas of practice include: real estate development and finance; acquisitions, dispositions, and exchanges; all types of leasing (including ground leasing, anchor/department store and other major tenant leasing), as well as the renewal, renegotiation and restructuring of leases; design and construction contracting; zoning and land use planning; tax increment financing; public-private partnerships; joint ventures; environmental mitigation and remediation; bankruptcy/insolvency proceedings, debt restructuring and workouts; lobbying and crisis communications; property management and operations; and related litigation.

    Dan also frequently lobbies federal, state, and local officials on behalf of individual clients and industry groups and regularly represents clients before government boards and agencies. He recently authored two amendments to the Ohio statutes governing port authorities, which serve as the key economic development agencies in the State of Ohio. In 2013, he was instrumental in the passage of what has become known as the Ohio Non-Recourse Mortgage Loan Act, Ohio Revised Code §1319.07(B), which outlaws certain unfair and deceptive business practices in the mortgage loan arena. In recognition of his leadership and experience in this area, the International Council of Shopping Centers appointed Dan as the chair of its Ohio Government Relations Committee in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

    Dan provides business and transactional counsel to a wide variety of clients in the non-profit, healthcare, retail, office, hospitality, restaurant, industrial/commercial, and residential sectors, including public and private entities, families and individuals. 

    He spent 12 years with The Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, then the largest owner/manager/developer of enclosed regional shopping malls in the world, where he was responsible for all legal work in connection with the development of eight super-regional shopping centers and four urban mixed-use projects. While with DeBartolo, he also led a team of eight attorneys in the restructuring and collateralization of over $4 billion in secured and unsecured debt to 12 of the largest banks in the country, and played a key role in the transfer of 52 regional and super-regional malls and 11 community shopping centers as part of the formation of a new REIT, DeBartolo Realty Corporation (NYSE:  DRC), in a transaction valued at over $1 billion.  He was integrally involved in DeBartolo’s merger with Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), then the two largest owners of enclosed regional shopping malls in the world. 

    Subsequently, Dan was a partner in Arter & Hadden LLP for five years and, thereafter, was a partner in Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP for eight years, before joining Brouse McDowell.

    Dan is AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 Peer Review Rated through Martindale-Hubbell.
     

     

  • Professional & Civic Activities
    • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Member
    • International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”), Member
    • ICSC Legal Advisory Council (2002-2005, 2010-present)
    • ICSC Editorial Board, Shopping Center Legal Update (2002-present)
    • ICSC Ohio Government Relations Committee (2013-present), Past chair
    • ICSC Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and W. Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium Planning Committee (1996-present); Chairperson (2002-2003)
    • Urban Land Institute, Member
    • Strategic Planning Committee of Seton Catholic School, Past chair
    • Summit County Educational Service Center Board of Governors, Past president
    • Northern Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, Board of Trustees, Past treasurer and Past member
    • St. Mary Church Finance Council, Past chair
    • Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem
  • Articles & Presentations
    • Dan has been a prolific speaker and author. Over the past 17 years, he has written over 12 articles, and has served as a speaker, moderator, or panelist on business, real estate, and related topics at local, regional and national conferences on over two dozen occasions. In addition, he co-authored three chapters in Law for Non-Lawyers, a textbook published by ICSC for its professional development program. His work has been cited as authoritative in numerous publications. Recent presentations and articles include:
    • Panelist, Purchase and Sale Agreements: What Your Professors Did Not Teach You in Law School, International Council of Shopping Centers Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan & Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium, Columbus, Ohio 2018.
    • Co-Author, “U.S. Supreme Court Provides Relief to Property Owners Burdened by Adverse Environmental Permitting Decisions, Shopping Center Legal Update (Winter, 2017), published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
    • Moderator, “A Practical Approach to “GET R DONE”!: Design and Construction Contracting in Retail Projects. International Council of Shopping Centers Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan & Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium, March, 2017.
    • Panelist/Facilitator, “Become an Environmental Leasing Guru: Protect Your Client and Add Value to the Deal!”, International Council of Shopping Centers U.S. Law Conference, Hollywood, Florida, 2016.
    • Author, “Get the best deal – A look at what to consider before you sign your next building lease”, Smart Business Magazine (April 2016).
    • Moderator, “Expect the Unexpected: Non-Traditional Uses and the Retail Paradigm”, International Council of Shopping Centers Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium, Columbus, Ohio, 2016.
    • “Substantive Consolidation in Bankruptcy: A Primer for Real Estate Lawyers” by Thomas W. Coffey and Daniel K. Wright, II, publication pending.
    • Co-Author, “Evolution of Shopping Center Signage Creates New Legal Issues for Landlords and Tenants”, Shopping Center Legal Update, Volume 35, Issue 1 (Spring, 2015), published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
    • Reciprocal Easement and Operating Agreements (REAs): Meeting the Challenge of Today’s Projects?”, International Council of Shopping Centers Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Western Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium, Columbus, Ohio, 2014.
    • Moderator, “Non-Recourse Carve-Outs, “Bad-Boy” Guaranties and Personal Liability after Cherryland”, International Council of Shopping Centers U.S. Law Conference, Orlando, Florida, 2012.
  • Representative Engagements
    • 2018 – Assisted a leading manufacturer of retail display advertising products with the $18.5 Million relocation and expansion of its headquarters and manufacturing facilities. The transaction was structured as a 1031 deferred reverse construction exchange, and involved (1) the acquisition, financing, and renovation of a new headquarters and manufacturing facility, (2) financing for the transaction through a first mortgage loan and an unsecured bridge loan, (3) the subsequent (i) disposition of the company’s former headquarters, and (ii) disposition and partial lease-back of a separate office/warehouse building (in two separate transactions to complete the reverse exchange transaction), (4) the merger of three companies following completion of the reverse exchange to simplify the company’s corporate structure, and (5) a second mortgage “take-out” loan from Cuyahoga County, Ohio at a below market interest rate, which saved the client hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt service payments over the 15 year loan term. 
    • 2017 - Represented a regional owner/developer of industrial buildings in the acquisition of a 600,000 square foot former adhesives manufacturing facility. The transaction was complicated by an open RICRA investigation by US EPA and the existing owner’s Cessation of Regulated Operations at the facility (which involved OEPA), both of which were successfully resolved prior to closing. 
    • 2016 – Represented a public sector second mortgage lender in connection with the $107 Million permanent loan secured by the American Greetings corporate headquarters building in Westlake, Ohio. The work included (1) the renegotiation of a series of four ground leases with several different parties, (2) the negotiation of a reciprocal easement agreement necessary to provide (a) support for several air rights parcels included in the assemblage, and (b) code compliance, access, and utilities to the building, (3) a separate easement for parking that was needed for code compliance, and (4) modification of an existing reciprocal easement agreement that ties the headquarters building into Crocker Park (an adjacent life style shopping center/mixed use complex). The loan was closed and funded in less than four weeks.
    • 2015 - Assisted the premier developer of open-air “lifestyle” shopping centers in negotiating and documenting a letter of intent, construction, reciprocal easement and operating agreement, and associated documentation with Dillard Department Stores that provide for the construction and operation of a 300,000 square foot Dillard store within Liberty Center, a new $350 million mixed use development on 59 acres off I-75 just north of Cincinnati, Ohio, which opened in October, 2015.
    • 2014 - Represented the owners of an enclosed super-regional shopping mall and associated strip center valued at over $98 million in the tax-driven sale of controlling interests in said properties to Rouse Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RSE), which was completed in less than 45 days. The properties are located in Mississippi.
    • 2013 - Represented the County of Cuyahoga in connection with its lease for, and design and construction of, a new seven story headquarters facility, as well as a complex $75,465,000 public/private financing thereof using development lease revenue bonds, all of which was completed despite two lawsuits over an underlying ground lease that were designed to stop the project.
    • 2012 - Selected through a competitive public bidding process as lead counsel by the County of Cuyahoga, Ohio in connection with its Real Property Portfolio Consolidation Project, which involved 13 separate properties. Included in this project was the Ameritrust Complex, consisting of the 29 story Ameritrust Tower and four adjacent office buildings in downtown Cleveland aggregating 710,000 sq. ft., and an eight story parking garage that is connected to the complex by a pedestrian bridge that spans two public streets, which were sold for $27 million to affiliates of Geis Cos.
    • 2011 - Assisted a group of private investors in fending off a multi-million dollar foreclosure suit by the holder of a securitized mortgage through a strategic Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, despite various anti-bankruptcy provisions in the CMBS mortgage documents. The foreclosure arose after maturity of the loan during a period of illiquidity following the Great Recession. The successful Chapter 11 plan allowed (a) the guarantors of the loan to avoid a $2 million deficiency judgment, as well as all other liability under their “carve-out” guaranty, and (b) the client to retain the property, extend the term of the loan by 3.5 years to allow for an orderly refinancing or disposition, and lower the interest rate under the loan, increasing cash flow significantly. The property was ultimately sold for $8.5 million in 2014.
  • Distinctions
    • Dan has received a perfect 5.0 AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating through Martindale-Hubbell law directory for over a decade.
    • Four-time Ohio Super Lawyer through a peer- and achievement-based review conducted by the research team at Super Lawyers®, a service of Thomson Reuters legal division.
    • Six-time Leading Lawyer selected by Inside Business Magazine
    • Dan participates in Georgetown University Law Center’s Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute, an invitation-only event that is limited to 100 practitioners from the U.S. and Canada, and is generally regarded as the premier conference for leasing attorneys in North America.
    • Wright has served four terms on the International Council of Shopping Centers’ prestigious Legal Advisory Council, which is composed of thirteen nationally-prominent real estate lawyers with significant experience in the shopping center industry who advise ICSC on legal matters of interest to its membership, including evaluation of the many requests that ICSC receives each year to appear as amicus curiae in pending litigation across the United States.
    • In recognition of his years of meritorious service to many civic, charitable and religious causes and institutions in his community, Dan was knighted by the Vatican in 2013, one of the highest honors which the Catholic Church confers upon clergy and laity alike.