Resort, Hospitality & Residential

Resort, Hospitality & Residential

Overview

Cox, Castle & Nicholson offers comprehensive legal services for owners, developers, and operators of golf courses, country clubs, resorts, hotels, residential developments, timeshares, interval ownership, fractional interests, and other hybrid destination resort and recreation programs. We distinguish ourselves by our ability to handle all aspects of a project, including development and operations. We routinely structure projects which include custom and semi-custom home sites, condominiums, retail lot sales, merchant builder sales, commercial and hotel uses, timeshares, fractional interests, private country clubs, daily fee golf clubs, lakes, and other types of real estate products and recreational amenities. 

We have significant experience in the development of mixed-use projects combining residential, retail, office, recreational, and hotel uses. These projects require special attention to address unique cost and expense allocations, management control issues, special use restrictions, shared parking arrangements, and other matters unique to projects which combine residential and commercial components. Our knowledge and experience, as well as our recognition in the field, allow us to coordinate all aspects of the most complex projects. We add value by customizing project models and strategies to meet short and long-term business objectives while maximizing flexibility to adjust products and programs to changing market conditions. Our strategic advice and experience in the resort, hospitality, and residential industries generate positive results and facilitate project success.

Resort And Club

We have significant experience structuring, documenting, and implementing some of the most renowned golf course and resort projects in the country. Our capabilities include counseling both publicly and privately held clients regarding due diligence, entitlements, development structures, registration requirements, disclosure matters, and document preparation. We have pioneered many of the golf course development, sales, and operational mechanisms in use today. 

We handle every issue unique to golf course and resort projects, including:

  • Acquiring raw land and obtaining and preserving entitlements and appropriate environmental approvals
  • Structuring unique and innovative equity and nonequity membership programs
  • Restructuring membership programs and revising membership documents to adapt to changing market conditions and updated client objectives
  • Negotiating golf course and clubhouse design and construction contracts and management agreements
  • Obtaining necessary approvals and permits from regulatory agencies, including the Department of Corporations, the Bureau of Real Estate (formerly, the Department of Real Estate), the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and the State Board of Equalization
  • Transferring club facilities from the developer to the members

We have assisted owners in negotiating design, engineering, and construction contracts for all types of amenities. We have worked with numerous renowned golf course designers, and structured custom design and construction agreements to achieve the objectives of our clients.

We represent a number of member clubs and assist these clubs on all types of matters, including, corporate governance, acquisition and disposition of property, leasing, member assessments, financing, tax, and employment. Throughout the years, we have acted as general counsel to both profit and non-profit clubs. We are at the forefront of real estate firms with specialized expertise in deferred-equity membership programs, which provide developer ownership and control and at the same time provide members with equity benefits. 

Hospitality

We have represented numerous private investors and hotel REITs in connection with the acquisition and disposition of hundreds of hotel properties throughout the United States, including numerous large portfolio transactions. This experience allows us to effectively and efficiently staff and handle all aspects of a hotel sale transaction including drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, performing extensive due diligence, including title review and insurance analysis, and providing expert advice on related tax, licensing, permit, management, franchise, alcohol, leasing, labor, regulatory compliance, and other operating issues. 

We represent developers in the entitlement and development of a wide variety of hospitality assets. We have in-depth experience and knowledge in all facets of land use approvals including, general and specific plans, zoning, conditional use permits, development agreements, variances, and related matters. In addition, we have expertise in all stages of the construction and development process, including negotiating construction contracts, implementing customized insurance programs, and handling construction claims. 

Hotel projects face unique operational issues that require specialized expertise. We have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting franchise agreements, management agreements, and other hotel operating agreements. We also understand and are able to effectively represent our clients in connection with the unique aspects of hotel operations including licensing and permitting issues (including liquor license issues), labor and employment matters, and management agreement compliance. 

Residential

Our expertise extends to all aspects of residential development. We have experience with master-planned communities, large and small condominium projects, and mixed-use developments. We also routinely coordinate the relationship between the residential component of a project and surrounding resort and recreational facilities. Our focus on early planning and integration of the various elements of the resort community contributes to the viability and success of the entire project.

We are uniquely qualified to address the challenges and issues affecting residential developments adjacent to or within destination resort communities. We possess essential expertise in the allocation of rights and obligations between the residential community on the one hand and the golf course and/or resort on the other, including maintenance, access, and use rights and responsibilities. We carefully craft working documents, including cost-sharing agreements, shared-use agreements, easement agreements, license agreements, and other types of documents that allocate rights and obligations among various users to avoid potential disputes and facilitate project success.

In addition to successfully integrating the residential and resort aspects of a project, we strive to create, document, and implement features that enable our clients to change and redesign the residential community throughout the life of the project. Our positive working relationship with regulatory agencies facilitates our ability to incorporate these features for the benefit of our clients. Moreover, these relationships allow us to expedite approvals by tailoring our documents with provisions approved by the regulators. Our skill in navigating the regulatory process protects our clients from delays often associated with the regulatory process.

Timeshares, Interval Ownership, And Fractional Interests

We have been at the forefront of the vacation ownership industry since its inception, and we continue to develop innovative and effective legal structures for these exciting resort products. Our attorneys are globally recognized as leaders in the timeshare, interval ownership, and fractional-interest industry. We have unparalleled experience in structuring not only classic timeshare products, but right-to-use, multi-site vacation clubs, point-based systems, and mixed-use projects with hotel, timeshare, and golf components. We have developed unique programs designed to create greater degrees of user flexibility, including implementation of the floating week and floating unit programs and multi-site vacation clubs marketed on a points basis. Our services include counseling both publicly and privately held clients regarding development structure, registration requirements and disclosure matters, document preparation, including related sales and management agreements, and negotiation and documentation of receivables financing.

Risk Management

Regardless of the size or type of project, our primary goals are to maximize developer flexibility and minimize developer liability. Our risk-management programs are designed to identify and address potential developer risk areas and to establish effective claim and lawsuit response mechanisms. Our litigation experience provides our clients with the ability to approach different issues from a unique perspective. Our approach is proactive, addressing potential problems early in the planning stages of a development before problems arise and creating project documents to reduce exposure and protect clients from unexpected circumstances.

Representative
Matters

Represented a country club in connection with the establishment of new club amenities and related membership program.

Represented a country club in establishing a cutting edge deferred-equity program and the subsequent transfer of the club facilities to the equity members.

Represented a private developer in connection with the entitlement, development, construction and operation of a destination resort, consisting of hotels, golf courses, and residential units, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Represented equity members of a country club along with private investors in connection with the entitlement of a new golf course, clubhouse, and residential community.

Represented a country club developer in connection with the early transfer of the club to the members and the sale of the remaining membership interests to the club.

Represented a group of developers in the entitlement of a hotel project in Palm Desert, California.

Represented a country club owner in connection with the sale of a private, non-equity club in Northern California.

Represented the developer of an adaptive reuse project in Downtown Los Angeles that transformed an empty office building into a mixed-use project.

Represented a hotel REIT in connection with the purchase of numerous hotel properties in Southern and Northern California.

Represented a hotel REIT in connection with the subdivision and sale of an underutilized portion of an existing hotel site for condominium development.

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Represented a public company in connection with the establishment of a condominium regime in an adaptive reuse project in Downtown Los Angeles and the subsequent sale of such project.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Abrahamson, Scott R. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2283
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Dubrasich, Paul N. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5120
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Ellis, Lark A. Senior Paralegal Los Angeles 310.284.2241
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Fogg, Andrew K. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2178
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Kuo, Camellia Mimi Partner Orange County 949.260.4623
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Lari, David P. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2292
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Masters, Jeffrey D. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2239
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Oehler, Greg G. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2149
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Spaulding, Jr., Arthur O. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5141
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Stewart, Sandra C. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2250
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Stone, Julie Paralegal San Francisco 415.262.5128
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Titcher, Paul J. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2255
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Weissburg, Adam B. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2270
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