Francesco A. De Vito is an experienced real estate and finance attorney, serving as counsel to lenders, borrowers, developers, landlords and tenants in a broad range of commercial transactions. He is the Managing Director of the firm. He also chairs the firm’s Finance and Workout group and is a member of the firm’s Real Estate department.
Frank is experienced in all types of financing transactions, including construction and permanent loans, senior and mezzanine financings, multistate portfolio loans, syndicated loans, lines of credit, revolving loans, intercreditor arrangements, securitized loans, loan restructurings, workouts and foreclosures. He also has extensive experience in leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, sale-leaseback transactions, commercial condominiums and zoning and permitting matters.
Prior to joining Rackemann, Frank was a partner in the Boston office of DLA Piper LLP (US).
Honors & Awards
- Named a 2021 “Go To” Commercial Real Estate Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Real Estate Law 2015-2020
- Recognized as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer (Top 5% of lawyers), 2012-2021
- Recognized as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer – Rising Star (Top 2.5% of lawyers 40 and under), 2006-2008, 2010 and 2011
- AV Preeminent® Rating (5.0 out of 5.0) by Martindale-Hubbell, its peer rating for highest level professional excellence and high ethical standing
- Represented the agent bank in a $142.5 million senior secured syndicated term loan for the acquisition of a 51-building industrial/flex portfolio containing 2.9 million square feet across multiple Chicago submarkets in Illinois and Indiana.
- Represented the agent bank in a loan on loan transaction, consisting of a $47.8 million syndicated loan made by a bank group to a privately held portfolio lender secured by the pledge of a first mortgage loan on five multifamily properties in San Francisco, California.
- Represented a bank in a $46.2 million loan secured by an office and industrial property containing 209,000 square feet on a long-term ground lease located within the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in Boston’s Seaport District.
- Represented an economic development and finance agency in a site remediation loan to facilitate the redevelopment of a Brownfields site for a mixed use project containing 50 apartment units and ground floor retail on a long-term ground lease in the Dudley Square section of Boston.
- Represented a bank in $14.6 million loan to refinance existing debt and to fund capital and tenant improvements at a medical office building in Stamford, Connecticut.
- Represented a bank in a $14 million construction loan for the development of three buildings containing 62,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses in Hanover, Massachusetts.
- Represented a bank in a $2.3 million tax-exempt bond financing for the purchase, renovation and equipping of a building for a community music school and preschool in Newton, Massachusetts.
- Represented a commercial real estate investment management company in multiple mezzanine loans involving: a hotel in Santa Monica, California; office towers in Stamford, Connecticut and Cleveland Ohio; and multifamily properties in Silver Spring, Maryland; Brooklyn, New York; and Woodbridge, Virginia.
- Represented a commercial real estate investment firm in a preferred equity investment and construction financing for an 86-unit luxury apartment project in Malden, Massachusetts.
- Represented banks in mortgage warehouse loan facilities to borrowers who are Fannie Mae DUS, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae licensed mortgage lenders.
Acquisitions and Dispositions
- Represented a commercial real estate investment management company in a joint venture and the permanent financing for the acquisition of The Xchange at Bedford, a 479,000 square foot eight-building R&D and life science campus in Bedford, Massachusetts.
- Represented a commercial real estate investment management company in a joint venture and the permanent financing for the acquisition of the Stony Brook Office Park in Waltham, Massachusetts, consisting of 270,000 square feet in four interconnected buildings.
- Represented the seller in the creation of a commercial condominium in an existing building in Boston and the sale of a major condominium interest in the building to a developer for the conversion to multifamily use.
- Represented a joint venture partner in the sale of an office building in the Crown Colony Office Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.
- Represented a Fortune 100 company in the sale of its downtown Boston headquarters building. The transaction involved the conversion of an office building containing over 800,000 square feet to a commercial condominium, and the sale and short-term leaseback of a major condominium interest in the building.
- Represented a law firm in an office lease in its relocation from Cambridge to the Financial District in Boston.
- Represented a commercial real estate investment firm in its new office lease in Stamford, Connecticut.
- Represented a telecommunications company in a 200,000 square foot downtown Boston office lease and numerous other tenants in retail, industrial and office leases.
- Represented a developer in structuring and drafting the condominium documents for a transit-oriented mixed use project that includes 320 residential apartments in two buildings, 45,000 square feet of office, and 22,500 square feet of ground floor retail in Malden, Massachusetts.
- Represented a finance company in the foreclosure of a matured construction loan secured by a 30,000 square foot office and retail building in the Allston section of Boston, and the subsequent sale of the property by the foreclosing lender.
- Represented a real estate investment trust as Massachusetts local counsel in the foreclosure by a senior lender of a portfolio loan secured in part by two manufacturing, distribution and warehousing facilities owned by the REIT in South Attleboro and West Springfield, Massachusetts.
- Represented a credit union in its existing subordinate mortgage loans in connection with the foreclosure of the senior mortgage loan by the senior lender and the bankruptcy of the borrower involving commercial properties in the Dorchester section of Boston.
- American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fellow, 2019 – present
- Real Estate Finance Association (REFA)
- Board of Directors, 2013 – 2016
- Mentor in REFA Mentor Program, 2017 – present
- Member, 1999 – present
- Boston Bar Association
- Executive Committee Member, 2020 – present
- Council, 2019 – present
- Co-Chair of Real Estate Section, 2016 – 2018
- Co-Chair of Real Estate Finance Committee of Real Estate Section, 2006 – 2008
- Member, 1996 – present
- Abstract Club, Member, 2020 – present
- Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, Board of Directors, 2016 – 2021
- NAIOP, Member, 1999 – present
- Greater Boston Real Estate Board Government Affairs Committee, one year terms in 2009 and 2013
- Certified by US Green Building Council as LEED Accredited Professional, 2009
- Town of Canton Master Plan Steering Committee, 2003 – 2004
- City of Newton Zoning Board of Appeals, 2000 – 2002
Publications & Talks
- Author of “FRANK TALK: The Effects of COVID-19 on Commercial Real Estate: Will We Work-From-Home Forever?” published in The Real Reporter, March 2, 2021
- Author of “Work-From-Home Won’t Doom Office Real Estate” published in Banker & Tradesman, November 29, 2020
- Author of “A ‘Glass Half Full’ Real Estate Market” published in The Real Reporter, September 4, 2019.
- Author of “Mass. Foreclosure Ruling Offers Lessons for Lenders” published in Law360, June 10, 2019
- Author of “Foreclosing Lender’s Duty to Determine Property’s Potential Development Value” published in the Massachusetts Land Use Monitor, May 13, 2019
- Author of “Mass. Affordable Housing Covenants Safe in Foreclosures” published in Law360, March 11, 2019
- Author of “Affordable Housing Covenants Have Protected Status in Foreclosures” published in the Massachusetts Land Use Monitor, January 31, 2019
- Author of “Momentum Building for LIBOR Replacements” published in Banker & Tradesman, December 31, 2018
- Speaker at Boston Bar Association program “Massachusetts Quirks in Conveyancing”, October 18, 2018
- Co-author, “A Lender’s Guide to Massachusetts Foreclosures,” July 2018
- Co-author of “Condo Developers Must Understand Building Defect Claims” published in Law360, March 22, 2018
- Speaker at Boston Bar Association program “Anatomy of a Deal: A Commercial Real Estate Transaction from Development to Closing”, April 24, 2017
- Co-author of client alert on High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Loans, February 9, 2016
- Speaker at event for Boston University School of Business students on “Careers in the Real Estate Industry,” January 28, 2014
- “Documenting Complicated Real Estate Transactions,” a chapter in Drafting Commercial Real Estate Documents (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education), 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2015
- Co-author, “Will the Economy Change Your Contract?,” Commercial Property News; radio interview on www.commercialpropertynews.com, April 14, 2009