John D. Ruffier
Whether representing companies that are developing, acquiring or selling commercial real estate, or lenders who are making or modifying commercial loans, John’s skills garnered from his championship rowing days serve him well. After all, rowing is a lot like business: both require a clear vision and goal, a well-developed plan, manageable milestones and a laser-like focus – with the flexibility to adjust when necessary.
Restaurants, big box retail stores, office buildings, golf courses, and senior living facilities are among the real estate transactions in John’s dossier, both in Florida and across the United States. Clients appreciate John’s holistic approach to deals – like in his rowing days, John ignores distractions and always keeps his focus on the goal line of getting the deal done. With senior housing, John and his team work on such diverse issues such as land use, licensing, financing, labor and employment, management and operations, all to provide clients with advice that carefully looks at both immediate needs and the long-term prospects for potential transactions.
When he is not practicing law, John is heavily involved in The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He founded Orlando’s HRC Steering Committee which has received numerous national awards since its inception. Although still involved on a local level, John now focuses his service as a member of the organization’s national Board of Directors and will take over as Board Chair next year. John is also the past President of the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, an AIDS service organization in Orlando. The organization has awarded him the “Chuck Hummer II Visionary Award” in recognition of his leadership in the LGBT community.
Representative clients: Canaveral Port Authority; HJ Sims Investments; Seaside National Bank & Trust; CNL Healthcare Properties and Pacifica Companies
- Coalition for the Homeless, Board of Directors, past Member
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Vice-Chair (2017-2018) & Chair (2018-2019).
- Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, City of Orlando Governmental Liaison
- Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, Board of Directors, past member, and past President
- Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Associate Board, past President
- City of Orlando Public Art, Advisory Board, Former Member
- Vanderbilt University Alumni Recruiting Committee, past Chairman
Appointments and Elected Positions
- Florida Real Estate Commission, Former Commissioner
Professional Certifications, Memberships and Activities
- American Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2016-2018
- "Chuck Hummer II Visionary Award" from the Hope and Help Center
- "Best of the Bar", Orlando Business Journal
- Recognized as "Florida Legal Elite" 2007, 2013, 2017 by Florida Trend Magazine
- Represented real estate investment trust in $238,000,000 acquisition and financing of 9 medical office buildings in multiple states.
- Represented real estate investment trust in $562,000,000 acquisition and financing of 20 senior living communities in multiple states.
- Represented real estate investment trust in $343,000,000 acquisition and financing of 21 senior living communities in multiple states.
- Represented real estate investment trust $270,000,000 acquisition of 19 senior living communities in multiple states.
- Represented real estate investment trust in $199,000,000 acquisition and financing of 25 senior living communities in multiple states.
- Represented a private equity company in $184,000,000 acquisition and financing of 14 senior living communities in multiple states and later in the disposition of the same set of properties via a membership interest sale to privately-owned real estate company.
- Represented a private equity company in $7,725,000 sale of 4 senior living communities, including the negotiation of a $1,545,000 mezzanine loan secured by interests in the senior living community purchaser.
- Represented a private equity company in $5,000,000 mezzanine loan secured by a pledge of interests in multiple entities related to a senior living community.
- Represented privately-owned real estate company in $25,400,000 acquisition and finance of a senior living facility in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for $25,400,000.