Article Detail

News & Knowledge

Lowndes Advises Tishman on $46 Million Acquisition of Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration

April 26, 2022

Lowndes represented New York-based Tishman Hotel Corporation in its $46.5 million acquisition of the Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration, a 718-room hotel located 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World.

Set on 20 acres in Kissimmee, Fla., the resort is currently undergoing renovations to its guest rooms and suites, outdoor pool areas, a restaurant and on-site conference center. The renovation is expected to be complete in early 2023.

The Lowndes team which advised Tishman on the transaction was led by shareholder Rich Fildes and included shareholders Peter Lopez, Tara Tedrow, Rebecca Wilson and Ormend Yeilding, of counsel Patti Cook and David Peterson, and associates Jake Herrel and Logan Opsahl.


Richard

With years of experience in real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, development and finance; commercial leasing; and construction law, Rich Fildes advises both public and private companies on a broad spectrum of matters in the hospitality, real estate, sports and entertainment industries.


Rich represents owners, developers, lenders, investors, and operators in hotel and resort acquisitions, sales, financings, management, operations and development, franchising and licensing. As co-chair of the firm’s Hospitality & Leisure Group, he and his team have handled more than $25 billion in client transactions involving hotels, resorts, golf and country clubs, theme parks and water parks, family entertainment centers, ski resorts and marinas throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In addition, Rich has represented the developers and operators of sports venues as well as past and current professional athletes in various business capacities.

Chambers USA (2017)* reports that Rich is recognized for his excellence in real estate acquisitions, dispositions, development and finance, most notably with respect to the hotel, sports and entertainment sectors. He is co-chair of the firm’s hospitality and leisure group.

*We make no guarantees or promises that the reader will realize the same or similar results

Peter

Pete Lopez focuses on commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, development and finance, with an emphasis on acquisition and construction financings and re-financings.

Having more than 25 years of legal experience, Pete routinely represents owners and developers of hospitality and leisure assets and senior living facilities on a nation-wide basis and in a wide range or real estate methods. Pete is detailed in his approach to his practice and is solution oriented.

Tara
Tara Tedrow is a shareholder in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group and serves as chair of the Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group. She brings years of experience handling an array of complex legal matters for multi-billion dollar valued companies and entrepreneurs alike.
With a significant portion of her practice devoted to land use and development, Tara regularly advises clients on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office and mixed uses. She works with local governments and regulatory agencies to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence and property rights.

Often sought out for high-profile and high-stakes land development projects, Tara has delivered positive outcomes for clients ranging from large multi-national and U.S.-based companies to high-net worth individuals seeking land use entitlements. With over 15 years of competitive debate experience, she is uniquely suited to handle complex and controversial projects and public hearings that present a myriad of political and legal challenges.

Tara has provided developers and clients with legal counsel and representation in Section 70.51 mediations. Her experience in land use and environmental dispute resolutions offers a unique benefit to clients navigating the alternative dispute resolution process following denial of a development order, zoning approval and other land use matters around the state.

Well-known for providing legal and lobbying representation for a wide range of cannabis clients, Tara and her team work with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, banks, licensed adult use and medical marijuana companies, cultivators, processors, retailers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape of marijuana and hemp regulations. She also assists clients in the national hemp industry in obtaining licensing and approvals for processing, retailing, cultivation and other forms of secondary byproduct monetization. Her deep knowledge of regulatory laws and understanding of operations and logistics for cannabis companies, along with her ability to make connections and build partnerships, bring strategic value to her clients. 

Tara is the only person in the state of Florida to be appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to both the inaugural Industrial Hemp Advisory Council created under Senate Bill 1020 and to the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee, which she currently chairs. A prolific presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences, she has served as the keynote speaker on industry regulations at over 60 events in the past two years. In the fall of 2018, Tara became the first professor in the state of Florida to teach a law school course on marijuana law and policy at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she continues to teach today.

Prior to joining the firm, Tara worked as a legal extern for the University of Florida General Counsel and Office of the Vice President as well as for the Orlando Juvenile Public Defenders Office. For over a decade, she has also worked professionally as a private speech and debate coach and taught at multiple national debate institutes, including the National Debate Forum at Emerson University, the National Symposium for Debate at Grinnell College and Victory Briefs Institute at UCLA.

Tara is a contributing writer at the Orlando Sentinel and has spoken about various real estate topics on Fox News.

To view Tara's information specific to Land Use or Cannabis, click the corresponding links below. 



Land Use
Cannabis
Rebecca

Becky  Wilson is chair of the firm's Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group. She represents property owners, developers, lenders and other development participants with issues related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative law, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence and property rights.


As early as sixth grade, Becky advocated for the causes she believed in. Her concern about nuclear waste and water contamination in her hometown of Dothan, Alabama – and her thorough research – promoted her to press a state legislator with questions in the school auditorium. Having grown up in the South, Becky got in trouble for questioning authority – yet that life experience served her well.

After clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Becky landed in Orlando, quickly building a reputation at Lowndes for being thorough, outspoken, and a tireless advocate for clients. She ultimately found her niche in land use, collaborating with architects, transportation engineers and local governments to move her clients’ projects – and Central Florida – forward. Becky became one of the youngest female shareholders at the firm. Today, she is Chair of the Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group.

Her clients include property owners, developers, lenders and other participants in the development of high-rise, hotels, planned communities, large “power-centers,” mixed-use projects, office buildings and big box commercial projects, projects within historic districts, multi-family developments, senior living, and affordable housing. Becky works closely with the local government entities to address the needs of her clients related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative lawDevelopments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence, and property rights.

Undoubtedly, Becky’s diligence, activism and Southern charm were responsible in part for her appointment as chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Central Florida District Council, a global multidisciplinary real estate organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to the responsible use of land, and creating and sustaining thriving communities.

Ormend

Ormend Yeilding, co-chair of the firm’s Hospitality & Leisure Group, concentrates his legal practice on hotel and resort transactions. He routinely represents developers, institutional investors and private equity groups in the acquisition, financing, restructuring and disposition of resorts, hotels, golf courses and other leisure assets, with an emphasis on negotiating brand management agreements and franchise agreements.

Ormend is frequently asked to write and speak on legal and business issues related to the challenges, nuances and strategies of negotiating among multiple parties to successfully develop, brand and finance hotel projects.

During his more than 20 years with Lowndes, Ormend routinely handled a variety of complex transactions for hospitality and leisure assets located nationwide, including the Sheraton DFW Airport, Hilton Melbourne Airport, Grand Wailea Resort and Spa, Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, La Quinta Resort & Club, Omni Mount Washington Resort, Marriott Marquis Houston, Hilton Orlando, and several historic hotels located in the Miami Beach Art Deco National Historic District. He is frequently asked to write and speak on legal and business issues related to the challenges, nuances and strategies of negotiating among multiple parties to successfully develop, brand, manage and finance hotel projects.

Prior to rejoining the firm in 2022, Ormend spent two years as General Counsel for Stratford Hospitality, a Los Angeles-based hotel investment firm that specializes in providing asset management, financing and construction consulting services for its investment partners. This experience has given him a unique understanding of the industry, as well as valuable insight into legal business needs from the client’s perspective.


Patti

Patti Cook focuses her practice on corporate and finance matters, particularly in the real estate, hospitality, leisure industries and senior housing.


Patti has worked with several national and multi-state entities. Her experience ranges from corporate organizational and documentation matters to real estate and corporate acquisitions, dispositions, and financing transactions.

*Not admitted to practice in Florida. Admitted to practice in New York.

David

Dave Peterson has a broad background in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, as well as commercial litigation, in general.


Dave represents lenders, creditors and lessors in sophisticated Chapter 11 reorganizations and Chapter 7 liquidations. He has represented creditors in negotiating Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans, as well as litigation concerning confirmation of bankruptcy plans. He has handled preference litigation, fraudulent conveyance claims, exemption litigation, and a wide range of other kinds of litigation arising out of bankruptcies, including appeals.

Further, Dave has experience accumulated over a period of approximately 26 years, handling real estate mortgage foreclosures, including foreclosures of hotels, apartment complexes, office buildings, retail property, and other types of commercial property, and in handling litigation arising out of the enforcement of security interests in personal property under the UCC.

He also has significant experience representing receivers in receivership cases, handling and litigating assignments for the benefit of creditors, and in defending lender liability claims. In addition, Dave has spent a number of years working on transactional matters related to his expertise in the area of finance. For example, Dave has experience handling the workout of problem loans and debt restructuring.

Dave has also spent approximately 8 years structuring, negotiating, documenting, and closing sophisticated financial transactions, such as mortgage warehouse facilities, repurchase agreement transactions, real estate loans involving special purpose entities, and revolving credit facilities secured by all kinds of personal property, as well as uniform commercial code transactions of all kinds. Many of these transactions have involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jake
Jake Herrel is an attorney practicing in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group. He specializes in guiding clients through the sometimes-confusing process of land development, assisting with obtaining entitlements and permit approvals for a wide range of real estate projects, including major commercial, residential, and mixed-use developments. Jake also assists with complex negotiations, hospitality and business matters.

Jake comes to the firm by way of Texas, and like any true Texan, Jake is a straight shooter when it comes to providing his clients with the information they need, when they need it, in order to maximize their investments. Jake places a special focus on understanding his client’s objectives and motivations, both long-term and short-term, and he prides himself on being able to help clients develop even the wildest plans from concept to buildout.

Jake earned his bachelor’s degree in government with honors from The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Jake garnered a reputation as an accomplished negotiator, having successfully represented multiple pro bono clients at mediations and securing one of the largest Texas special education settlements in history. He also served as president of the Texas Real Estate Law Society and coached the Phi Delta Phi undergraduate mock trial team in his spare time. Jake counseled business and nonprofit clients as a part of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, and he was selected as a prestigious Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar. Jake served as both executive articles editor of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal and executive editor of the Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law.

Prior to joining Lowndes as an attorney, Jake was a summer clerk with the firm. During law school, he worked as a legal intern for a large, national insurance company and as an intern for the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Jake currently serves as treasurer of the Orange County Bar Association’s Real Property Committee. When not practicing law, Jake enjoys traveling with his wife, golf, fishing, and supporting the arts in and around Orlando.

Logan

Logan Opsahl is an attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Department who focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions, land use, eminent domain and local government issues. He represents developers, homebuilders, landlords, tenants and franchisees in a wide range of matters involving the acquisition, disposition, development and leasing of commercial real estate.

A third-generation Floridian, Logan is passionate about real estate development initiatives within the state, and he enjoys assisting clients navigate all aspects of real estate transactions, ranging from simple, straightforward deals to highly complex ones. He routinely handles the drafting and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, as well as retail and office leases. He also has extensive experience counseling clients on development agreements, site plan requirements and other development matters.

A significant portion of Logan’s practice focuses on the representation of both property and business owners against condemning authorities regarding the taking of property for projects related to road widenings, highway construction, natural gas pipelines and powerlines. He has successfully represented the interests of both landlords and tenants in a variety of eminent domain matters, including the taking of commercial properties, residential properties, agricultural properties, gas stations, HOA properties and vacant land.

Prior to joining Lowndes, Logan gained broad experience in municipal law and land use matters while serving as assistant city attorney and police local advisor to the City of Ocoee, where he reviewed development applications and provided legal counsel to city staff.

Logan earned his law degree, as well as a certificate in environmental and land use law, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. While attending law school, he was a member of Florida Blue Key and served as vice president of the Florida Moot Court Team and vice president of community service of the John Marshall Bar Association. He also served as a clerk for Justice Ricky Polston of the Supreme Court of Florida and worked in the General Counsel’s Office to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. He holds an undergraduate degree in both economics and political science from Florida State University.

In his free time, Logan enjoys fishing, boating, surfing, hiking and just spending time in the great outdoors of Florida.

Meritas Law Firms Worldwide logo