James E. Culhane
Senior Of Counsel
Adam P. Chenell
Of Counsel
Melinda Robinson
Staff Attorney

Real Estate

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP helps clients with the development, construction, acquisition, and disposition of office, industrial, health-care, resort, and retail facilities and single-family, condominium, apartment, and assisted-living residential projects, including the negotiation and development of build-to-suit projects. We represent developers and property owners in a broad range of financing transactions, from acquisition, construction, bridge, and permanent loans to sophisticated financing vehicles, such as synthetic lease transactions, sale-leasebacks, and development bonds. We also have broad experience with the development of environmentally troubled land and 1031 exchanges. Our real estate lawyers also assist clients in the planning and structuring of various vehicles for investing in and developing real estate, such as partnerships, joint ventures, corporations, limited liability companies, public syndications, and telecommunications companies in the leasing and licensing of space for providing data and voice service. We also prepare restrictive covenants, land use agreements, and easements for all types of residential, commercial, industrial, and open-space projects and properties. 

Notable matters handled by our real estate attorneys include the acquisition and development of a large corporate campus along the Denver-Boulder corridor, the acquisition, development, and financing of several power plant projects along the Colorado I-25 corridor, and the acquisition, development, and disposition of numerous mixed use hotel communities nationwide. We have also advised clients on numerous synthetic leasing and sale leaseback transactions, including synthetic leases for site development. We have represented a restaurant franchiser financing secured by the franchiser-owned restaurant locations and the acquisition, development, financing (including municipal bond financing), and disposition of all types of residential communities. Our real estate lawyers have handled the sale of the downtown Denver property for the Pepsi Center, the sale and acquisition of two major Denver residential home builders, and the development of a number of suburban office buildings and corporate headquarter facilities in the region. 

Our leasing practice includes the representation of landlords and tenants in lease transactions in metro Denver and throughout the U.S. involving hundreds of thousands of square feet of office, industrial, and retail space. We have also handled build-to-suit and franchising transactions for retail, warehouse, and distribution space in the U.S. and Canada. 

May 2016

Chambers USA Ranks DGS at the Top for Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment Practices

The 2016 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong Labor & Employment and Commercial Litigation practices.

September 2015

DGS Client Alert Update: New Clean Water Rule Stayed in Colorado and 12 Other States

Rule Now Effective In All Other States, But Legal Challenges Loom Nationwide

As discussed in a previous DGS alert, on May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued the new Clean Water Rule (Rule) defining the extent of jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

July 2015

Waters of the U.S.

Please join Davis Graham & Stubbs for a discussion of EPA's and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's recently finalized jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. rule, related Clean Water Act issues, and what it all means for your business. Topics will include a discussion of the new jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. rule, including the new definition of tributary, adjacent waters, significant nexus, and new exclusions among others.

June 2015

EPA's New Clean Water Rule and Unique Concerns for Western Operators

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a pre-publication final rule defining the jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Unless blocked by some federal legislation or court order, the final rule will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. That effective date will likely be around mid-August.

May 2015

Chambers USA Ranks DGS Among Top Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment Practices

The 2015 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong Labor & Employment and Commercial Litigation practices.

January 2015

Brownfields Development Seminar Series: Part III

Please join us for our third breakfast seminar covering hot topics in brownfields development hosted by the DGS Environmental and Real Estate Groups.

December 2014

Brownfields Development Seminar Series: Part II

Please join us on December 2 for the second of three breakfast seminars on hot topics in brownfields development hosted by the DGS Environmental and Real Estate Groups.

November 2014

DGS Ranks Among Best Law Firms

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP was named among the 2014-2015 “Best Law Firms” by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in their fifth edition, which published today. U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have joined forces to position more than 11,000 firms in 87 practice areas based in 178 metropolitan areas and eight states. Firms were ranked across three tiers both locally and nationally based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered from peer and client feedback.

August 2014

Real Estate Markets Are Informationally Efficient: Evidence from Buyer and Agent/Broker Surveys

Environmental Claims Journal

Co-Authors: Louis Wilde, Gail Wurtzler & Jack Williamson

May 2014

Chambers USA Ranks DGS at the Top Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment Practices

The 2014 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong Labor & Employment and Commercial Litigation practices.

March 2014

DGS Gains Two Leading Real Estate Attorneys

Leading Denver real estate attorneys J. Christopher Kinsman and Adam P. Chenell have joined the Real Estate Group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. Both new attorneys come from Bryan Cave in Denver and will be joined by paralegal Melanie Cassidy. Mr. Kinsman has joined the firm as a partner and Mr. Chenell as of counsel.

New Fund Available for the Investigation and Cleanup of Petroleum-Impacted Properties

Effective January 31, 2014, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety (Division) promulgated regulations implementing Colorado Revised Statute § 8-20.5-103(9) which established the new Petroleum Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund (Fund). The Fund was created using money the State received in settlement of certain claims related to the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund.

February 2014

New Colorado Policy for Conditional Closure of “Low-Threat” Sites with Groundwater Contamination – A Long-Awaited Exit From Remediation Limbo?

On January 8, 2014, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division published a new policy which provides a roadmap for closing "low-threat" sites where groundwater contamination concentrations exceed Colorado’s groundwater standards.

Associate Chris Lane Joins DGS

Chris Lane has joined the Real Estate Group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as an associate. Mr. Lane’s practice will focus on all areas of real estate transactions, including leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, financing, development, construction, and joint ventures.

July 2012

DGS Partner Catherine Hance Selected to Serve as Secretary of the CBA Real Estate Section Council

DGS partner Catherine Hance has been selected to serve as Secretary on the Colorado Bar Association's Real Estate Section Council for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Ms. Hance will then continue to serve the Real Estate Section Council as Vice-Chairman in 2013-2014 and Chairman in 2014-2015. The CBA's Real Estate Section monitors and reports on judicial, legislative, and other developments that affect the practice of real estate law.


July 2011

The Icarus Solar Project: Public (and Private) Land Issue Impacts

29th Annual Real Estate Symposium

Federal and state research has documented levels of solar radiation suitable for utilityscale solar power plant development on a significant portion of land administered by the BLM in southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. In connection with initiatives of Congress and the Obama and Bush administrations to promote development of renewable energy nationwide, the Department of the Interior under both Interior Secretaries Salazar and Kempthorne has adopted policies and initiatives to help speed such development.


August 2010

Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Top “Best Lawyers” List in Colorado

The newly announced, 2011 edition of the Best Lawyers in America ranks Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado-based law practices for corporate governance and compliance law, environmental law, mergers and acquisitions law, natural resources law, oil and gas law and securities law. This year Best Lawyers recognizes 36 DGS attorneys, including 13 who have been named to the list for at least 10 years. Nearly half (46 percent) of DGS partners are recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence, in addition to several attorneys of counsel to the firm. Best Lawyers is a peer-review survey of more than 39,000 in-house counsels and private practice attorneys.


October 2009

Green Building Lease Issues: Ensuring Proper Performance

Colorado Real Estate Journal

Two evolving trends in the green building world are merging to place new pressure on the traditional office lease.  The first is the realization that the performance of a green building depends not just on its initial design and construction, but also the way occupants operate, use and maintain it over its lifespan. The second is the expansion of green construction beyond the public sector and into the commercial world. 


August 2009

Legal Issues in Green Buildings

City of Colorado Springs, Office of the City Attorney

May 2009

Beware: Negotiating MOB Leases

Colorado Real Estate Journal

In negotiating a lease of medical office space, have you ever been told, "We can't do that, it might violate Stark," and wondered whether it was some kind of negotiating ploy? 



February 2009

Barbara Mueller Quoted in Rocky Mountain News Article on Foreclosure Solutions

The February 13, 2009, issue of the Rocky Mountain News featured an article anticipating President Obama's plan announced on Wednesday to lower the foreclosure rate.  The article, "President to Unveil Plan to Halt Foreclosures," by AP reporter Alan Zibel, was followed by quotes from DGS real estate partner Barbara Mueller and by Ryan McMaken of the Colorado Division of Housing.


President to unveil plan to halt foreclosures

Rocky Mountain News

Obama to give details Wednesday about $50 billion proposal

Read Article...

February 2008

Green Office Leases

Women in Real Estate

August 2007

Brownfields, Greenfields and Grayfields: Environmental Issues in Real Estate

Co-authors: Gail L. Wurtzler and Denee DiLuigi

No matter what type of real estate transaction or project is being considered, environmental due diligence should be included in the list of activities to be completed before any contract is signed. Environmental due diligence generally refers to a technical and legal inquiry regarding various types of environmental conditions, corresponding legal requirements, and potential liabilities. As used in this paper, the term “environmental due diligence” is not limited to an inquiry solely into possible presence of hazardous materials. The nature of the environmental inquiry will vary based on the transaction, the location of the property, prior uses of the property and other site-specific matters. Due diligence should always be designed and conducted in the context of a specific business transaction.


June 2007

Chambers USA Rankings Highlight Davis Graham & Stubbs Strengths In Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law

Davis Graham & Stubbs ranked in the top tier of Colorado business law firms in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Environmental Law in the just-released 2007 edition of Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.  DGS was also recognized in the fields of corporate mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, and real estate. 


May 2007

Closing and Conveyance

Colorado Bar Association Seminar Real Estate Transactions: Purchase and Sale Fundamentals

September 2006

Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 26 Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys

Twenty-six Davis Graham & Stubbs attorneys practicing in 28 fields will be recognized in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The number of DGS lawyers recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence increased by five this year, and represents more than 40% of DGS partners overall. DGS ranks first in the number of Colorado-based attorneys listed by the 2007 edition of Best Lawyers in the Commercial Litigation, Natural Resources, Environmental Law, Securities Law and Corporate Governance and Compliance Law practice areas.


April 2006

13 Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

Thirteen lawyers at Davis Graham & Stubbs law firm have been named Super Lawyers by their peers in Colorado. Law & Politics magazine polled active Colorado lawyers for nominations to identify the best attorneys in more than 55 practice areas based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers involves an attorney-led research process for a diverse listing of the top lawyers from private practice, in-house counsel and the public sector in different geographic locations. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each region are listed in Colorado Super Lawyers, co-published by Law & Politics and 5280 magazine.


March 2006

Davis Graham & Stubbs Expands Its Finance & Acquisitions Practice Five Attorneys Join the Firm

Davis Graham & Stubbs is pleased to announce the arrival of five lateral attorneys who will enhance the firm's corporate and real estate practices. The firm's finance and acquisitions attorneys work closely with public and private companies, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms and high net worth individuals to handle their corporate, securities, transaction, governance, tax and real estate needs. With the addition of the five attorneys, the firm offers 45 attorneys in the finance and acquisitions area.


March 2005

Design Build Contractors Beware

California Real Estate Journal

October 2001

Environmental Issues in Redevelopment

Colorado Real Estate Journal

The redevelopment of industrial, commercial and residential properties is always a timely issue for the real estate industry, but never more so than now.  Even with the slowed market of late, redevelopment is an increasingly attractive alternative that can revitalize neighborhoods, return idle property to profitability, reduce urban sprawl and save the cost of infrastructure development when compared to raw land.

Read More..

December 2000

Risks, Remediation: Contaminated Property Now May Offer Owners Attractive Economic Opportunities

Colorado Journal

For more than 20 years, government and private parties have been addressing issues relating to contamination of real property. During that time, technical knowledge regarding risks and remediation has advanced. As a result, views of contaminated real property have changed dramatically. No longer do parties automatically assume that such property is a substantial liability. Rather, such property may offer attractive economic opportunities.


March 2000

Law & Accounting: Some Remediation Costs Deductible

Colorado Real Estate Journal

A recent Internal Revenue Service memorandum further clarifies that certain environmental remediation costs can be fully deducted in the year incurred.


June 1997

Reviving Third-Party Liability Defense

Colorado Real Estate Journal, June 4, 1997

When it comes to purchasing or leasing property with any type of environmental problem, the rule of thumb in the real estate industry, until recently, has been pretty straightforward: Forget it! This mind-set is largely a result of the sweeping liability net created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et.seq. (CERCLA or superfund). In fact, much of the growth in the environmental industry has been driven by concern over CERCLA liability resulting from the acquisition of real property.