Doug Van Gessel is a partner in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office.
Areas of Practice
Doug represents clients in all aspects of commercial real estate, with principal focuses on (i) development and structuring of major projects, (ii) creative financial transactions, including construction, term and mezzanine debt, joint ventures and synthetic lease financing, (iii) acquisitions and dispositions, (iv) workouts and restructurings of real estate-secured loans and equity investments, (v) office, industrial and retail leasing and subleasing, and (vi) negotiation of architectural, construction, management and consulting agreements.
Doug is actively involved in pro bono and community service activities in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes and speaks on numerous real estate topics to various trade and bar organizations.
Real Estate Development
Represented a Fortune 500 company in the development of a 15 million square foot campus facility, including the acquisition, financing, design and construction of the project.
Represented a Fortune 100 company in the development of a 2.5 million square foot campus facility in Silicon Valley, including structuring of a sophisticated alternative financing strategy.
Represented a prominent San Francisco developer in the purchase, entitlement and development of 181 Fremont Street, a highly visible office ad condominium project which will be the third tallest building in San Francisco and the tallest mixed use building in the Western United States.
Represented a national developer in the purchase, permitting, financing and development of a 2,000 acre mixed use retail, hotel, and residential project in Dublin, California.
Represented a national hotel developer in purchasing and repositioning a series of luxury hotels throughout the Western United States.
Represented a prominent Silicon Valley developer in the purchase, entitlement, subleasing, financing and buildout of both a 2.1 million square foot and an 800,000 square foot office campus.
Represented a prominent Silicon Valley developer in the purchase, entitlement and construction of a 1.9 million square foot corporate campus.
Represented a prominent San Francisco developer in the redevelopment of an 800,000 square foot office campus.
Represented a prominent Silicon Valley developer in the purchase, entitlement, subdivision, financing and build out of a 1.7 million square foot corporate campus.
Represented a prominent Silicon Valley developer in the purchase, entitlement and construction of a 1.2 million square foot corporate campus.
Represented a developer in the purchase, entitlement and financing of a 680,000 square foot corporate campus.
Represented a large institutional developer in the purchase and redevelopment of a 600 room hotel in Southern California.
Purchase and Sales
Mr. Van Gessel has represented clients in more than $25 billion worth of real estate purchase and sale transactions for office, retail, hotel, industrial multi-family, and medical office and assisted care facilities, including many sophisticated alternative transactions, such as synthetic leases, ground leases, sale leaseback, tenancy in common and various joint venture arrangements. Most notably, he represented clients on the following projects:
- The sale of a portfolio of 14 hotels for over $800 million
- The purchase of a 1.8 million square foot office campus in Silicon Valley
- The purchase of a 1.2 million square foot office campus in Silicon Valley
- The purchase of a 1,000,000 square foot corporate campus in Silicon Valley
- The purchase of an 815,000 square foot corporate campus in Silicon Valley
- The purchase of a 800,000 square foot corporate campus in Raleigh, North Carolina
- The sale of an 11 building corporate campus in Silicon Valley
- The purchase of an 800,000 square foot office project in San Jose, California
- The purchase of an 450,000 square foot office project in San Jose, California
- The sale of a 650,000 square foot shopping center in the East Bay
- The sale of a 5 building corporate campus for over $480 million
- The purchase of a 2,000,000 square foot corporate campus in the Waltham, Massachusetts area
- The sale of a portion of Macy's Union Square store
- The sale-leaseback of over $500 million worth of real property, including a 575,000 square foot warehouse in California's Central Valley
- The "synthetic leasing" of a series of corporate campus properties in Silicon Valley and Southern California totaling more than 3 million square feet of space
- The exchange of a series of Fund interests valued at $250 million between two pension funds
- The purchase of unimproved property and the development of a 54 story office and condominium project thereon in the SOMA market of San Francisco
Mr. Van Gessel has represented clients in the leasing of over 90 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space in 30 years' worth of transactions. Most recently, in the past three years he handled the following notable transactions.
- A lease of nearly 2 million square feet of space to Google, the largest office space lease in California history
- A lease of 1,735,000 square feet of office space to Amazon
- A lease of 1.1 million square feet of space to Facebook
- A lease of 435,000 square feet of office space in San Francisco to Facebook, Inc., which was named the 2017 "office lease of the year" by the San Francisco Business Times
- A lease of 815,000 square feet of office space to Apple, Inc.
- A 700,000 square foot warehouse lease with Amazon
- A lease of 718,000 square feet of office space to Google
- A least of 700,000 square feet of office space to Google
- A lease of over 500,000 square feet of office space to Hewlett-Packard
- A series of leases for over 500,000 square feet of office space to Amazon.com
- A lease of over 440,000 square feet of office space to LinkedIn
- A lease of 380,000 square feet of office space to Northrop Grumman
- A lease of over 375,000 square feet to Nutanix
- A lease of almost 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Livermore, California
- A lease of over 250,000 square feet to Google
- The subletting of a 405,000 square foot biotechnology campus to an affiliate of Alphabet
- A lease of over 250,000 square feet of office space to Aruba Networks
- A lease of over 220,000 square feet of office space to Microsoft
- A lease of 250,000 square feet of biotechnology space to a Fortune 50 company
- A lease of over 220,000 square feet of office space to Motorola Mobility
- A lease of over 200,000 square feet of office space to Synopsis
- A lease of 55,000 square feet of retail space to Dick's Sporting Goods
Mr. Van Gessel has represented developers and users in the purchase, financing, design, construction, leasing and operation of data centers for over 20 years, including the following transactions.
- Representation of nationwide developer of data centers in the purchase, development and location of approximately 20 projects worldwide
- Representation of industry-leading, worldwide data center REIT in the construction and design contracts for projects worldwide
- Representation of a Fortune 50 company in the leasing of data warehouse space nationwide
- Representation of a prominent developer n the entitlement, construction and design of 100,000 square foot data center in San Francisco
- Representation of a large public company in the leasing of a large data center project in Hillsboro, Oregon
Design and Construction
Mr. Van Gessel has represented four Fortune 100 companies in all of their design and construction contracts for more than 15 years. He also represents a large data warehouse REIT on all its nationwide design and construction contracts-more than 70 each year. He has represented clients on a wide variety of projects-from hotels and warehouses to shopping centers and even a rocket launching pad.
Distressed Loan Sales
- Represented a large institutional investor in purchasing a $125 million portfolio of non-performing secured and unsecured debt
- Represented a national bank in the purchase of: 1) a $235 million portfolio of REO property and distressed secured debt, and 2) a $55 million real estate secured debt portfolio
- Represented a pension fund advisor in the purchase of $70 million in debt secured by multi-family properties
- Represented a large institutional investor in purchasing a $120 million portfolio of distressed loan secured by retail properties
- Represented a large bank in the sale of over $800 million in REO property and secured and unsecured debt
- Represented a local entertainment company in the purchase of a note secured by a retail shopping center
Mr. Van Gessel has represented lenders and borrowers in the origination and/or restructuring of over $4 billion worth of real estate, secured debt, including construction and term loans, mezzanine and shared appreciation loans and ground lease financing for office, retail, apartment and hotel projects. He recently served as local counsel in the financing of the Golden State Warriors' San Francisco arena. Notable transactions include:
- A $1 billion construction loan for construction of a corporate office campus
- A $700 million loan secured by a portfolio of branded hotels.
- A $650 million loan refinancing 555 California Street in San Francisco
- A $570 million loan secured by a national portfolio of retail properties
- A $360,000 loan secured by a corporate office campus
- Represented a large data storage company in the $415M synthetic leasing of an eleven building corporate office campus in Sunnyvale, California.
- Represented a biotechnology company in the $271M synthetic leasing of its three building corporate headquarters and laboratory space in Redwood City, California
- Represented a large software company in the $174M synthetic leasing of its four building corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, California.
- Represented a biotechnology company in the $120 synthetic leasing of its headquarters and laboratory space in South San Francisco, California.
Mr. Van Gessel has represented many non-profit organizations, including AIDS and homeless shelters, artistic and educational organizations, churches, theatres, coffee houses training disadvantaged individuals in retail skills and community outreach programs. He was a member of the St. Mark's School (San Rafael, CA) building committee for many years, a legal advisor to Marin Academy for the expansion of its campus, and a vestry member and co-chair of the building committee for Saint John's Episcopal Church (Ross, CA) from 2002 through 2004 and again from 2017-2020, where he currently serves as Senior Warden. He also volunteers his time to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Compass Family Services, Smart Learning Program, 1951 Coffee Company and REST Emergency Shelter Program. He is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Rafael Public Library.
Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
Best Lawyers in America (Real Estate Law), Best Lawyers, 2016-2022
Nation's Top 10 Real Estate Lawyers, United States Lawyer Rankings, 2013
Real Estate and Construction, Legal 500, 2016-2017
Best Real Estate Attorneys in Northern California, The Wall Street Journal
Top Lawyer 2018, San Francisco Magazine
Legal 500, 2012
Team Member, U.S. News & World Report with Best Lawyers "First Tier Firm" in Real Estate
Northern California Super Lawyers, San Francisco Magazine, 2010-2013, 2017-2020
Top Real Estate Deals, Daily Journal, 2011
- Real Estate Finance, 04.01.2009
- Journal of Bankruptcy Law, 04.01.2009
- Bloomberg Law Reports, 04.01.2009
- The Marin Lawyer, 03.2009
- The Marin Lawyer, 03.2009
Real Estate, Land Use & Environmental Law Blog Posts
- Hosted by Sheppard Mullin & ACC SFBA, 05.23.2013
- Third Thursday Emerging Company Webinars, LiveMeeting, 12.17.2009
J.D., University of Michigan, 1987
B.A., University of Michigan, 1982, high distinction