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Mechanisms for Resolving Deadlocks in Real Estate Joint Ventures

Many real estate deals come together through joint ventures into which different parties contribute capital, acquisition opportunities and management skills. One of the parties (typically the developer or sponsor of the deal) will usually assume the role of managing the day-to- day activities of the joint venture, while another may take the lead on obtaining debt financing. However, in almost all joint ventures there is a set of “major decisions” that require the approval of all (or at least a majority) of the joint venture participants. The list of major decisions will vary depending on the type of project, the relative experience and capital contributions of the parties involved, and other factors. The following is a small sample of some of the areas that are often subject to “major decision” approval rights: (i) the sale of the project, (ii) zoning or subdivision applications, (iii) financings and refinancings, (iv) litigation, and (v) budgets.

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