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Firm News

ADAM KATZ CLOSES SALE OF PREMIER BLOCK OF PRIME SANDY SPRINGS REAL ESTATE

In October 2018, Adam Katz represented Mimms Enterprises and its affiliated entities in the sale of The Exchange at Hammond Shopping Center, a 176,376 square foot, Whole Foods-anchored retail center, and Parkside Shopping Center, a 158,411 square foot retail shopping center to Atlanta-based Jamestown LP. With a sale price in excess of $90 million dollars, the assets comprise 25 contiguous acres in Sandy Springs, Georgia, at the intersection of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive in the heart of one of the most vibrant and growing submarkets in the Southeast. Adam counseled the Seller and was involved in all phases of the transaction, from drafting and negotiating the purchase and sale agreement, to working with the buyer to assist with and complete its diligence, and finally the closing of the sale of both assets simultaneously.

JOE  HOFFMAN WINS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Joe Hoffman was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the Atlanta Bar Association. This honor is given annually in recognition of an attorney’s exceptional contributions and dedicated service to the Atlanta Bar Association. Joe was recognized for revitalizing the Bar’s basketball league, creating the Bar’s inaugural bocce league (which was won by KKG!), planned the Bar’s first social event downtown themed “Casino Night,” and served as the co-chair of the Bar’s membership action committee. This upcoming year Joe will serve as the president of the Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers section of the Atlanta Bar, which in addition to chairing the section, includes a board position on the Atlanta Bar Association as well as a board position with the Atlanta Volunteer Legal Foundation. 

KKG ASSISTS CLIENT TO ACQUIRE HISTORIC AUGUSTA LANDMARK

Over the course of a six month span in 2016, Adam Katz and Bill Berg represented a Florida based investor in the acquisition and purchase financing of The Enterprise Mill, an approximately 9 acre historic residential, office and retail complex located astride the Augusta Canal in Augusta, Georgia.  Adam and Bill guided the client through all stages of the transaction from the negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement through due diligence, and ultimately the financing and closing process.  The Enterprise Mill, which includes an in service hydroelectric turbine (operating under a federal permit) that provides electricity for the operation of the building, is one of Augusta’s prime historic landmarks.  Originally opened in 1848 as a flour mill, the Mill was used over time for a variety of manufacturing ventures, but primarily for cotton cloth manufacturing.  In 1923, the Graniteville Company acquired the Mill and operated it as a textile mill until 1983, when the Mill ceased operating and closed.The property remained vacant until 1998, when local developers re-purposed the property and structures into professional business offices, residential loft apartments, inviting outdoor courtyards often used for a wide variety of events, and retail space.  

KKG VOLUNTEERS

On Saturday, June 18, KKG employee Jennifer Patterson participated in ServiceJurisDay 2016, a day aimed to benefit recent immigrant and refugee families of the Clarkston Community. KKG’s project included painting the children’s classrooms for Friends of Refugees. Friends of Refugees is an organization that empowers refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education, and employment.

ServiceJuris2016 involved over 300 volunteers from the legal and other professions and consisted of multiple projects, including paining and landscaping at Indian Creek Elementary School and the Clarkston Community Center, preparing apartments for new refugee families, and stocking refrigerators and pantries, decorating bedrooms and bathrooms, and sorting and assembling school supplies with New American Pathways and the International Rescue Committee. For over a decade, ServiceJuris has partnered with Hands on Atlanta to improve schools, neighborhoods and parks throughout Atlanta.  

KKG'S ADAM KATZ REPRESENTS SELLER IN HISTORIC PORTFOLIO SALE

Adam Katz represented Roswell, Georgia based Mimms Enterprises and its affiliates in fall of 2015 in a portfolio sale of more than 2 million square feet of retail, office, and industrial property to Steam Realty Partners. Adam served as lead counsel to Mimms, providing counsel on the structuring of the transaction and drafting and negotiating the letter of intent and the master purchase and sale agreement. Throughout the 6-month transaction, Adam facilitated the buyer’s due diligence efforts, resolved title matters, and ultimately closed the sale over multiple staged closings.  With an aggregate value over $80 million dollars, the Atlanta Business Chronicle has called this portfolio sale one of the largest off-market real estate transactions in metropolitan Atlanta history.

KKG SUCCESSFULLY HANDLES LAWSUIT FOR THE SHOPPING CENTER GROUP TO RECOVER SIX-FIGURE BROKERAGE COMMISSION

David Cooper successfully represented The Shopping Center Group (TSCG) in its efforts to recover a six-figure brokerage commission.   Refused payment of a commission to which it felt it was entitled on a large landlord/tenant transaction, TSCG filed suit to recover a six-figure commission.  The defendants asserted a variety of defenses involving contract, agency and BRRETA compliance issues.  TSCG overcame those defenses in the trial court.  Aggressively representing TSCG in the case, KKG was able to improve and expedite collection of the disputed amount by forcing the shopping center owner to post collateral from third parties to secure the trial court judgment.  On appeal, the trial court decision was affirmed in September 2015. 

ADAM KATZ CLOSES OVER $58 MILLION OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS IN 4TH QUARTER 2014 AND 1ST QUARTER 2015.

In the closing quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, Adam Katz of KKG represented Roswell, GA based Mimms Enterprises, Inc. and its subsidiaries in closing over $58 million of real estate transactions.  There transactions consisted of the sale, purchase, financing and refinancing of various commercial real estate assets in the metropolitan Atlanta area.  Adam was involved early in these projects.  He assisted the client with initial negotiations of the transaction and oversaw all subsequent maters to allow for a successful closing.

KKG ATTORNEY SPEAKS TO NEW LAWYERS ABOUT SERVICE AND FELLOWSHIP

Attorney Joe Hoffman addressed fellow lawyers at a mass swearing in ceremony hosted by Honorable Shawn E. LaGrua of the Fulton County Superior Court of Georgia. Joe spoke on the importance of service to both clients and the community by dedicating time to the Atlanta Bar Association and other non-profit organizations. As the current secretary of the Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers, Joe also discussed the need for fellowship in the profession for the next generation of younger lawyers. 

KKG SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS LANDLORD AGAINST MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CLAIM

Steve Kern recently won a jury verdict in Fulton State Court.  Our client, a property manager, was sued for malicious prosecution for reporting to the police extensive property damages caused by the removal of fixtures after the tenant had been evicted from the commercial premises.   

BILL BERG TO SPEAK AT STATE BAR TITLE STANDARDS SEMINAR

Bill Berg has been invited to speak at the annual Title Standards seminar for Georgia's real estate practitioners.  Bill's presentation will discuss the impact of the 2013 amendments to Georgia Uniform Commercial Code on commercial real estate practice.  The program will take place at the State Bar headquarters on September 12, 2014 and will be video-conferenced to locations in Savannah and Tifton.  This is the second time in 2014 that Bill has been invited to educate Georgia real estate attorneys on how the subtle changes made to the UCC in 2013 have a major impact on critical facets of commercial real estate transactions.  

KKG NEGOTIATES TESLA MOTORS SHOWROOM LEASE

Bill Berg recently represented the Landlord in the transaction that will lead to Tesla Motors, Inc. opening its new showroom in Decatur.  The long-term lease of the existing 2.5 acre facility includes an 18,000 square foot building and involved considerable negotiation and drafting of construction terms.  Bill was involved from the beginning of the 5-month project, helping the owner prepare and negotiate both the letter of intent and the lease with Tesla Motors, as well the owner's construction contract.  The renovated building will house a showroom, sales center, service facility, administrative offices, and vehicle chargers. 

KKG WINS TWO APPEALS FOR MORTGAGE SERVICER

KKG recently won two appeals from favorable trial court rulings.  In a detailed published decision, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's dismissal of an appeal based on the appellant's failure to timely perfect the record by filing a hearing transcript.  The dismissal of the appeal effectively affirmed the grant of summary judgment by the trial court in favor of KKG's client.  

In the second case, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal by the federal district court of a claim for wrongful foreclosure, finding that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for relief.  Further, the court held that in light of the affirmative showing by KKG that its client had the legal right to foreclosure and that the required noticed had been given, no claim could be stated even if the plaintiff had been given an opportunity to amend his claims.  Both cases were handled by Stephen Kern.

KKG OBTAINS TWO YEARS OF RENT FOR LANDLORD

KKG obtained summary judgment for a commercial landlord in a hotly contested case involving the tenant's attempted early termination of a lease. The landlord asserted that the tenant failed to follow the requirements of the lease’s early termination provision. The trial court agreed with KKG's arguments on behalf of the landlord and ruled that the tenant remained liable for rent throughout the final two years of the lease term. The tenant appealed, and the case settled pending appeal. The landlord received full payment of all of its rent, its attorneys’ fees, and payment of partial interest. Mitchell Rosen handled the case for KKG.

JOEL AROGETI ATTENDS HECKERLING

Joel Arogeti recently completed a one week continuing legal education seminar at the prestigious Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. The Heckerling Institute is considered the country’s preeminent institute that focuses on Wills, Trusts, and other relevant topics including wealth and asset protection planning for the business owner, executive, professional, and family patriarch and matriarch. With recent changes in the law, courses were devoted to (i) Planning for Same-Sex Couples, (ii) Planning for Estates Under and Over the $10 million exemption, and (iii) Avoiding Probate Disputes. Joel also recently participated in an Estate Planning panel discussion at The Emory University School of Law.

david cooper named 2013 super lawyer

David Cooper has again been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation. Super Lawyers are chosen through a multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The top lawyers from nearly 70 practice areas are selected as Super Lawyers. The list of Georgia Super Lawyers appears in the March 2013 issues of Atlanta magazine and Georgia Super Lawyers magazine.

MITCHELL ROSEN ObtainS SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR LANDLORD REGARDING AN ATTEMPTED EARLY LEASE TERMINATION

In June 2012, Mitchell Rosen obtained a summary judgment for one of KKG's many commercial landlord clients in a case involving a tenant's attempt to exercise an early termination provision in its lease.  The tenant had a one-time right to terminate its restaurant lease after the third year of a ten-year lease if its sales in the third year did not exceed a certain dollar threshold.  The tenant claimed that its sales were below the threshold and provided the landlord with an early termination notice in an attempt to release itself from its remaining lease obligations.

KKG filed a declaratory judgment action on behalf of the landlord and successfully argued that the notice did not adequately comply with Georgia law or the lease.  As a result, the lease will remain in full force and effect during the remaining seven years of the lease at rental rates very favorable to the landlord.  The tenant also paid the landlord a compromised amount of the landlord's attorneys' fees.

bruce gaynes publishes article on business structuring choices in the july/august 2012 issue of the succession planning journal

Bruce Gaynes authored the article "Business Structuring Choices in Succession Planning" which was published in the July/August 2012 issue of the Succession Planning Journal.  You can read the article by clicking on the following link: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/7ec54e9193e9d814dac70bb4b/files/

Business_Structuring_Choices_in_Succession_Planning_Bruce_H_Gaynes.pdf

KKG REPRESENTS CLIENT IN ACQUISITION OF MEDICAL OFFICE PORTFOLIO

KKG represented a Canadian-based company in its June 2012 acquisition of a portfolio of net-leased medical office buildings located in the metropolitan Atlanta area. KKG successfully guided the client through the negotiation, due diligence, closing, and post-closing phases of the financing and acquisitions, enabling the client to simultaneously close the multiple purchases as a single portfolio. Each of the medical office buildings is 100% leased by affiliates of Piedmont Healthcare, which operates hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the State of Georgia.

KKG PARTICIPATES IN INAUGURAL GEORGIA LEGAL FOOD FRENZY

KKG is proud to participate in the inaugural statewide Legal Food Frenzy commencing on April 23, 2012 and hosted by the Office of the Attorney General and State Bar of Georgia to support the Georgia Food Bank Association.  KKG will compete with other law firms and legal organizations to raise the most food and funds to help the more than 1.6 million Georgians who need food assistance.  For more information on how to contribute to the Georgia Food Bank Association, please visit: www.georgiafoodbankassociation.org

BRUCE GAYNES TO TEACH AT NATIONAL BUSINESS INSTITUTE ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Bruce Gaynes has accepted an invitation to speak on the topics of Wills, Trust Planning, Advance Directives for Healthcare and Durable Powers of Attorney.  The program, sponsored by NBI/National Business Institute will take place on June 6, 2012.  Bruce’s presentation will be part of NBI’s continuing education program entitled “Top 10 Estate Planning Techniques,” and is intended for attorneys and for those working in accounting and financial planning firms as well as those in bank trust departments.  Bruce frequently speaks for both professional and lay groups on topics concerning estate planning and business law.

joel arogeti named as a member of the board of trustees for the mjcca

As of March 2012, Joel Arogeti will serve as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta ("MJCCA").  The MJCCA recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and is  the largest and oldest Jewish social service organization in Atlanta.

KKG is A Platinum Sponsor Of The 2012 ICSC Southeast Retail Connection

For the 8th consecutive year, Kitchens Kelley Gaynes P.C. is proud to be a sponsor of the ICSC Southeast Retail Connection which was held on March 8, 2012. The Southeast Retail Connection was conceived and launched by a team of Georgia ICSC leaders during David Kitchen's tenure as the Georgia ICSC State Director. The Retail Connection program has been a resounding success in providing individuals in the retail industry with the opportunity to network, create new deals and keep their pulse on the rapidly changing retail industry. The many participants of Retail Connection include landlords, developers, tenants, retail brokers and service providers to the retail industry.

DAVID COOPER NAMED 2012 GEORGIA SUPER LAWYER

KKG is proud to announce that shareholder David Cooper was named a 2012 Georgia Super Lawyer in business litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine published by Thomson Reuters.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

KKG REPRESENTS CLIENT IN ACQUISITION OF SITE FOR NATION'S PREMIER FIRST RESPONDER FACILITY

KKG represented Guardian Centers of Georgia in its December 2011 purchase of an 827 acre tract in Perry, Georgia that includes the Northrop Grumman missile factory complex.  KKG shareholder Bill Berg led the firm's work on the project which included the entire real estate transaction from contract to closing.  The property is undergoing a $50+ million dollar redevelopment into a privately-funded education and training facility for first responders such as police, fire units, emergency personnel, military units, and federal agents.  When opened, the center will offer a comprehensive set of disaster preparedness response and recovery exercises and will be capable of staging large-scale events involving a wide variety of scenarios (including aircraft) for more than a thousand participants.  The project expects to employ more than a hundred people full-time and anticipates drawing tens of thousands of participants to classes and exercises each year.  The facility is expected to be completed by early 2013 and to bring in $75 million for Houston County.

Bruce Gaynes joins organization for lawyer-accountants

KKG founding shareholder, Bruce Gaynes, has become a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants.  The AAA-CPA is the only association in the nation whose members are qualified as both attorneys and certified public accountants.  The organization provides excellent information to keep its dually qualified individuals abreast of the ever-changing tax laws and decisions as well as planning trends and ideas.  Additionally, the AAA-CPA presents its members with access to similarly-qualified professionals throughout the country.

ROY RUDA ELECTED KKG SHAREHOLDER

Effective January 1, 2012, Roy Ruda has been elected as a shareholder of Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C.  Roy is a member of the firm's Real Estate and Leasing Practice Groups.  Roy's practice includes the representation of clients in the areas of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, development and financing transactions with a particular emphasis on retail development and retail leasing.

DAVID KITCHENS TEACHES CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION SEMINAR ON LANDLORD & TENANT LAW

On January 12, 2012, David Kitchens was an instructor for the Landlord & Tenant continuing legal education seminar held at The State Bar of Georgia.  The topics on which David spoke included:  Lessor Agreements, SNDAs, Foreclosures and Guarantees.  For more information on the seminar, please visit:  www.iclega.com

JOEL AROGETI ATTENDS COMMUNITY BANKERS' ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA'S MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

On December 5, 2011, Joel Arogeti attended the Community Bankers' Association of Georgia's (CBA) 4th Annual Director's & Executive Management Conference in Atlanta.  Mr. Arogeti participated in discussions regarding (i) Corporate Governance and Internal Controls, (ii) Director Standards of Care, (iii) Responsibilities for Investment Portfolios, and (iv) Building Better Boards.  The CBA was created in 1969 and has approximately 300 community bank members who utilize four main areas of service:  Education, Networking, Group Purchasing and Political Affairs.

joel arogeti graduates from bank directors' college

Joel Arogeti, who serves as a director of Private Bank of Buckhead and Chair of its Audit Committee, graduated from the Community Bankers Association of Georgia’s Bank Directors’ College on September 22, 2011. The curriculum is part of CBA’s Community Bankers University and was held in conjunction with CBA’s annual meeting in Savannah.

Mr. Arogeti completed two days of interactive sessions including topics such as Stress-Testing Your Loan Portfolio and Directors’ Role In Credit Risk Management.  Mr. Arogeti had previously completed the training before the bank’s opening in December 2006 and attended the CBA’s Director’s College in 2011 as a part of his annual commitment to continuing education. Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C. represents numerous lenders and borrowers in a variety of real estate, acquisition, development, merger expansion and business transactions.

ROY RUDA PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON RENTAL LOSS MITIGATION IN THE MAY 2011 ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL OF CORPORATE RENEWAL

Roy Ruda co-authored the article "Minimizing Rental Losses Requires Active Management, Days of 'Set It and Forget It' Are Gone" which was published in the May 2011 issue of The Journal of Corporate Renewal.  You can read the article by clicking on the following link: http://www.turnaround.org/Publications/Articles.aspx?objectId=13540.

Bruce Gaynes Teaches Continuing Legal Education Seminar

Bruce Gaynes was an instructor at the National Business Institute's continuing legal education "Trusts 101" seminar held on February 16, 2011. Bruce taught the sessions devoted to Revocable Living Trusts and Grantor Trusts. Bruce addressed such issues as the differences between Traditional Estate Planning vs. Revocable Trust Planning, Credit Shelter Trusts, Marital Deduction Trusts and Qualified Terminable Interest Trusts (QTIPs) within Revocable Trusts. On the topic of Grantor Trusts, Bruce spoke about drafting and tax considerations and about administrative powers.

Bruce Gaynes Speaks About Georgia'S New Restrictive Covenant Law To The Association Of Pool & Spa Professionals

Bruce Gaynes was a speaker on February 14, 2011 at a meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. He spoke on the topic of Georgia's new restrictive covenant law. Bruce addressed many of the complicated issues stemming from the new law pertaining to non-compete agreements, customer non-solicitation agreements and employee recruitment and confidentiality agreements. He also addressed how Georgia courts may interpret existing contracts by "re-writing" portions of the agreement to make them more reasonable.

Richard Gaalema Is Elected To The Georgia Lenders Quality Circle - Board
Of Directors

Richard Gaalema, a Shareholder of Kitchens Kelley Gaynes P.C. was elected as of February 1, 2011 to serve a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Lenders Quality Circle (GLQC). GLQC was created in 2003 as a non-profit association for banks, non-bank lenders, service providers including attorneys, environmental consultants and other professionals servicing government guaranteed small business loans. The organization provides a forum for its members to exchange ideas, insight and information within the greater community of small business lenders, small business advisory service providers and other professionals serving the small business market.

Bruce Gaynes Talks About Estate, Gift and GST Taxes To International Accounting Group

On January 25, 2011 Bruce Gaynes spoke to members of the North American International Network of Accountants and Auditors. The topic of his presentation was the December 2010 changes to the Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes. He also addressed the new estate planning structures that need to be used in an era of continually changing transfer tax laws.