Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts new members in its Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Last year, despite its challenges, was no exception. Today, we look at the busy career of new inductee Joseph Fazio, principal and real estate deputy group leader with law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Joseph Fazio is one of the most highly regarded real estate attorneys in the Midwest. And one of the most experienced: He began working in the real estate arena immediately upon graduation from law school in 1985.
“I initially joined a 14-attorney firm with a significant real estate practice and worked very closely with Michael Maddin, a mentor, who represented a large number of closely held and very active developers on a wide variety of real estate projects,” Fazio said. “Those deals gave me the opportunity to work directly with clients and opposing counsel. Since then, I have worked on just about every type of commercial real estate project, both in Michigan and across the country.”
Fazio’s areas of expertise include complex commercial real estate acquisitions and developments, with extensive experience in ground leasing, entity formation and public/private development agreements, as well as conventional, securitized and tax-increment financing.
He represents closely held developers, national retailers, national financial institutions, private equity funds, publicly traded REITs, multinational corporations, municipal entities and school districts in a wide variety of real estate matters.
For him, the most enjoyable aspect of being a real estate attorney is the interplay between structuring the transaction, on the one hand, and the ensuing negotiations with the parties to the transaction.
“To do it well,” Fazio said, “one must have a deep understanding of the basics of real estate law and a desire to uncover what is driving the transaction and the parties to the transaction.”
Fazio was instrumental in structuring and negotiating the largest and most complex land assembly project in Michigan’s history, a $2.5 billion deal with many stakeholders, including the city of Detroit and Detroit City Council, FCA, the state of Michigan and the Michigan Strategic Fund, and multiple property owners. The deal structure ensured that 5,000 new jobs would be brought to the city and involved the assembly of more than 200 acres of land.
Fazio has been honored and recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers. He has been named to Business Magazine’s Top Lawyers list and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Real Estate, 2008-present.
When not at work, Fazio spends as much time as possible with family, mostly skiing and generally enjoying the outdoors. Most recently, Fazio and his son toured Iceland on motorcycles.
“Traveling with my family has been a great way of keeping us close and our minds open to new experiences and concepts,” he said.