FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Melissa Vandewater

Melissa Vandewater

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Chicago, IL, USA

Areas of Practice

Real Estate
    Real Estate Development
    Real Estate Leasing
    Real Estate Pension Funds & Institutional Investors
    Real Estate Retail
    Structured & Real Estate Finance
Health Law
    Health Care Real Estate & Finance


Melissa Vandewater is a partner of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the real estate group.  Melissa represents owners, developers, investors, investment advisors, lenders, insurance companies and tenants in all aspects of their ownership, development, investment, financing and use of commercial real estate, and she also advises partners in real estate joint venture transactions.  Ms. Vandewater is admitted to practice in Illinois, Arizona and New York.

Melissa negotiates and closes the acquisitions and dispositions of office buildings, mixed-use buildings, regional shopping centers, warehouse and industrial buildings and multi-family projects in various locations across the United States.  Melissa recently represented the seller of a mixed-use development in Austin, Texas, in a complicated transaction for over $200 million, which included the sale of existing office buildings, vacant land, interests in parking garages, and partnership interests in developed and undeveloped parcels for office and residential uses.  Melissa also recently represented the purchaser of a 35-story office tower and adjacent building in Chicago as part of a property exchange, which included the acquisition of air rights and off-site parking rights.  She also represented the all-cash purchaser of a five-story, 38,000 square foot mixed-use building located in Manhattan and known as the “King of Greene Street”. 

As part of her practice, Melissa also represents landlords and tenants in connection with their office, industrial and retail leases.  Melissa negotiated an industrial lease on behalf of a tenant in one of the largest industrial deals in the Chicago area that year.  She has also served as lead counsel to the developer of a high-end suburban mixed-use project located in the metropolitan Phoenix area, for which she was responsible for the documentation and negotiation of major office leases with prestigious corporate users within the 220,000 square foot Class A office tower.

In the area of real estate finance, Melissa represents national and local banks and borrowers in acquisition, construction, bridge, permanent, syndicated and participated commercial loan transactions, modifications and workouts.  Melissa also works with financial institutions in the structuring and closing of mortgage loan transactions for securitization in the capital markets.  Representative transactions include serving as legal counsel for Wells Fargo Bank in over $250,000,000 of syndicated loans to a real estate investment trust for the construction of shopping centers.         


J.D., Notre Dame Law School (2002)

B.A., Duke University (1999)




New York


Vice-Chair, Assignment and Subletting Committee, American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, “Ground Lease Financing,” Practicing Law Institute, Commercial Real Estate Financing 2016 Seminar (April 4, 2016)

Speaker, “Use, Assignability, and Other Tenant Rights,” American Bar Association, Leasing eCLE Series Webinar (October 21, 2015)

Speaker, “Rent and Other Lease Economics,” American Bar Association, Leasing eCLE Series Webinar (September 16, 2015)

Speaker, “One Form Doesn’t Fit All: How Do Retail, Office, Industrial and Ground Leases Differ, and Why Does it Matter?” American Bar Association, Real Property Spring Symposia (May 1, 2015)


  • twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • RSS

All Contents Copyright © 1996-2018 Practising Law Institute. Continuing Legal Education since 1933.

© 2018 PLI PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE. All rights reserved. The PLI logo is a service mark of PLI.