John D. Gaber
With two decades of experience, John Gaber provides exceptional legal services in the areas of real estate, corporate, general business and commercial law. He specializes in development, land use and zoning, construction, commercial financing and leasing matters for his real estate clients. He also engages in business structuring, commercial and operational matters, buy-sell agreements, acquisitions and dispositions. His experience includes business and real estate dispute resolution.
Mr. Gaber represents commercial and residential real estate developers, shopping center owners, retailers, multi-national corporations, closely-held entities and municipalities. He handles all aspects of real estate development, including the acquisition, entitlement, construction and leasing of retail, industrial, office and mixed-use projects. He appears before municipalities, governmental agencies and various courts in land use and zoning matters. Mr. Gaber also assists clients in commercial financing, short sales, foreclosures and loan modifications.
Mr. Gaber graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University Law School, receiving numerous awards for academic achievement. He earned his undergraduate BBA degree with high distinction in finance from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C., Mr. Gaber was a senior attorney for Kmart Corporation.
Mr. Gaber is active in the legal real estate community as a member of the State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, where he co-chairs the Commercial Real Estate Development and Ownership Committee. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association and ICSC. Mr. Gaber lectures on various real estate topics at legal education events.
He also actively participates in community affairs. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is the Board’s liaison to the Rochester Downtown Development Authority. He co-chairs Crittenton Hospital Foundation’s Cornerstone Campaign Committee. He is a member of the Rochester Rotary Club. Mr. Gaber was previously elected to the Rochester Hills City Council, serving as President in 1999, and appointed to the Rochester Hills Planning Commission.
John Gaber has successfully represented many clients throughout his career. A few examples are as follows:
- Represented a national home improvement retailer in the development of new stores in the Midwest. Such representation included land acquisition, ground leasing, land use and zoning approval, development and construction matters
- Counsel to an international logistics management company
- Succeeded in eliminating a designated historic district, enabling the client to freely develop its property without the restrictions of such regulations
- Represented a private college in negotiating a development agreement with a municipality to provide a master plan for the growth and development of the college while preserving a designated historic farmstead within the college campus
- Negotiates short sales and loan modifications for commercial and residential clients
- Assisted a municipality in southeastern Michigan in leasing production facilities to the film industry and partnering with movie production companies and other movie and media-related companies
- Assisted in the acquisition through bankruptcy of an automotive stamping plant with 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space and equipment for $45,500,000
- Represented a national shopping center developer in the redevelopment of a commercial center with a national large-box and a national mid-box discount retailer
- Represented various private equity firms in several corporate acquisitions
- Provides advice and counsel to municipalities relative to land use, zoning, utility and other municipal law issues
- Obtained 5 variances for the development of a national chain restaurant
- Negotiated multiple leases for industrial facilities to a multinational company
- Obtained conditional rezoning for a client to develop a bank and a senior living facility
- Negotiated a sale-leaseback with a national pharmacy, and build-to-suit and ground leases for national banks and restaurants for a national developer
- Renegotiated a planned unit development agreement providing for 710,000sf of mixed-use development
- Represents clients in both the sale and purchase of multi-million dollar homes
- Regularly represents clients in the acquisition, leasing, operation and disposition of retail, commercial, office and industrial real estate and mobile home parks
- Formation of commercial and residential condominiums; conversion of apartments into condominiums
- Represents regional owner and operator of assisted living, nursing home and memory loss facilities in various corporate and real estate matters.
- Represented client in the successful resolution of lawsuit by the Paint Creek Trailways Commission alleging that client’s facility encroached on Trailway right of way.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & ACTIVITIES
- Chair of Commercial Real Estate Development and Ownership Committee of the Michigan State Bar Real Property Section
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- State Bar of Michigan (Real Property, Business Law and Taxation Sections)
- Oakland County Bar Association
- Moderator, Lessons Learned From the Downturn, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, July, 2010
- Panelist, Tenant's Concerns With the Distressed Shopping Center, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, July, 2010
- Author, Danger With Cross-Defaults, E-Newsletter of the State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, January, 2010
- Speaker, Letter of Intent: Term Sheet or Binding Contract?, ICSC 2007 – Michigan Continuing Education Program, April, 2007
- Speaker, From the Letter of Intent to the Purchase Agreement, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, July, 2005
- Director, Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2010 – present
- Chamber Board Liaison, Rochester Downtown Development Authority, 2010 – present
- Co-Chair, Cornerstone Capital Campaign, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, 2010 – present
- Member, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation, 2010 - present
- Chair/Member, Charitable Gifts Committee, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, 2008 – present
- Chair, Endowment Committee, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 2008 – 2009
- Member, Board of Trustees, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 2004 – 2007
- Member, Rochester Rotary Club, 1998 – present (Director 2001 – 2004)
- Councilman, Rochester Hills City Council, 1995 – 1999 (President 1999)
- Commissioner, Rochester Hills Planning Commission, 1996 – 1999
- Director, Avondale Youth Assistance, 1995 – 1999
- Director, Rochester Avon Recreation Authority, 1995 - 1999
B.B.A., University of Michigan, 1988 (with high distinction)
J.D., Wayne State University, 1991 (summa cum laude)
Admitted to bar, Michigan, 1991
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