Aspen Group Ltd Completes Lease Agreements

Aspen Group is a large, well-known publicly traded real estate company, registered in the Israeli stock exchange.

The group has over 30 years of experience in real estate and is active in Israel, as well as in Europe. The group owns over 375,000 square meters of yielding properties, rented out to over 260 tenants, at approximately 95% occupancy.

Recently, GKH – one of the largest, most renowned law firms in Israel – represented Aspen Group in a long-term operation and lease agreement (25 years) of a hotel – located on the coast of Israel, which is part of the worldwide Ramada chain.

Interview with Israel Aziel, Partner and head of GKH’s Real Estate Practice.

Please tell me about your involvement in the deal.

GKH offers top-tier legal representation in domestic and international real estate transactions, development projects and disputes. The firm’s Real Estate Practice serves clients in inbound and outbound transactions involving development, acquisition, financing, leasing, zoning, environmental issues and real estate tax planning in the state of Israel. In this particular deal, GKH provided Aspen with ongoing legal advice and services throughout all stages of the transaction – from identifying potential entrepreneurial partners and managing the commercial and legal negotiation process, through the process of delivering possession of the property and commencing activity.

As part of this transaction, as well as in many other transactions our office is involved with, GKH provided legal examinations and legal treatment of the lease agreements, as well as contractual agreements to adjust the leased properties.

What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?

As part of this transaction, our firm was required to liaise – on behalf of the client (which is, as previously stated, a public company which operates extensively outside Israel) – with the developer, the local authorities in Israel and with the international Ramada chain, which the client is the franchisee of.

The complexity involved in handling a deal of this nature is not unfamiliar to our office, as GKH represents some of the largest developers, construction companies, banks, municipalities, investors and substantial private entrepreneurs in a wide range of commercial and residential projects, as well as accommodation and infrastructure projects in Israel, while operating with many well-known real-estate entrepreneurs, both in Israel and internationally.

Why is this a good deal for all involved?

Aside from the clear financial significance of this deal for all parties involved, most notably – the development and promotion of the hotel, which is located in a central and prominent location on the coast of Israel, transactions of this sort are also imperative to the state of Israel, as they promote incoming tourism, which is – of course – both important and financially beneficial, as it allows the entrance of many known players to the Israeli market.

For the GKH office, engaging in such transactions is essential, as it allows our firm to handle and work with key, vital players both in the state of Israel and outside it.

The firm’s Real Estate Practice is unique in that it is experienced and skilled in both sides of real estate law – initial transactions and following litigation. The attorneys of the firm have extensive experience and a record of successful representation in and out of court, and in disputes that may include dissolution of joint ownership of property, arbitration, land rights and appearances before government organisations.

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