Mr. Axelrod’s practice focuses on complex business transactions in the real estate, hospitality, gaming and leisure industries. His clients include real estate private equity sponsors and funds, REITs, institutional investors, operating companies, and entrepreneurial developers engaged in all aspects of real estate investment and development. In addition, Mr. Axelrod has extensive experience in complex asset-level and corporate-level restructurings.
Mr. Axelrod has significant experience in the hospitality industry and is Co-chair of the firm's Hospitality, Gaming and Leisure industry group. He regularly represents owners and operators in connection with the sale, acquisition, development, financing, ownership and management of hotel, resort and gaming properties.
He also represents corporate, venture capital and other private equity clients in bankruptcies, restructurings, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions involving portfolio companies and their real estate assets. Mr. Axelrod’s practice also has a substantial cross-border element including projects in Canada, China, Dubai, India, Abu Dhabi and Mexico.
Mr. Axelrod is regularly recognized in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, where he ranked as a leading attorney in both the Real Estate industry and the Leisure & Hospitality industry. Mr. Axelrod is a "great real estate finance attorney with strong negotiating and leadership skills" and "he has an unbeatable combination of industry knowledge and experience, with responsiveness, creativity and diplomacy," Chambers USA 2011. Mr. Axelrod is also ranked as a leading expert in The Legal 500 US: Volume IV: Real Estate, Employment & Labor, and Tax, 2007-2013, was selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois for Real Estate by Leading Lawyers Network, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and included in Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law.
Mr. Axelrod serves on the Advisory Board for Real Estate Law360 and was licensed as a certified public accountant in 1994.
Mr. Axelrod's experience includes:
- Joint venture acquisition of mezzanine debt foreclosure and senior mortgage restructuring secured by hotel in Hawaii
- Acquisition of 9-hotel portfolio with contemporaries acquisition of secured debt
- Sale of 5-star urban hotel and contemporaneous management agreements for three additional hotels
- Redevelopment and financing of office building into a boutique lifestyle hotel
- Acquisition and financing of luxury hotel in San Francisco
- Development of ultra-luxury resort and residences in China
- Private investors in connection with development of luxury hotel in Baghdad, Iraq
- Management, development, and ownership of 6-star international resort projects including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Mexico
- Joint venture to develop an approximately US$1.75 billion resort and casino project
- US$650 million acquisition of national hotel chain including 60 owned hotels
- Ground lease, finance, construction and management of a to-be-built convention center hotel
- US$325 million sale of four hotels in Sardinia, Italy, and joint venture to develop approximately 6,000 acres of undeveloped land
- Joint venture to recapitalize and restructure the debt of a 5-star resort
- Joint venture to recapitalize a mixed-use project in San Antonio
- Joint venture to develop mixed-use project in Chicago
- Joint venture to develop a US$5.5 billion mixed-use development including at least three different hotel brand products as well as residential, casino, retail and fractional ownership projects
- US$800 million joint venture with a pension fund adviser and a publicly-traded real estate investment trust
- Restructuring of three separate financings secured by regional shopping malls
- Restructuring mortgage and mezzanine debt and implementing debt-for-equity exchange for golf club operator
- Bankruptcy and restructuring of over US$10 billion in debt for public REIT
- Restructuring of US$650 million in debt for merchant developer
- Restructuring of approximately US$1.6 billion in CMBS debt for manufactured housing operator
- Acquisition of approximately a 50 percent interest in a real estate investment trust holding two trophy office buildings in Boston