Steven Vainder

Partner, Miami


Head of the Americas real estate group, Steven Vainder is described in Chambers USA, 2016 as “a bright and practical lawyer” who “solves problems and looks to get deals finished in a way that is beneficial to both sides.”


With two decades of representing investors, owners and other stakeholders in the real estate industry, Steven Vainder has a successful track record in complex real estate deals. He advises clients on acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financings, development, leasing, management and operations.

Matters to which he has brought experience and insight include the development, financing and sale of shopping malls, large planned-unit developments, mixed-use projects, hotel and hospitality assets and office and industrial parks.

Lenders and private equity funds also benefit from Steven's experience in restructuring, repositioning, disposition and acquisition of distressed real estate loans and assets.

Steven's knowledge is further complemented by his certification as a LEED® Accredited Professional, by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). He has developed a thorough understanding of local, state and federal requirements for green building practices. His knowledge of these principles has made him a valued resource for clients seeking to design, construct or renovate using green or sustainable building practices.

Bars and Courts
Florida State Bar
University of Miami School of Law
University of Virginia


Downtown Doral US$1 billion mixed-use development, 2015
Steven is representing a real estate investor and developer in a US$1 billion, 120-acre mixed-use development project called Downtown Doral. Aspects of the project in which he has been involved include the acquisition of land, multiple construction loan financings and the preparation and negotiation of reciprocal easements. The project comprises approximately 180,000 square feet of retail 2,840 residential units, and 400,000 square feet of office space.

CityPlace tower acquisition in West Palm Beach, 2014
Steven represented the purchaser in the US$150 million acquisition of CityPlace Tower in West Palm Beach from a California-based real estate investment trust. The Tower is an 18-story Class A building that offers 295,933 square feet of office space as well as ocean views, concierge and private valet service, banking and covered access to West Palm Beach's upscale shopping, dining and entertainment center, City Place.

Restructuring US$2 billion loan and REO portfolio, 2010–2013
Steven acted as primary external counsel to SNS Property Finance and to the US real estate investment subsidiary of SNS REAAL, a large Dutch bank, in connection with its US$2 billion North American real estate portfolio. Projects on which he advised the client included the sale of a note on Hotel Victor, a luxury hotel in Miami's South Beach; the sale of a 33-story, mixed-use development in Orlando; and the sale of Tarpon Point in Cape Coral, Florida, a development including a hotel, condominiums, a marina and undeveloped land. Working closely with White & Case restructuring and litigation lawyers, his representation of SNS also involved negotiating with investors, debtors, banks, creditors and borrowers in connection with various foreclosure processes, loan repayments and discounted payoffs.

US$262.5 million acquisition of Miami Center, 2012
Steven represented a US real estate investment firm in the US$262.5 million acquisition of the Miami Center. This 34-story, 851,900 square-foot tower, purchased from SCOA Miami Center, was the area's largest office deal since the property traded in 2008. The transaction was the winner in the Office Category of the Daily Business Review's Top Dealmakers of the Year 2012.

Newspaper group relocation, 2012
Steven acted for the third-largest newspaper company in the US, in respect of the relocation of its flagship newspaper, The Miami Herald, to occupy more than 150,000 square feet of office space at former US Southern Command headquarters in Doral. The transaction was a finalist in the Leasing Category of the Daily Business Review's Top Dealmakers of the Year 2012.

US$28.5 million residential project, 2012
Representing Carr Residential LLC, a South Florida residential developer, Steven advised on the acquisition, development and sale of the Aqua Isles residential project in Broward County for US$28.5 million. The transaction was a finalist in the Restructuring/Distressed Category of the Daily Business Review's Top Dealmakers of the Year 2012.

Distressed mortgage portfolio acquisitions, 2012
Steven acted for a US private equity fund in the acquisition of three separate portfolios of more than 150 distressed mortgage loans and real-estate owned (REO) properties, one of which involved purchase money financing. The loans, secured by residential, office, retail and hotel assets in more than 15 states, totaled almost US$350 million in unpaid principal balances.

Florida Turnpike projects, 2011–2012
Steven represented a US subsidiary of a large Spanish concessionaire in the renovation and operation of service plazas on Florida's Turnpike. The engagement included a sublease and design-build agreement for construction of a LEED-certified project valued in excess of US$100 million.

US$350 million acquisition of global fluorochemical business, 2010
Acting for a Mexican chemical producer, Steven advised on the real estate aspects of its US$350 million acquisition of a fluorochemical business in the US, Europe and Asia.

Luxury resort secured loan, 2010
Acting for a US private equity fund, Steven advised on its acquisition of a loan in an original principal amount of US$350 million, secured by a luxury resort and residences in Anguilla, British West Indies.


Effective Strategies for Helping Clients Procure and Exit Distressed Commercial Loans, Inside the Minds: Commercial Real Estate Finance Strategies, June 2013, (co-authored with Aspatore/Thomson Reuters)

Awards and Recognition

The Best Lawyers in America: Real Estate Law, 2019

Leading Lawyer: Real Estate - USA, Chambers USA (2014–2016)

Real Estate, Employment & Labor and Tax, The Legal 500 USA (2007-2016)