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Holding dual JD/MBA degrees, Chris Rizza has earned a reputation for being a business-oriented, no-nonsense real estate attorney.  As former in-house counsel to a private real estate development company with over a decade of "big law" experience, Chris has combined his business acumen with a comprehensive legal skill set that gives him a unique advantage in leveraging deal points and balancing business and legal considerations on every deal.  He understands that each deal is driven by a client's unique set of goals, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting a deal to the finish line. 

Chris's practice focuses on commercial leasing and related real estate transactions spanning across all of the major asset classes, from retail and industrial to office and mixed-use.  On the landlord/developer side, he represents REITs, institutional investors, pension funds and development companies.  On the tenant side, he represents national and regional tenants, as well as individual closely held businesses.

Prior to joining CGS3, Chris was a partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP.  He started his career in-house for a private real estate development company before joining the ranks of law firms.  Chris has been interviewed on several occasions to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail leasing and how he helped numerous landlords and tenants navigate through the 2020 global economic shutdown.

Notable Deals/Cases

  • Negotiation of numerous commercial lease agreements for one of California’s largest privately held REITs, serving as master planner for a portfolio of high-end shopping centers in Southern California.
  • Representation of national and regional shopping center developers in the acquisition and lease up of several big-box anchored shopping centers (g., Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, Home Depot and Lowe’s).
  • Advising a large, privately held real estate investment company in connection with leasing-up, repositioning and redeveloping its vast portfolio of retail and retail-driven mixed-use properties in the western United States.
  • Representation of a private real estate development company in the purchase of raw land, obtaining of entitlements and the design and construction of finished lots for sale to national and regional homebuilders.
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in the expansion of its network of communication sites, retail stores, and offices in the western United States.

Education

  • J.D., Loyola Law School
  • M.B.A., Loyola Marymount University
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Bar Admissions

  • California

Involvement

  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Estate Division
Chris Rizza