Rich Cohn is a founding shareholder of Earp Cohn, which he and partner Tom Earp formed in 1991 after many years of large firm experience. Rich’s practice focuses on sophisticated commercial real estate transactions, including commercial acquisitions and dispositions of office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and commercial, industrial and manufacturing facilities; acquisition and assembly of land; office, retail and industrial leasing; zoning, land use planning and urban redevelopment; formation and organization of real estate ownership and development entities; and real estate financing transactions.
A large part of Rich’s practice concerns commercial real estate leasing, including the preparation of master leases for use at various office, industrial, and retail facilities, the negotiation and drafting of commercial leases and related agreements on behalf of both landlords and tenants, and the representation of leasing agents and property managers of commercial properties.
Rich has been appointed local counsel by several REITs for their real estate acquisition, sale and financing transactions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Rich also acts as outside “general counsel” for various corporate clients.
Rich is currently reading American Ulysses (a new Grant biography) and practicing with his band Mother Zeta for their scheduled run of Spring/Summer performances.
J.D., 1983, American University’s Washington College of Law
B.A., 1980, Political Science and International Studies, Dickinson College
Rich is admitted to practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Member of the Executive Committee
Real Estate Practice Group Chair
International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Camden County Bar Association
New Jersey Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Rich is a former member of the Zoning Board in Haddonfield, New Jersey, where he served for many years as the Chairman. Rich has served on the Board of a local YMCA summer camp. Rich sings and plays lead guitar in the classic rock band, “Mother Zeta,” which has performed at many civic and charitable events.
Acquisition of Office Building Portfolio
Rich was involved in the acquisition of a multi-site office building portfolio, consisting of four (4) multi-tenant office buildings in Morris County, New Jersey, containing over 600,000 rentable square feet. Rich was involved in all aspects of the transaction, including negotiation and drafting of the purchase and sale agreement, formation and syndication of the acquisition entity, performance of due diligence (including review of leases, environmental reports and other due diligence materials), financing issues, and closing the transaction.
Local Counsel Work for REITs
Rich has served as local counsel for several REITs in transactions in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including the acquisition two commercial condominium units consisting of a 300+ unit luxury apartment building in the Philadelphia suburbs, the acquisition of a large multi-family project in Marlton (Burlington County), New Jersey, the sale of a large multi-family project in Hoboken, and the acquisition of a suburban shopping center in Parsippany. Local counsel services have included review of agreements of sale relating to local laws, review of condominium documents and zoning/land use approvals, giving guidance on transfer tax and other conveyancing issues, review of financing documents, and issuance of opinion letters covering various local law issues.
Rich was lead development and zoning counsel for a South Jersey urban hospital’s major expansion. Rich was involved in all aspects of the expansion, including acquisition of land parcels, obtaining zoning and other land use approvals (which involved assisting in the creation and drafting of redevelopment ordinances relating to the area in which the expansion occurred), and negotiation and preparation of easements, restrictions and other agreements relating to the development of the expansion.
In the past several years, Rich has negotiated and drafted commercial office, industrial and retail leases involving hundreds of thousands of square feet of space, and handled the acquisition, sale and financing of a variety of multi-million dollar transactions involving raw land, office, industrial and retail properties. Rich is a frequent presenter on commercial real estate leasing issues.
Recent Leasing Transactions
In 2016 alone, Rich has been involved in the negotiation and leasing of almost one million square feet of commercial office space throughout New Jersey and suburban Philadelphia, including two major leases of single-user office buildings totaling over 500,000 square feet in Somerset and Sussex Counties, New Jersey.
Acquisition, Change of Use and Disposition of Former Industrial Property
Rich handled the acquisition and simultaneous disposition to two subsequent purchasers of a former industrial site. While under contract for sale to Earp Cohn’s client, the site was divided into two parcels to be used for residential and institutional purposes. Rich worked with local zoning counsel and counsel for the seller and for the acquiring entities to successfully coordinate the closing of a complex transaction. It involved the transfer of development credits from a separate parcel owned by the institutional purchaser, the simultaneous sale of that parcel to a municipality, and the purchase and immediate disposition of the former industrial parcel to the ultimate ownership entities.