Sara A. McCormick

Tel 215.864.8734
Fax 215.864.8999

Sara McCormick concentrates on a variety of commercial real estate matters, including all phases of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, development transactions, joint ventures and fund formation, and investments. Sara has significant expertise representing investors and developers in real estate joint ventures, and has spoken on the topic several times. She also works regularly with universities in connection with privately developed student housing projects. Recently, Sara has expanded her joint venture and fund practice to include advising clients in the formation and structuring of Qualified Opportunity Funds pursuant to the new Qualified Opportunity Zone tax incentive program.

Her clients include national and international companies, including those in the industrial, pharmaceutical, and energy sectors, REITs, private equity, and pension funds.

Representative Matters

  • Represented an industrial developer in the formation of a joint venture with a private equity firm, to acquire at least three separate neighboring parcels in New Jersey for the development and operation of an approximately one million-square foot industrial/distribution facility and related on and off-site improvements. This joint venture project involved the negotiation and documentation of multiple potential options with respect to the development of the property over the next decade and correspondingly complex economics.
  • Represents a developer focused on the science/technology sector in the formation of multiple joint ventures with an S&P 500 real estate company, for the development, operation, leasing, financing, and use of laboratory and office/research projects throughout the country, including significant recent projects in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Providence. In Philadelphia alone, the representation involves three developed projects totaling over 800,000 square feet, including a large parking structure, with more projects on the horizon.
  • Represents a mall operator in the leasing of an entire mall redevelopment project
  • Represented multiple universities in the Northeast region of the U.S. in private student housing projects
  • Served as national leasing and facilities counsel for a large U.S. company with multiple locations
  • Represented an international fund in a series of transactions related to a marquee office tower in Philadelphia including the termination of a sale-leaseback, acquisition of legal title, a 120,000 square-foot office lease, and the subsequent sale of the entire bundle of rights
  • Represented a chemical company in varied real estate transactions in several locations, including its lease of a new headquarters, consisting of office, lab, and pilot plant space
  • Represented a Fortune 10 energy company in the spin-off of a sector, including the disposition of hundreds of real estate interests
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in its lease of a new headquarters in Delaware
  • Represented various public pension funds' real estate fund commitments totaling more than $2 billion
  • Represented sponsor of a series of real estate funds formed to invest in various assets in the southeastern United States

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Association, Real Property Section Executive Committee

South Kensington Zoning Committee

Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia – Business on Board Participant

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – Young Leaders Program Participant

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's 2018 Lawyers on the Fast Track


Co-author, ''Legal-Ease: Commercial Landlord Liability For Workplace Violence Control,'' BOMA Magazine, November/December 2019

Co-author, "Legal-Ease: What's in Your Warehouse? Leasing to the Marijuana Production Industry," BOMA Magazine, November/December 2018

Speaking Engagements

Presenter, "COVID-19: The Changing Landscape of Student Housing," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 23, 2020

"Joint Ventures in Real Estate Development Projects," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Successful Real Estate Development Projects, Philadelphia, April 10, 2019

Presenter, "Hot Topics in Education - University P3s," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 13, 2019

Presenter, "Key Issues in Real Estate Joint Ventures," PBI Real Estate Institute, December 2018 

Panelist, "Structuring Investment Funds for Qualified Opportunity Zones: Maximizing Tax Benefits and Preserving Flexibility," Strafford webinar, December 19, 2018 

Presenter, "Leasing Fundamentals," PBI Real Estate Institute, December 2017

Co-presenter, "Partnerships and LLC Agreements – What You Need to Know and Drafting Considerations," Ballard Spahr in-house workshop, March 23, 2016

Board Memberships

First Person Arts, secretary

New York University School of Law (LL.M. 2006)

The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University (J.D. 2005)

The Pennsylvania State University (B.A. 2002)