Michael J. Ostermeyer


Tel 602.798.5421
Fax 602.798.5595

Michael Ostermeyer has 30 years of experience advising clients in the commercial real estate space. A strategic, results-oriented advocate who combines formal business training with considerable depth in corporate portfolios and public real estate projects, he is known for his ability to provide practical solutions that reflect an understanding of the business landscape and stand the test of time.

Mike represents national, regional, and governmental owners and investors of real property in three areas:

  • Guiding public development and public infrastructure projects
  • Advising corporate, commercial, industrial, and institutional clients—and others who own real estate as an operating asset—on portfolio management, including restructuring and disposition in distress situations
  • Developing commercial, institutional, and industrial real estate

Day to day, Mike oversees the handling of significant real estate assets, including multisite portfolios. He has substantial experience with merger and acquisitions and balance sheet transactions, and has handled substantial developed and undeveloped assets in the context of large retail bankruptcies. He also regularly advises clients on the real estate aspects of municipal and tribal law.

Mike also has deep experience advising investors, developers, and government clients engaged in public development and infrastructure projects, including public-private partnerships for healthcare facilities, arts and entertainment projects, sports and convention facilities, and schools.

Clients describe Mike as “strategic and experienced,” “easy to work with,” “effective in negotiations,” “solution-oriented,” and “an attorney who knows how to get the job done.” They also remark on his “imagination and creativity,” as well as his ability to “stay calm under pressure and focus on the issues that really matter.”

Representative Matters

Corporate Real Estate Portfolios:

  • Principal real estate counsel to a Forbes Global 2000 firm that provides managed services to business, governmental, and institutional clients worldwide.
  • Principal real estate counsel in handling transfers of approximately $850 million in manufacturing, warehouse, packaging, and transportation facilities in 13 states, conveyed in connection with the combination of domestic operations by two significant food and beverage companies.
  • Counsel to a Fortune 500 manufacturer to structure, document, and close the portfolio sale of more than four million square feet of manufacturing, office, and service center space, comprising 24 discrete sites in 17 U.S. states and Canada.
  • Principal outside counsel to a Fortune 500 food and beverage producer in a series of transactions designed to reorient the producer's balance sheet and to better position its manufacturing, packaging, and distribution capabilities. Projects involved the disposition to a strategic partner of major packaging production facilities in New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Illinois, as well as the acquisition (and later sale) of a new production facility in Washington.
  • Principal outside counsel to an array of large, publicly traded companies (including companies in the transportation and logistics, food and beverage, automotive, and heavy manufacturing sectors) in matters involving leases, purchases, sales, and other real estate-related issues arising from the manufacturing and distribution of facilities throughout the United States and Europe.

Public-Private and Public Infrastructure Projects:

  • Principal outside counsel to a private REIT currently deploying more than $1 billion to develop public infrastructure projects across the United States.
  • Principal outside counsel to a private REIT currently emerging to develop health care projects (including primary care, diagnostic, residential, and other facilities) to serve workforce constituencies.
  • Counsel to a developer of public-private projects in connection with financing, construction, and management of K-12 and post-secondary education facilities, student housing, convention facilities, and other privately-financed public infrastructure.
  • Principal outside counsel to a major municipality and its affiliated school district as lead development counsel in efforts to plan, finance, and execute approximately $200 million in public infrastructure development. The project, which also required passage of specific enabling legislation to authorize tax-exempt financing, delivered roughly one million square feet of new space in nearly two dozen development projects, together with supporting program enhancements and policy modifications.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. George G. Fagg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1989-1990

Professional Activities

American College of Real Estate Lawyers

American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section

  • Student Writing Competition, Chair, 2011-present
  • Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal, Acquisitions Editor, 2009-2014
  • Standing Committee on Publications, 2004-2006, 2008-2009, 2014-present
  • Section Advisory Board, 2005-2008
  • Property Preservation Task Force, 2004-2009
  • Committee on Economics, Technology and Practice Methods, Chair, 2001-2005

CoreNet Global

The Practical Real Estate Lawyer Journal, American Law Institute, Editorial Board, 2004-2010

National Alliance of Public Charter Schools

National Association of Charter School Authorizers 

Milwaukee County Pension Board, 2004-2007

Recognitions & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, Real Estate Law, Wisconsin, 2007-2017

The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2005-present (Wisconsin, 2005-2016; Illinois, 2017-2019; Arizona, 2020)

State Bar of Wisconsin, Legal Innovator Award, 2014

Corporate Partner of the Year, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, 2013

“Top Rated Real Estate Attorney in Milwaukee,” Super Lawyers, 2005-2013

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Luther College, 2010

Selected for inclusion in "40 Under 40" by Milwaukee Business Journal, 2001

Recipient of the "Golden Rule Award" by JCPenney Foundation, 1996

Community Activities

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Community Council Member (Greater Phoenix)

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona

Pro Bono Counsel, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, Inc., 1991-2013

Milwaukee Area Technical College, Advisory Audit Committee, 2009-2012

Village of Whitefish Bay, Historic Preservation Commission, 2006-2007

School District of Whitefish Bay, Facilities Finance Task Force, 2005-2006

University of Notre Dame (M.B.A. 2011)
Beta Gamma Sigma

Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D. 1989)
Order of the Coif

University of Notre Dame (M.A., English, 1984)

Luther College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1983)
Phi Beta Kappa




United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin