Michael J. Ostermeyer, Partner


Michael J. Ostermeyer serves national, regional, and governmental owners of, and investors in, real property. His particular expertise lies in three areas: (1) advising corporate, commercial, industrial, and institutional clients – and others who own real estate as an operating rather than a financial asset – in handling and positioning their portfolios; (2) guiding public development and public infrastructure projects; and (3) developing commercial, institutional, and industrial realty. He regularly oversees the handling of significant real estate assets – particularly multisite portfolios – in substantial merger and acquisition and balance sheet transactions and has developed considerable experience in addressing real estate-related issues of school, municipal, tribal, and bankruptcy law.

In addition, Mr. Ostermeyer is experienced in the application of LEED certification guidelines for new construction (LEED NC v2.2).

Among Mr. Ostermeyer's recent transactions are the following:

  • Acquisition and Disposition of Major Manufacturing and Distribution Facilities
    • 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, for approximately $155 million, of more than 4 million square feet of manufacturing, office, and service center space, comprising 24 discrete sites in 17 states and in 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, among other discrete matters, 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.
    • Counsel to several manufacturers of consumer packaging, industrial papers, and custom paper products in structuring, documenting, and closing various acquisition, sale, and sale-leaseback transactions in northern and central Wisconsin.
    • Principal outside counsel to an array of large, publicly traded companies (including companies in the transportation and logistics, food and beverage, managed services, automotive, and heavy manufacturing sectors) in handling leases, purchases, sales, and other realty-related issues arising in connection with manufacturing and distribution of facilities throughout the United States and Europe.
  • Management of Major Municipal Capital Development Project. Engaged by 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, consisting in the main of roughly 1 million square feet of new public school space in roughly two dozen development projects, together with supporting program enhancements and policy modifications. The project, which also required passage of specific enabling legislation to authorize tax-exempt financing, has received widespread acclaim for its ability to leverage capital expenses and operating costs while better delivering targeted school services.
  • Disposition of Multisite Tax Credit Housing Portfolio. Engaged by the real estate development subsidiary of a publicly traded utility company to handle the sale of its low-income tax credit housing portfolio, including more than 3,000 residential units spread among roughly 60 projects throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota.
  • Build-to-suit Development of Distribution Facilities. Engaged by several clients, including an international contract logistics company and a leading national provider of managed services, to negotiate the build-to-suit development of regional distribution facilities serving the Midwest and Western states.
  • Relocation of Regional Transportation Hub and of Logistics Warehousing Facilities. Engaged by an international shipping company to handle the relocation of major vehicle staging facilities at the company's main facility in Chicago and at several contract logistics warehouses in suburban Cook County, Illinois.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (M.B.A., magna cum laude, 2011)
    • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 1989)
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Notre Dame (M.A., 1984)
  • Luther College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1983)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1990

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • CoreNet Global (MCR candidate, 2011)
  • U.S. Green Building Council (Chicago Chapter)
  • ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (Acquisitions Editor, Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal, 2009–present; Standing Committee on Publications, 2004–2006, 2008–2009; Section Advisory Board, 2005–2008; Property Preservation Task Force, 2004–2009; Chair of Committee on Economics, Technology and Practice Methods, 2001–2005)
  • American Law Institute – American Bar Association (Editorial Board, The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, 2004–2010)
  • Marquette University (Adjunct Professor of Law, 1996–2000)
  • National Association of Charter School Authorizers
  • Wisconsin Charter Schools Association
  • Wisconsin School Attorneys Association
  • Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, Inc. (Pro bono counsel, 1991–present)
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (Advisory Audit Committee, 2009–2012)
  • Milwaukee County Pension Board (Member, 2004–2007)
  • Village of Whitefish Bay (Historic Preservation Commission, 2006–2007)
  • School District of Whitefish Bay (Facilities Finance Task Force, 2005–2006)
  • Community Youth Assets (Founder and President; Golden Rule Award Recipient, 1996)
  • Future Milwaukee (Class of 1995; Board Member, 1995–1996)

Professional Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2004–present: Real Estate Law)
  • Listed in Chambers USA® (2005–present: Real Estate)
  • Listed in Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (2005–present: Real Estate)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin – Wisconsin Legal Innovator (2014)
  • Milwaukee Business Journal "40 under 40"
  • Future Milwaukee "25 for 25"
  • Luther College Alumni Distinguished Service Award, 2008