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At a time when many people are rethinking that condo purchase because of the credit crunch, Venable helped shepherd through one of the largest real estate transactions of the year. Attorneys at the firm represented Fannie Mae in the financing of a $15.2 billion real estate transaction involving Archstone-Smith. “It shows Fannie’s role in providing liquidity in the market at all times, but particularly now, in light of current circumstances,” says Lawrence Gesner, a partner at Venable and the lead attorney on the deal. Investors held their breath during August to see if financing would materialize for the transaction, but in spite of the tragic shape of the debt market, Tishman Speyer Properties and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. were able to purchase Archstone-Smith Trust. Fannie Mae financed $7.1 billion of the loan, which was backed by 105 apartment buildings dispersed throughout the country. The deal closed two weeks ago. “It’s the largest credit facility we’ve ever purchased,” says Jon Searles, a spokesman for Fannie Mae. This is not the first big deal that Venable has done for Fannie this year. The firm also handled Fannie’s financing of a multifamily housing transaction in April, a more than $3.5 billion deal.
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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