David C. Cook



David C. Cook is a partner and real estate lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP, and is the chair of Foley’s Real Estate Practice. His practice is focused on retail, commercial and multi-family development and finance. Over the past several years, a significant portion of David’s work has involved the acquisition and disposition of multi-asset portfolios, both negotiated and auctioned transactions, involving multi-family, timberland, retail shopping centers, medical office buildings, and commercial buildings. In addition, David has extensive knowledge in the acquisition/disposition of timberlands, having acted as counsel to investors, lenders, purchasers and trustees in numerous timberland transactions located throughout the Southeastern United States. In the last two years, David has successfully represented buyers in the bidding process and subsequent acquisition of approximately 1 million acres of timberland and had led the teams that closed what are generally considered to have been Florida’s largest real estate deals of 2014 and 2015. David currently represents two of the largest private landowners in the state of Florida.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of an affiliate of the Mormon Church in acquiring approximately 382,000 acres located in northwest Florida from The St. Joe Company. Upon completion of this transaction, the Mormon Church became the largest private land owner in the State of Florida
  • Counsel for NYSE REIT in acquisition of 101 shopping center portfolio valued at $2.7 billion
  • Representation of buyer of downtown Tampa Class A office tower for $78 million 
  • Representation of affiliates of Starwood Capital Group in the sales of the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hotel and Westin Beach Resort & Spa
  • Representation of investor in connection with the acquisition of a portion of International Paper’s 4.1 million acre timberland portfolio – generally recognized as the largest private land sale since the Louisiana Purchase
  • Representation of Florida based company in acquisition of apartment projects and subsequent conversions to condominiums, total aggregate acquisition value over 15 month period in excess of $1.4 billion
  • Representation of California based company in financing and acquisition of three apartment portfolios involving a total of 40 apartment projects located in Florida, Texas, Colorado and Maryland with an aggregate acquisition price in excess of $1.5 billion
  • Representation of US subsidiary of Canadian REIT in the restructure of approximately 140 healthcare properties secured by $650 million of mortgage debt and involving a master lease structure
  • Representation of seller of 18,000 acres in St. Johns and Flagler Counties, Florida
  • Representation of California based client in acquisition of medical office building portfolio consisting of 14 properties located in Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Indiana
  • Representation of Florida based client in joint venture with institutional investor in acquisition program of medical office buildings and hospitals throughout the U.S.
  • Representation of Fortune 250 company in connection with acquisition and expansion of its corporate campus, with synthetic lease financing
  • Representation of life insurance company in connection with $86 million construction loan for high-rise waterfront apartment project
  • Representation of lead lender in syndicated loans totaling in excess of $450 million for a multi-project/multi-state joint venture involving construction of condominium projects within destination resorts
  • Representation of owners in structuring the acquisition of an office building portfolio valued in excess of $350 million


David is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army from 1980-86, attaining the rank of Captain. He received his J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1988.


David has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2009 for his work in the areas of real estate and timber law. In 2019, he was recognized as the Jacksonville Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®. He is also recognized as one of Florida’s Legal Elite™ by Florida Trend magazine (2005-2013); was selected for inclusion in the 2009-2014, and 2017 Florida Super Lawyers® lists; and was recognized as one of the top real estate attorneys in the state of Florida in 2007 and 2008 by Chambers USA. In 2011, David was a recipient of Foley's Carl Hitchner Mentor of the Year Award. These awards are presented each year to recognize outstanding mentoring by partners and senior counsel. He was recently recognized by The Legal 500 for his work in the area of real estate (2014 - 2016).

Representative Matters

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Represented an affiliate of Starwood Capital in connection with the $149 million sale of the Fort Lauderdale Westin Beach Resort & Spa to DiamondRock Hospitality.
Represented REIT client in connection with its acquisition of an approximately 339,580 sq. ft. shopping center located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, for a purchase price of $141,500,000.
A team of Foley attorneys from across 8 offices represented AgReserves, Inc., a for profit affiliate of the Mormon Church, in a $565,000,000 acquisition from The St. Joe Company of approximately 384,000 acres of timber and rural lands in the Florida panhandle. The land includes the majority of The St. Joe Company’s timber holdings in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla Counties. AgReserves intends to maintain timber and agricultural uses of the lands. This acquisition makes the Mormon Church the largest private landowner in Florida. In a transaction that spanned 8 months, a team of Foley attorneys guided AgReserves, Inc. through real estate, antitrust, title, environmental, tax, corporate and other legal obstacles, in connection with the acquisition of the property.