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Zakarij O. Thomas

Zakarij O. Thomas

Senior Attorney

Pittsburgh, PA

How Zakarij Helps Clients

Zak has a broad base of experience from representing financial institutions and other lenders in workouts, loan restructurings, forbearance agreements, intercreditor agreements, sales of real estate and going concern sales in and out of bankruptcy to representing developers and other entities in real estate acquisition, finance and general real estate matters, as well as navigating Public-Private Partnerships and affordable housing projects. By spending substantial time early in his career on bankruptcies and workouts and related litigation, he understands what really matters going into a transaction and how deals terms play out when they are put to the test.

What Clients Can Expect

Zak prides himself on fully understanding a client’s business needs and motivations. After 14 years as a practicing attorney, Zak spent three years working for one of the country’s largest Community Development Financial Institutions as a senior program officer for real estate lending, focusing on economic development and affordable housing finance, technical assistance and policy. Returning to Buchanan, he is excited to utilize this unique experience for the benefit of his clients, particularly as it relates to opportunities in revitalizing communities and Opportunity Zones.

Outside the Office

Spending time with his infant daughter, Mika, taking his springer-spaniel, Lady, on trail runs and helping his wife in the garden while they both escape the rigors of their active legal practices all keep Zak busy and entertained outside the office. He is also active on the board of directors of multiple nonprofits and is a member of numerous community development and affordable housing committees. Having grown up as a competitive rower in West Virginia, he dreams of getting back on the water someday.

Proof Points

  • Workout and restructuring of a $133 Million construction loan to a condominium conversion project in Arlington, Va., a $60 Million construction loan to a luxury apartment project in Largo, Md. an $80 Million construction loan to a retail development project in Raleigh, N.C. and loans in excess of $30 Million to the owner of mixed-use residential building with historic tax credits in Memphis, TN.
  • Workout and restructuring of a $25 Million construction loan to a residential development project in Raleigh, N.C. and negotiation of equity infusion and intercreditor agreement with mezzanine lenders.
  • Structuring and underwriting of $4,600,000 leverage loan to sponsor of $7,000,000 New Markets Tax Credit Project to produce 26 mixed-income housing units.
  • Structuring and underwriting of $1,500,000 in financing and negotiation of complex intercreditor agreement for a $12,000,000 acquisition and rehab of a 1920’s era vaudeville theatre for adaptive reuse as a high end live music and performance venue, financed through a variety of sources, including Historic Tax Credits, tax abatements, foundation grants and soft and hard debt.
  • Designed financing package and provided technical assistance to non-profit community organization in the acquisition and rehabilitation of a $500,000 project to support shared food service program, including underwriting and servicing of $300,000 acquisition loan.
  • Represent a financial institution in securing Authorized Depository status in all regions under jurisdiction of the Executive Office of the United States Trustee.
  • Prosecuted claims of investor with over $65 Million at risk in SEC/CFTC receivership of $1 Billion Ponzi scheme contested by several constituencies in the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Assisted startup non-profit organizations with corporate formation, achieving 501(c)(3) recognition, board development and general compliance issues.