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David S. Bernstein

Transactions and Corporate Advisory Services Practice Group Leader
Real Estate
Real Estate Team Leader

David S. Bernstein joined Adams and Reese in 2010 and led the firm's expansion into St. Petersburg.

Leading the firm's Real Estate Team, David concentrates his practice in commercial real estate, banking, finance and development. He has extensive experience in site acquisitions, regulated real estate development and sales. He has handled local and multi-state portfolios, local and multi-state credit facilities, acquisition and development financing, project financing, the assemblage and repositioning of commercial real estate and complex loan documentation for all types of commercial transactions.

His significant contributions include:

  • Legal counsel in more than $3 billion in commercial real estate transactions.
  • Negotiated and closed many significant real estate projects and portfolios within Florida and in other states including office buildings, retail centers, citrus groves, manufactured housing communities, recreational vehicle parks, apartment complexes, marinas, subdivisions, condominiums, cooperatives, private utilities, publically regulated utilities, commercial credit lines and commercial loans.
  • Acted as outside general counsel for one of the nation’s largest residential lenders for its national construction lending program (which fostered 51 community developments in 14 states closing over $400 million in construction loans and related credit facilities).
  • Appointed to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners Task Force 2000 to analyze existing state and local regulations relating to land use and zoning changes for redevelopment of mobile home park properties to higher and better uses.
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2015.
  • Named to Florida's top attorneys in Real Estate Law by Florida Super Lawyers®, 2008-2015.
  • Named to Top Lawyers Tampa Bay, 2010-2015.
  • Listed legal authority available for speaking engagements and consultation through the National Manufactured Housing Institute.
  • Leading strategist and legal counsel in various commercial transactions for national and local developers, institutional lenders, title companies, management companies, homeowners associations, cooperatives, private capital groups and real estate investment trusts with a special emphasis on acquisition, disposition and development. 

David is a prominent member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar and two-term President of the Pinellas Real Estate Law Council. He served on the Florida Manufactured Housing Association’s Charter Ad Hoc Legal Committee in 1984 to study the then new Florida Mobile Home Act (Chapter 723, Florida Statutes) to propose lobbying and legislative efforts for the interpretation and enforcement thereof and was instrumental in facilitating statewide mobile home park owner compliance with the law subsequent to enactment.

He is a frequent lecturer and author on topics related to commercial real estate, cooperatives, manufactured housing communities and land use changes and regularly conducts seminars on real estate acquisition, development, leasing, legal compliance and residential cooperatives to commercial property owners, management companies, lending institutions, homeowner’s associations and members of The Florida Bar. In 1994 he also authored the lender training manual on the legal requirements, documentation and underwriting for cooperative lending for Florida’s then largest banking institution (Barnett Bank of Florida) and was the featured presenter for the Bank’s advanced commercial real estate lending conferences held for Senior Lenders and Credit Officers in Tampa and Orlando.

David received his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1984, and his B.A., with honors, from the University of Florida in 1980.

Presentations and Publications

  • The New Florida Mobile Home Act: An Overview, Community Associations Institute (Fall 1985)
  • Surviving and Prospering in the Tampa Bay Real Estate Market, The Maddox Report (1986)
  • Mobile Home Park Conversions: HOA and Lender Requirements, The Florida Bar (1992 Mobile Home Law Seminar and Lecture Program)
  • Mobile Home Parks: Seller/Lender Perspective, The Florida Bar (1995 Mobile Home Law Seminar and Lecture Program)
  • Community Owner Representation in Florida, The Florida Bar (1997 Mobile Home Law Seminar and Lecture Program)
  • Cooperative Ownership in Florida, (1999 National Networking Roundtable, San Antonio, Texas)
  • Preservation of Mobile Home Parks in Florida, The Florida Housing Coalition (2005)
  • CCIM Tampa Bay Economic Outlook Conference Panel (January 2013)
  • Tampa Bay Regional Meeting of the Minds, Moderator, Tampa Bay Bergstrom Council (May 2014)