Doug Kerner represents developers, investors and financial institutions in a variety of commercial real estate and lending transactions.  He also represents public and private clients on a wide range of land use and environmental matters.  He is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.

Real Estate and Commercial Lending Transactions

Doug structures, negotiates and documents a variety of commercial real estate loans, including construction loans and term loans, in both single-bank and syndicated transactions.  His experience includes a $167 million syndicated construction loan for a high-end retail, office and residential project, and a $32.5 million term loan to refinance multiple apartment projects.  Other deals he has handled include construction loans for retail malls, senior living/skilled nursing facilities, self-storage projects, hotels, luxury apartments and high-rise residential development.  He has also handled term loan transactions for the acquisition of active-adult communities, senior care facilities, office buildings, and multi-family projects.

In addition, Doug represents lenders in commercial debt financing transactions involving various types of credit facilities across a broad range of industries.  He recently negotiated a $10 million revolving line of credit involving a foreign renewable energy company, and a $6.7 million revolving line of credit for a local self-storage developer.

Land Use and Development

Doug also has substantial experience in land use matters, representing developers in entitling residential, commercial and mixed-use projects throughout southern California.  He helps clients navigate the increasingly complex local land use approval process and advocates for them at administrative hearings and appeals on development projects.  Doug regularly interacts with engineers, planners, architects, agency staff and appointed and elected officials to address and successfully resolve numerous land use issues, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to ensure that projects stay on track and obtain timely approvals.

He also has represented public agencies in land use matters and CEQA litigation.  While serving as a deputy city attorney for the City of Indio, California, Doug sat on the dias with the planning Commission at public hearings, and worked closely with the Planning Director and staff on a wide range of land use issues.  This municipal experience gave Doug an additional and valuable perspective in advising private clients seeking to address land use issues with public agencies.

Purchase and Sale/Leasing Transactions

Doug also represents clients in the purchase and sale of commercial real estate and commercial leasing transactions.  Recently, he negotiated the purchase and sale of a restaurant on behalf of the buyer, and negotiated the lease for an existing medical facility on behalf of the owner/lessor.  He has also handled transactions involving ground leases, including drafting, reviewing and negotiating new ground leases, and financing loans secured by existing ground leases.


For several years, Doug has represented many of the wineries, both large and small, in the burgeoning Temecula Wine Country.  He has advised them on general business and real estate matters, and he has assisted them in securing land use approvals and development permits for a variety of new and expanded facilities, including wineries, hotels, special event facilities, residential housing and related uses.  Doug has helped wineries successfully negotiate reciprocal easement agreements, resolve agricultural issues under California’s Williamson Act, achieve compliance with zoning, permitting and environmental matters, and navigate public finance issues related to major infrastructure improvements.

Prior to joining Higgs, Doug was a member of the Financial Institutions, Bankruptcy and Real Estate Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP, a 500-lawyer national law firm, where his practice focused on commercial real estate and land use matters.

Doug is a second-generation native San Diegan.  He lives in Chula Vista with his wife Gail, and their two sons Will and Drew.  He is a passionate Padres and Chargers fan, loves listening to music and attending concerts, and can occasionally be found on a golf course.

Schedule Your Consultation with Douglas Kerner

For a straightforward consultation concerning commercial real estate and lending transactions or on a wide range of land use and environmental matters, contact Douglas Kerner today.

Contact Douglas Kerner