Joe McCarthy combines a deep understanding of real estate, partnership, and tax law with over thirty years’ experience on complex projects to offer intelligent, practical advice to his clients. Joe is a trusted advisor on the development, financing, and operation of affordable, condominium, mixed-use, multi-family, and planned community projects.

Joe has assisted in the development and financing of over 10,000 units of affordable rental and ownership housing involving low-income housing, historic and energy tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, HUD programs, and other federal, state, and local funding programs.

Joe is one of the leading condominium attorneys in the Pacific Northwest. His experience includes creating common interest ownership regimes, complying with state and federal sales regulations, and creating marketing, sale, and warranty programs. Joe has been intimately involved in the drafting of condominium and warranty legislation in the State of Washington for over a decade and chaired the committee that drafted the 2018 Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act.

Joe is the chair of Stoel Rives’ Real Estate, Development & Construction group. Prior to joining the firm, Joe was a founding partner of a highly-regarded boutique law firm specializing in real estate and construction, as well as an associate and partner at another prominent law firm.


George Washington University, J.D., 1985, with honors; Winner, Van Vleck Moot Court Competition; Best Brief, Regional Competition, National Moot Court Competition

Bucknell University, B.A., 1982, cum laude






  • Negotiation of purchase agreement and seller financing for land; negotiation of first and second position construction loans for 140-unit mid-rise, mixed-use project; and negotiation of shoring and air rights easements with neighboring landowners.
  • Negotiation of land purchase agreements, land exchange agreements and joint water system agreements with adjoining owners, and debt financing and equity investment for 92-acre residential project.
  • Development of 400-unit apartment complex, including remediation and enhancement of wetlands, land acquisition loan, mezzanine predevelopment financing and negotiation of institutional equity investment and construction/permanent financing.
  • Assemblage of 50-acre development site, negotiation of land exchange and boundary adjustment agreements with adjacent owners and local government, negotiation of equity investment with joint venture partner for infrastructure development and subdivision and sale of property.
  • Negotiation of mezzanine financing from equity investor in four multifamily projects comprising 750 units in order to pay off construction financing, involving cross-collateralization and default of projects, pledge of cash receivables, adjustment of equity contributions, amendment of guaranties and general partner contributions and establishment of lock-box arrangements.
  • Restructuring of debt and equity financing for 400+ unit apartment project under construction, including extension of construction loan, negotiation of extension of permanent loan commitments, resolution of construction liens, negotiation of additional subordinate long-term debt financing, buyout of existing equity investor and negotiation of new equity investment.

Affordable Housing

  • Creation of $250,000,000 line of credit for state allocating agency to allow it to aggregate and recycle affordable housing volume cap.
  • Development and financing of vertically stacked 4% - 9% LIHTC combo project.
  • Development of mixed-use, mixed income project, including land acquisition, creation of ground lease, creation of mixed leasehold and ownership condominium regime, negotiation of pre-development financing, land acquisition financing, 4% LIHTC financing, energy credits, tax-exempt bond financing, city development financing, and commercial bank financing.
  • Acquisition of failed townhouse project; negotiation of acquisition and construction financing with lender and municipality; transfer to community land trust, creation of leasehold condominium regime and unit sales program.
  • Year 15 refinance of affordable housing project, involving buyout of limited partner, buyout of minority general partners, restructuring of general partner internal debt, pre-payment of tax-exempt bonds, and new long-term mortgage debt.
  • Acquisition and renovation of portfolio of 50 USDA Rural Development apartment projects, involving assumption of USDA Rural Housing financing and USDA rental assistance, assumption of existing FHA-insured financing and project-based Section 8 Assistance, new FHA-insured financing, and tax-exempt bonds.
  • Ground lease, financing and development of 150-unit mixed-use project, including negotiation of ground lease, 9% LIHTC, HOME funds, state and local loans, creation of leasehold mixed-use condominium for affordable housing, market-rate housing, and non-profit commercial space.
  • Creation of down-payment assistance loan program for Indian tribal housing authority using NAHASDA funds.
  • Roll-up of ownership interests in the general partners of 30 LIHTC partnerships, containing 5,000 units, to a newly formed holding company, sale of an interest in the new company to an investor, and negotiation of new partnership agreement with investor.
  • Representation of nonprofit hub on the development of a new campus center in Redmond, Washington, including the development agreement, condominium creation, ground lease, and temporary relocation of 20 plus essential-service nonprofit members.


  • Creation of master and sub condominium regime for 900-unit, mixed-use project containing for-sale residential, long-term rental, short-term stay and retail uses in two 44 story towers over twelve story podium.
  • Creation of mixed-use airspace condominium regime containing 710,000 s.f. of office space, 180,000 s.f. of retail space, 245 room hotel and 230 residences in multi-tower, high-rise project.
  • Creation and ILSA registration of multi-phase, mixed-use, high-rise condominium containing 698 residential units and 25,000 s.f. of commercial space.
  • Creation of 130-unit, multi-phase detached single-family air space condominium, including creation of 33-acre wetland bank, and creation of shared storm water system with nearby developments.
  • Conversion of 225-unit, multibuilding apartment project.
  • Creation of a mixed-use community, including master ground lease, creation of a 150+ unit mid-rise mixed-use leasehold condominium; creation of 25 attached for-sale leasehold townhomes; creation of subleases for development of office and retail centers; and creation of reciprocal easement and development agreements.
  • Representation of developer in the acquisition from foreclosing lender of development rights to create 90 additional units in an existing 150+ unit condominium, negotiation of extension of development rights with association and development of remaining phases of condominium.
  • Termination and sale of 130+ unit condominium and winding up of condominium association.
  • Acquisition of 40+ unsold units and special declarant rights in failed 60-unit condominium project, transfer of pending sales agreements, FHA and Fannie Mae approval of project and creation of new disclosure documents and sale and warranty contracts.
  • Amendment of condominium regime to add a renovated multistory building and a new eight-story building into existing public market condominium, involving creation of new units and changes in common elements and limited common elements and public areas.


Insights & Presentations

  • “Harbor Custom Development sees opportunity in South Sound condos,” Puget Sound Business Journal, 2021 (quoted)
  • “WUCIOA Warranty Reform and Technical Corrections,” Washington State Bar Association, 2019
  • “WUCIOA and Community Land Trusts,” Northwest Community Land Trust Coalition, 2019
  • “The Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act: A Sea Change for Common Interest Communities and Attorneys,” Washington State Bar Association, 2018
  • “The Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act,” Washington State Chapter Community Associations Institute, 2018
  • “The Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act: Big Changes for Common Interest Communities and Attorneys in 2018,” Washington State Bar Association, 2018
  • “HUD’s Proposed Rule on Hostile Environment Discrimination,” ACREL Spring Meeting, 2016
  • “Condominium and Homeowner Association Governance: Overview and Updates,” Real Estate Section Annual Update, Washington State Bar Association, 2015
  • “The Washington Condominium Act” 2015 Supplement to the Washington Real Property Deskbook (4th ed)


  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, member of Common Interest Ownership Committee and Public-Private Partnership Committee, 2015–present
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Washington) by Chambers USA (Real Estate), 2016–present
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Real Estate Law), 2011–present



  • American Bar Association, Affordable Housing Forum, HUD Committee and LIHTC Committee, 2008–present
  • Real Property Probate and Trust Section of the Washington State Bar Association, former Chair, Chair-Elect and Treasurer; former Director of Real Property Council; former Executive Committee Member; former Newsletter Editorial Board
  • Washington State Bar Association, Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act Drafting Committee, former Chair


  • Member, advisory board, Pinnacle Partners (Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund manager)
  • Former director and president, Fairness Lobby (a nonprofit civil rights organization)
  • Former director and president, Common Ground (a nonprofit housing developer)
  • Former directors and treasurer, Real Change (a nonprofit homelessness organization)
  • Volunteer Attorney, Volunteer Attorneys for Persons with HIV/AIDS


Jump to Page