About Joe

Real estate developers, owners and investors seek out Joe McCarthy’s advice and assistance with the acquisition, development, financing and operation of complex projects. During the last thirty years, Joe has helped his clients develop and finance most types of real estate but he has particularly deep experience in affordable housing and in condominiums and planned developments.

He has developed broad experience in acquisitions and due diligence, joint ventures, equity financing, debt financing, construction, leasing and operations involving multifamily, mixed-use, retail, office and industrial projects in many states.

Joe has assisted in the development and financing of approximately 10,000 units of affordable rental and ownership housing. These projects often involve many layers of financing, such as low income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, HUD financing, HOME and CDBG funds, façade easements, Section 8 rental assistance, state and local programs, property tax exemptions, and community land trusts.

Joe has extensive experience in the development of condominiums, mixed-use project and planned unit developments. His experience includes the planning of projects, the negotiation of financing and construction contracts, the preparation of community association documents, the creation of sale and warranty programs, and association operations. Joe has actively participated in the drafting of all major condominium legislation in the State of Washington in the last decade and chairs the committee that drafted the proposed Washington Common Interest Ownership Act.

Joe was a founding partner of Kantor, Taylor & McCarthy (1998-2008) and an associate and partner at Reed McClure (1985-1998).

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  • Negotiation of purchase agreement for portfolio of industrial properties in California.
  • Acquisition of 880,000 s.f. office tower in Seattle.
  • 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 land owners.
  • 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 project in Hawaii.
  • Development of 400-unit apartment complex, including remediation and enhancement of wetlands, land acquisition loan, mezzanine predevelopment financing and negotiation of institutional $18 million equity investment and $40 million 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.
  • Acquisition and financing of 200,000 s.f. recycling facility, using industrial development bonds.
  • 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

  • Represented client in financing of mixed-use, mixed-income project in Portland, Ore., that will contain approximately 30,000 s.f. of commercial space, 126 affordable units and 19 market rate units. The financing included city development financing, LIHTC financing, energy tax credits, tax-exempt and taxable bond financing, and construction and permanent loan financing from a variety of sources.
  • Acquisition of land parcels, creation of ground lease, creation of mixed leasehold and ownership condominium regime, negotiation of pre-development financing, economic development land acquisition financing, LIHTC financing, energy credits, tax-exempt bond financing, city development financing, bank financing for mixed-use project containing 125 affordable units, 20 market rate units and 30,000 s.f. of commercial space.
  • Acquisition of failed 26-unit townhouse project; negotiation of acquisition and construction financing with lender and municipality; transfer to community land trust, creation of leasehold condominium regime, preparation of unit subleases.
  • Land acquisition and development financing of 223-unit affordable housing project involving low income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, HUD 221(d)(4) financing, state and local soft loans, and tax increment financing.
  • Sale of general partner interests in a partnership owning a 475-unit LIHTC project
  • Land acquisition, development and $65 million of debt and equity financing for 450-unit affordable apartment community, containing 300 units of family housing and 150 units of senior housing, including negotiation of LIHTC investment, tax-exempt bond financing, $750 thousand in HOME funding, long-term swap of variable rate debt financing, $3 million in 1602 Funding and re-syndication of LIHTC equity.
  • Year 12 refinance of 400-unit affordable housing project, involving new long-term mortgage debt, pay-off of tax-exempt bonds, buyout of LIHTC investor’s interest and termination of limited partnership agreement, restructuring of debt internal to general partner and buyout of general partner interests by original syndicator of general partner interests.
  • Acquisition and renovation of four apartment projects using tax-exempt bonds and FHA-insured mortgage financing, assumption of project-based Section 8 contracts and assumption of LIHPRA use agreements.
  • 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, development and financing of a mixed-use renovation project comprising multiple commercial units and one residential unit of 50 affordable apartments; creation of development joint venture between commercial and residential partnerships; negotiation of project-wide debt and equity financing (9% LIHTC, HOME, CDBG, UDAG, and state and local loans).
  • Acquisition and renovation of affordable project, involving 9% LIHTC, 1602 financing, HOME financing, state loan, commercial bank loan, and assumption of Section 8 contract.
  • Year 15 sale of 9% LIHTC project to non-profit general partner, buyout of LIHTC investor and restructuring of existing debt financing with state and local funders.
  • 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.
  • Acquisition of interests in general entities in two LIHTC projects containing 500 units in Nevada and California.


  • Creation of mixed use condominium containing apartments, for-sale residences, office, hotel and retail uses in four high-rise towers.
  • Creation of mixed use condominium regime containing 710,000 s.f. of office space, 180,000 s.f. of retail space, 245 room hotel and 230 residences in two high-rise towers
  • Development of mixed use, high rise condominium containing two 40-story towers, 698 residential units and 25,000 s.f. of commercial space, including ILSA registration.
  • Creation of 130+ unit, multiphase detached single-family air space condominium, including creation of 33-acre wetland bank, and creation of shared storm water system with nearby developments.
  • Acquisition of 225+ unit, multibuilding apartment project, renovation of project, creation of conversion condominium, negotiation of unit listing and condominium management agreements, preparation of disclosure and sales documents and turn over of association management.
  • Development of a mixed-use community, including negotiation of 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.
  • Creation and development of 34-unit, multiphase residential condominium with solar thermal and photovoltaic facilities, creation of rooftop easements for owner of solar equipment, structuring of solar energy tax credit investment, negotiation of net metering agreements, creation of power supply contracts within the community, acquisition of adjoining land and expansion of condominium.
  • 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.
  • Representation of condominium association in termination of 130+ unit condominium and sale of entire condominium and disposition of sale proceeds and dissolution of 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.
  • Sale of one building in two-building, 50-unit condominium to post-foreclosure investor and amendment of condominium regime to segregate maintenance, management and assessments for the buildings and to create separate condominium associations and master association.
  • Amendment of condominium regime to integrate 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.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Washington) by Chambers USA (currently: Real Estate), 2016-2019
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Real Estate Law), 2011-2020
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, member of Common Interest Ownership Committee and Public-Private Partnership Committee, 2015-present
  • Real Property Probate and Trust Section of the Washington State Bar Association, Past Chair, Chair, Chair-Elect and Treasurer, 2013-present; Director of Real Property Council, 2011-2013; Executive Committee Member, 2009-2011; Newsletter Editorial Board, 2005-2008
  • Washington State Bar Association, Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act Drafting Committee, Chair, 2009-present
  • American Bar Association, Affordable Housing Forum, HUD Committee and LIHTC Committee, 2008-present
  • NAIOP Washington, Government Affairs Committee, Member, 2010-2015
  • ULI Northwest, Housing Task Force, Member, 2012-2015

Business and Civic Activities

  • 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
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “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: 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)
  • “Key Business Terms in Joint Venture Operating Agreements,” Real Estate Joint Ventures and Funds Seminar, Law Seminars International, 2010
  • Dissolution of a Real Estate LLC as a Technique to Avoid Liability After Ballard Square,” Development Agreements, Easements and CCRs, Law Seminars International, 2007-2008
  • Managing the Implied Warranty of Habitability in New Home Sales,” Advanced Topics in Residential Development, Washington State Bar Association, 2006
  • “The Implied Warranty of Habitability in New Home Sales,” Real Property, Probate & Trust, 2006
  • Ethical Considerations for the Homeowners Association and Condominium Association Attorney,” Advising Homeowners and Condominium Associations, Washington State Bar Association, 2005
  • “Historic Façade Easements and Transferable Development Rights,” Real Estate Development Incentives Seminar, The Seminar Group, 2004
  • A Brief Description of Low Income Housing Tax Credits,” Real Property, Probate & Trust, 2004
  • “Affordable Housing Development,” 2001 Supplement to the Washington Real Property Deskbook (3d ed.) (co-author)
  • “New Lead-Based Paint Requirements for Housing Sales,” Washington State Bar News, 1996

Related News & Publications

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