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John W. Steele

(804) 771-9565 phone
(804) 644-0957 fax

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Practice Areas

For nearly three decades, John W. "Jay" Steele has represented clients in all aspects of the development, acquisition, leasing, financing and sale of retail oriented real estate and shopping center projects. Jay has worked on many large scale shopping center and retail development projects, successfully negotiating and documenting transactions for his clients with national retailers including Target, Kohl's, CVS, 7-11, Food Lion and Aldi and with restaurant operators including Ruby Tuesday, KFC and Red Robin. He has extensive expertise in transactions involving triple net ground leases and grocery store anchored shopping centers. He has established his reputation and expertise by working extensively on many well known projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including the 2,500,000 square foot Central Park Shopping Center project in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Virginia Center Commons development in Glen Allen and Winding Brook in Hanover County. Jay is a member of the ICSC and a speaker at various ICSC events. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2008.

Relevant Experience:

  • Representation of lenders and borrowers in commercial lending transactions
  • Representation of lenders and borrowers in restructuring troubled loans
  • Foreclosures
  • Representation of landlords and tenants in office, retail, warehouse and ground leases, including complex leases involving nationally known tenants
  • Representation of investors in structuring and negotiating real estate joint ventures and limited partnerships
  • Formation of limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations
  • Representation of buyers and sellers in purchase and sale of real estate
  • Corporate asset acquisition and disposition
  • Structuring and negotiating comprehensive covenants, restrictions and easements for large scale residential, commercial and mixed use developments


  • University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • Randolph Macon College, B.A., 1980

Pro Bono/Community Service:

  • Rotary International
  • Rotary Club of Innsbrook
  • Episcopal Church
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Boy Scouts of America


  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate, Woodward/White, Inc., 2008-2009, 2012, 2014-2018
  • Selected for inclusion as a “Super Lawyer,” Real Estate, Virginia Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013
  • Named to “Legal Elite” (Real Estate/Land Use), Virginia Business, 2004, 2008, 2016-2017
  • AV rated, Martindale-Hubbell


  • Richmond Bar Association (Member, Real Estate Law Committee)
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (Member, Property and Probate Section)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers

Bar Admission:

  • Virginia