James N Candler Jr

James N. Candler, Jr.

Business lawyer with practice emphasis on real estate acquisition, zoning/land use, development, financing, leasing and disposition, and in the formation and governance of nonprofit corporations and closely held business entities. 

Education & Credentials


Princeton University

A.B., 1965

University of Michigan

J.D., 1970

Bar Admission

  • Michigan1970


  • DBusiness Magazine
    • Top Lawyer, Real Estate Law, 2016, 2019-2021
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Real Estate, 2016-2022
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Real Estate Law, Gaming Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, 1995, 2023
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Real Estate, 2006-2022

Representative Clients

  • Detroit Fitness Foundation
  • FCA Realty LLC
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • MGM Growth Properties LLC
  • MGM Resorts International and subsidiaries
  • Michigan State University Foundation
  • Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • State of Ohio Attorney General

Prominent Assignments

Assisted one of the Big Three automotive manufacturers in site acquisition and construction financing of what is now the company’s world headquarters located in Metro Detroit.


Represented a casino resort hotel with its city development agreement, including site acquisition, rezoning, plan approval, and permitting for both its temporary and permanent casino complexes; and sale of its temporary casino complex to the city for redevelopment as a police and fire department headquarters.


Assisted a State Attorney with the development agreement among an American operator of casinos and racetracks,  a casino developer, and the State of Ohio regarding four casinos and three racinos (horse racing tracks with video lottery facilities).


Represented a state land bank authority in the purchase and development agreements regarding state fairgrounds.


Counseled a university on development financing regarding the university’s research park, and the leasing of laboratory, office, and pilot plant facilities in the park to companies engaged in the scale-up, de-risking, and transfer of emerging technologies to the private sector.


Represented a nonprofit organization with the zoning, plan approval, and financing of a 70 acre planned unit redevelopment of its main campus, including a $54 million LEED certified motherhouse renovation, and disposition of surplus properties, including several schools, an entire college campus, and the development site of a major coporation’s world headquarters.


Assisted a nonprofit corporation with the acquisition and purchase money financing of a 336 unit, 28 story apartment building from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Represented an ophthalmology department with the termination of the residential building and use restrictions on acquired land.


Counseled a fitness foundation concerning an agreement with the City of Detroit for the development and operation of an indoor multi-sports facility, including an Olympic class velodrome in a public park.

Professional Involvement

  • Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Adjunct Professor, Real Estate Planning, University of Detroit School of Law (1975-1980)
  • State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section Council (Chairperson, 1998-1999)

Community Involvement

  • Board of Commissioners, The Greening of Detroit
  • Council of Advisors, Henry Ford Health System
  • Chairman of the Board, Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (1993-2013)


  • Use of Appraisers in Real Estate Transactions, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2014
  • Condominiums, Planned Communities and Urban Development, Lorman Education Services, 2005
  • Casino Financing, American Land Title Association, 2000
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