Gould + Ratner




A leader in Chicago’s commercial real estate community, David Arnburg has advised and steered clients in closing deals for the acquisition, financing, sale, lease and management of several of Chicago’s renowned and defining office buildings. His practice during the past four decades also includes guiding clients through the complex arena of employee benefits and executive compensation.

High-Profile Real Estate Acquisitions, Financing, Leasing and Sales

David’s counsel to clients in real estate acquisitions, financings, sales and leases aggregates to more than $2 billion in value achieved in several high-profile closings since the 2009 real estate market downturn and recovery.

Currently, David represents 601 W Companies, one of America’s leading private real estate companies. As the new owners of the long-vacant Old Chicago Main Post Office, David advises 601 W on a variety of matters relating to their $800-million restoration of the historic structure, as well as the leasing and development of their other Chicago properties, which include Aon Center, Civic Opera House and Sullivan Center.

David’s “property portfolio” of experience includes many other major and prominent commercial buildings in Downtown Chicago, including 600 West Chicago, Illinois Center, the Civic Opera Building and 222 North LaSalle. He served as local counsel for the group that acquired the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in 2004, which included $825 million of securitized mortgage and first- and second-level mezzanine financing.

Areas of counsel and representation that David offers include:

  • Acquisition and sale of commercial properties
  • Ground leases: new, amendments and extensions
  • Project finance
  • Real estate ownership
  • Property management agreements
  • Construction contracts

In the past several years, David has assisted clients with leasing more than one million square feet of commercial office space. He represents owners, developers and lessees of commercial and industrial real estate, helping them navigate legal issues related to the leasing, operations and management of their large commercial office buildings in Chicago and nationwide.

Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits and ERISA

In addition to his comprehensive counsel in sophisticated real estate transactions, David also helps employers, including closely held companies, manage the intricacies of compensation, benefits and ERISA issues, an area he has counseled in since he began practicing law more than forty years ago.

David works with employers, including entrepreneurs and closely held and family businesses, and brings a creative and strategic approach to finance and the art of negotiation to bear to help them address such issues as:

  • Executive compensation and employment contracts
  • Executive deferred compensation
  • Stock option agreements and phantom stock plans for closely held businesses
  • Bonus and other incentive compensation plans
  • Healthcare and other welfare plans and cafeteria plans
  • Qualified pension, profit sharing and 401(k) plans

Leader Committed to Clients and Chicagoland Real Estate

When working with clients, David is known for his “all-in” and fast-paced approach that keeps his clients’ sophisticated and often innovative projects and transactions on track to successful closing. David is a leader in several real estate associations and currently serves on the tax committee of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA) and as the 2017 president of the century-old Realty Club of Chicago.


Connect with David

(312) 899-1600 Office
(312) 933-8542 Mobile

Connect with David

(312) 899-1600 Office
(312) 933-8542 Mobile




  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., Highest Honors and Order of the Coif, 1974
  • Iowa State University, B.S., Engineering Operations

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • American Bar Association
  • Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA), member of Tax Committee 
  • Chicago Bar Association 
  • Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association 
  • Affiliate member, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) 
  • Realty Club of Chicago, Immediate Past President

Key Cases or Transactions

  • Represented a Chicago-based digital healthcare agency in its sale to a global commercialization partner for the life sciences industry.
  • Counsel for several significant Chicago Loop commercial properties, including 180 N. LaSalle, 222 N. LaSalle, 231 S. LaSalle, 111 W. Jackson, 20 N. Wacker and 1 N. State (retail).
  • Counsel for sale of 111 E. Wacker and 233 N. Michigan.
  • Purchase of loan secured by 11 S. LaSalle.
  • Local counsel for purchase, financing and sale of 600 W. Chicago.
  • Negotiation of lease for Chatham Centre in Schaumburg.
  • Local counsel for group that acquired the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago, including $825 million of securitized mortgage and first- and second-level mezzanine financing.
  • Negotiation of ground lease and easements, covenants and restrictions for use of adjacent parking structure in connection with the development of a 360-room all-suites hotel in Chicago. Representation included negotiation of management agreement with major hotel chain, negotiation of construction and mezzanine loan financing and negotiation of sale of hotel prior to opening.
  • Negotiation of long-term lease for the Cadillac Palace Theatre in connection with its renovation as a major Chicago theater for Broadway shows.
  • Negotiation of management agreement and financing with major hotel operator in connection with the development of a 369-room hotel in Chicago O’Hare area. Representation included negotiation of construction financing and construction agreement, negotiation of restaurant facilities to major Chicago restaurant operator, refinance of hotel after completion of construction and sale of hotel after stabilization.
  • Acquisition of retail portion of Chicago building being subdivided into retail and office parcels, including negotiation of $40 million securitized mortgage and mezzanine financing. Representation included review of declaration of covenants, conditions restrictions and easements governing operation of the building.


  • All that Glitters is not Gold or Platinum: What Employers Need to Know About the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
More than just legal advisors, our lawyers consistently demonstrate the care and commitment that set us apart from much larger law firms.