STEVEN (“STEVE”) D. SALLEN joined Maddin Hauser as a law clerk in 1983. Today, he is the president and CEO of the firm. Steve earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Detroit School of Law. There he served as Case and Comment Editor of the University of Detroit Law Review.
Steve concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate law, environmental law, and corporate law. His clients include some of Michigan’s most successful manufacturing firms, real estate developers, general contractors, and commercial real estate brokers.
He also heads the firm’s Environmental Law group and is co-chair of the Real Estate group.
Steve applies a problem-solving approach to transactional issues as reflected in the many articles he has had published, including From Lemons to Lemonade; Successful Management of Lease Termination Negotiations Can Lead to New Opportunities For Commercial Property Owners (Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 21, 2008) and New IRS Rules for Lenders May Help Troubled Commercial Borrowers (Michigan Lawyers Weekly, November 2, 2009).
In 2009, Steve developed the Commission-Safe® Marketing Program, a proven system of re-useable tools and checklists, training, and consulting for commercial real estate brokers. This program has made Steve a go-to resource for many of southeast Michigan’s premier commercial brokers.
Since 2010, Steve’s peers have continually selected him for inclusion in the annual edition of Best Lawyers in America® in the area of real estate law and since 2020 in the area of business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships). For several years in a row, Steve also has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer and a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine©, all in the field of real estate law. What’s more, has been recognized in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2020 Hall of Fame, named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the areas of commercial and finance real estate law, and selected for inclusion in the Top Attorneys of North America 2018-2019 edition of The Who’s Who Directories. For 20 years, Martindale-Hubbell® has honored Steve with an AV-Preeminent® ranking, its highest peer rating for professional excellence, legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards.
Steve resides in an “empty nest” in Orchard Lake, Michigan, with his wife and two dogs.
Significant recent projects:
- While acting as general counsel and member of its Board of Directors, Steve assisted the owners and senior management team of the Garden Fresh Salsa Company with the sale of substantially all of the assets of its fresh salsa, hummus, dips, and tortilla manufacturing operations to a subsidiary of the Campbell’s Soup Company. The $231 million sale price was widely reported by local and national media outlets.
- Steve assisted a local real estate entrepreneur in negotiating the purchase of a Kmart-anchored shopping center and subsequent buyout of the remaining term of Kmart’s lease. After possession of the anchor space was secured, Steve worked with our client to negotiate the terms of new leases for the former Kmart space with three national brand big-box retailers.
- Steve assisted a Michigan-based internet marketing firm in negotiating a lease of multiple floors in one of southeast Michigan’s tallest office buildings.
- Working closely with the firm’s Complex General Civil Litigation department, Steve was instrumental in preventing the city of Pontiac from demolishing the iconic Phoenix Center parking deck, rooftop plaza, and outdoor amphitheater. Demolition of the Phoenix Center would have destroyed the value of our client’s two eight-story office towers, leaving them with nowhere to park cars for up to 385,000 square feet of office space.
- Steve aided our client in successfully negotiating the termination of a long-term ground lease with a regional grocery/superstore, and selling the property outright to the grocery/superstore chain. This multi-million-dollar deal was the transaction of a lifetime for our client and for the referring real estate broker.