Creative Advocacy | Practical Advice®

Russell F. Tousley (Ret.)

Professional Experience

Russ co-founded Tousley Brain Stephens with Chris Brain in 1978.

Now retired, Russ focused his practice on real property development, investment and finance, with special emphasis on retail shopping centers, power centers, office, industrial and multi-family projects including master planned communities. He represented a broad spectrum of publicly traded and private companies. TBS Member Mark Deife is now primarily responsible for these practice areas, as well as advising closely-held and start-up companies in all industries.

Representative Matters

Representing a hotel developer, handled the buy-out of Macy's interest in the 10-story "Macy's Garage" across from the Macy's flagship store in downtown Seattle, and the negotiation of a new 99-year ground lease of the garage from the garage land owners. Integrated all aspects of the new ground lease with the impending redevelopment of the entire block by the developer and an affiliate of Starwood.

Representing a national retirement facility owner/operator, negotiated a series of 45-year lease backs of more than $265 million of retirement facilities in Washington, California, and Nevada in a complex set of related transactions involving a major national REIT buyer-leaseback lessor.

Representing landlords, negotiated numerous long-term leases with national chain stores, all of which involved construction of new shopping centers or redevelopment and upgrading of existing shopping centers.

Representing landlords, negotiated numerous industrial park leases to substantial tenants and numerous industrial land assemblies, acquisitions and sales.

Land assemblies for numerous 10- to 50-acre retail or industrial sites in the Pacific Northwest.

Negotiated and prepared a 150-year ground lease of a city block in the Seattle core.

Leasing, construction, financing and sale of major power centers and numerous large office and industrial parks in the Pacific Northwest.

Negotiated and prepared a 75-year ground lease to Wal-Mart, which also involved the development of a new shopping center in Snohomish County.

Directed the U.S. side of a $140 million reorganization and leveraged buyout of segments of a major North American real estate development company. The project involved many properties in the Pacific Northwest and significant tax structuring.

Directed the reorganization of the $200 million in U.S. assets of a major Japanese company, including the refinance of lines of credit in the amount of $100 million.

Representing developers, negotiated numerous construction, operation and reciprocal easement agreements for a regional and sub-regional shopping center, together with the individual deals between the developer and the anchor stores.

Representing a developer, handled the purchase and finance of an approximately 130-acre tract that the developer would improve with a 2,400-unit residential planned unit development. The project involved equity and securitized financing and working out unique controls on structuring sales to home builders.

Professional and Community Involvement

Seattle Opera Association

Trustee (1980 to present)

President and Chairman of Board of Trustees (1985 to 1987)


J.D., University of Washington

B.A., cum laude, Yale College