Charles H. McCreary

Charles "Dusty" McCreary practices real estate law emphasizing representation of national and regional real estate developers and institutional commercial mortgage lenders. Dusty serves as lead counsel for national banks in real estate secured transactions including mixed use and lifestyle centers, major condominium developments, single family (revolving loan) developments, and hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, apartments and office buildings in Ohio and more than 30 other states. He is Ohio counsel for numerous out-of-state lenders in connection with Ohio projects and lead counsel for numerous national, regional and local developers of retail developments, office buildings, warehouses, single and multi-family residential developments and senior and congregate-care housing.

"Charles "Dusty" McCreary has been our primary attorney for 30 years and has guided us through numerous acquisitions, sales, lease negotiations and assumptions, and many other matters. Dusty's knowledge and professionalism is unmatched, but his true calling is navigating the course to reach the desired outcome in a way that is most favorable to us. He'll tell us all the potential concerns but emphasize the truly important ones and how best to address them. Dusty is your guy if you want to get the deal done efficiently and effectively."

Clay Cookerly, Hammerhead Investments, as quoted in Best Law Firms, 2019

"Dusty's knowledge of real estate law is truly impressive. Everyone has a high regard and the utmost respect for him. An introduction from Dusty carries amazing weight."

Bricker client as quoted in Chambers USA, 2018

"He is one of the best all-round real estate attorneys I have ever worked with."

As quoted in Chambers USA, 2020


  • $52 million construction loan

    Represented a national bank in connection with a $52 million construction loan for a mixed-use project in the state of Texas. 

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Past Member, Legislative Committee, the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Past Member, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • Past Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Past chairman, Legislative Committee, the Central Ohio chapter of NAIOP
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Community Housing Network
  • Past Member, Rotary Club of Columbus
  • Past member, Board of Trustees, The Columbus Academy
  • Instructor, Capital University New Center for Professional Development, "Commercial Real Estate Finance," 2004 - 2006

Presentations & Published Works

  • Speaker, "Anatomy of a Ground Lease," Columbus Bar Association, 2009
  • Speaker, "Loan Participations and Syndications," Columbus Bar Association, 2009
  • Speaker, "Conveyance Fee Exempt Transfers," Central Ohio Chapter of NAIOP, 2007
  • Speaker, "Real Estate Financing," Ohio State Bar Association C.L.E. Institute, 2000
  • "Third Party Legal Opinions," Columbus Bar Association Real Property Institute, 1998
  • Speaker, "Subordination, Attornment and Non-Disturbance Agreements," Ohio State Bar Association Real Property Seminar, 1997
  • Speaker, "Issues Involved in Title and Survey Review," Columbus Bar Association Real Property Institute, 1997
  • Speaker, "Negotiating and Closing the Commercial Real Estate Loan," Columbus Bar Association Real Property Institute, 1996
  • Speaker, "The Commercial Real Estate Loan from Cradle to Grave," Ohio C.L.E. Institute, 1994

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; Real Property Section Committee on Loan Practices and Lender Liability; Real Property Section Committee on Mortgages and Other Debt Financing; Leasehold Financing Subcommittee and Subcommittee on Judicial Decisions and Legislative Developments
  • Member, American Bar Association; Ohio State Bar Association; Columbus Bar Association (Real Property and Financial Institutions Committees)

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Real Estate Law), 1993–2023
  • Senior Statesperson, ChambersUSA, Real Estate, 2019–2022; Band 1 ranking, 2011–2018
  • Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers (Real Estate: Business), 2004–2021
  • Ranked, AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed, Who's Who in Commercial Real Estate, Columbus Monthly, 1995


  • Vanderbilt University (J.D., 1978)
  • Duke University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1975)