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Urban redevelopment projects throughout Florida and nationally are a cornerstone of Akerman LLP’s practice. The team, led by Cecelia Bonifay and Robyn Neely, is well versed in all land use matters, including water rights, entitlements and environmental due diligence. Recent key mandates include assisting Miami Beckham United with the site acquisition, entitlement and development of a new Major League Soccer stadium in Miami and advising Ridgewood Real Estate Partners on the site plan approval process for a 1,136-home neighbourhood development before the Orange County Commission. Another stand-out piece of work was advising Magellan Development Group on the development of the $4bn Lakeshore East project. The practice expanded its bench strength in its Chicago office with the hire of four partners: Jack George, Chris Leach and Kathleen Duncan joined from Schuyler, Roche & Crisham and Meg George joined from Neal & Leroy. Ellen Berkowitz and Brady McShane are now with Greenberg Traurig LLP.

The team at DLA Piper LLP (US) serves a broad client base that includes real estate developers, investors, institutions, technology companies and sporting teams. Its impressive client list includes Related Companies, Sterling Bay and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recent engagements saw Theodore Novak, who jointly heads the practice alongside Richard Klawiter, assist Crescent Heights Group with zoning and land use matters concerning a redevelopment project in Chicago’s Central Station. Paul Shadle advised Motorola Solutions on the relocation of its corporate headquarters from a suburb to downtown Chicago. On the contentious side, Mariah DiGrino represented PADS Lake County in a zoning approval dispute related to a housing facility for the chronically homeless; the objections of nearby property owners were rejected in an appellate court proceeding in October 2017. The team has been augmented by the hires of Jerold Neuman, Ryan Leaderman and Kyndra Joy Casper from Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP, and in May 2018, Antonio Calabrese joined the Northern Virginia office from Cooley LLP.

The top notch New York-based practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is praised for its ‘deep knowledge of land use issues and partners with long experience in the private and public sector’. ‘Strategic and tactical’ co-practice head Melanie Meyers advises, alongside of counsel Stephen Lefkowitz and Tal Golomb (who handles the transactional side), Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust on the $1.6bn redevelopment of the James A. Farley post office building into a new train hall as part of the redevelopment of Penn Station. In another highlight, the team advised Maefield Development on the purchase of a leasehold stake in 1568 Broadway, a hotel in the middle of Times Square; the team is handling the zoning approvals for the historic site that will be part of a $1.8bn hotel-retail-signage and food and beverage redevelopment. Carol Rosenthal and Zachary Bernstein are other names to note.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is highly experienced in the full range of land use matters, including entitlements and permits, ground leases, development agreements and waterfront development and historic preservation. A particular area of expertise is sporting facilities; Amy Forbes advises The Kroenke Group on the development of a sports and entertainment complex in the City of Inglewood, while Mary Murphy continues to assist the Golden State Warriors with the development of their new basketball arena. Another highlight is the advice provided to the entities responsible for the development of Heritage Fields in Irvine, CA; Forbes and Douglas Champion are handling the approval process for 5000 housing units, a 688-acre park, a freeway interchange, and a 125-acre veteran’s cemetery. Other notable clients are Delta Airlines, Tesoro, J.P. Morgan and Fortress Investment Group.

The ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Holland & Knight LLP provides ‘on point’ advice to clients such as home construction company Lennar, ProLogis, Verizon Communications and Douglas Development. With eight offices, the firm spans key markets, including California, New York and Washington D.C. Highlights included Steven Elrod’s advice to the City of Chicago on the modernization of the city’s Red Line and Purple Line public transport network, and New York-based Kenneth Lowenstein’s assistance to GID Urban Development Company with land use matters regarding the construction of three buildings along the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan. Other engagements saw Lowenstein advising SV Managers, an L&M Development Partners and Jonathan Rose Companies joint venture, on the approval process pertaining to a 700,000 square foot mixed-use development. Joseph Goldstein is also recommended.

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IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

One of the leading land use practices in New York, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP counts major real estate developers and institutions among its clients. Elise Wagner, who specializes in environmental and historic preservation law, advises Plaxall on the rezoning of a 12-acre site on the waterfront at Anable Basin in Long Island City, which is intended for development as a mixed-use area. Gary Tarnoff advised The CIM Group on the development of an 84-story building; work included advising on zoning lot assemblage and documentation as well as assisting with the application for a special permit for a physical culture establishment. A key client for the group is Extell Development Company, which Paul Selver advises on various land use and zoning matters, including due diligence for site and development rights acquisitions and entitlement processes.

Latham & Watkins LLP fields a nationwide practice that is particularly strong in California and the western states. Areas of expertise include the development of generation and transmission facilities, infrastructure projects, as well as commercial, office, educational and mixed-use sites. Leveraging its experience in environmental law matters, the team reached a settlement on behalf of Newhall Land & Farming, the developers of master-planned community Newhall Ranch; the case included negotiations with environmental groups and the development of an unprecedented greenhouse gas emissions plan. The group, jointly led by Lucinda Starrett, Christopher Garrett and Michael Carroll, welcomed Janice Schneider, formerly Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the US Department of the Interior, as the global vice chair of the firm’s environment, land and resources department. Winston Stromberg was promoted to the partnership.

Under the leadership of San Francisco-based Cecily Barclay, Perkins Coie LLP fields a nationwide land use practice that is most highly regarded for its work on the West Coast. The group handles the full range of permitting and approvals, ballot box land use planning and environmental clearances. The varied workload spans commercial and residential developments, including universities and hospitals, as well as renewable energy, transportation and water supply projects. Seth King is experienced in disputes before the Land Use Board of Appeals and regularly handles cases before Oregon appellate courts. Dana Krawczuk, who works out of the Portland office, was promoted to partner in January 2018.

Ballard Spahr LLP’s team is ‘tremendously knowledgeable and responsive’. Led by Philadelphia-based Matthew McClure, it handles complex land use and zoning issues for real estate developments such as the 260-acre Port Covington redevelopment project in downtown Baltimore. ‘Knowledgeable, articulate, caring and experienced’ Neil Sklaroff advises the National Center for the American Revolution on the development of a $150m museum located in Philadelphia. Other recent work includes representing the Philadelphia Housing Authority in obtaining zoning and land use approvals for its new headquarters and handling the land use approval for a 26-story luxury apartment complex for The Goldenberg Group.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is predominantly active in New York and handles commercial and residential real estate developments for a broad client base that includes the Rockefeller Group. Department lead Judith Gallent advises Silverstein Properties on all land use and zoning aspects concerning the development of a parcel of land in Hudson Yards. Recent work for James Colgate includes advising the Archdiocese of New York on multiple redevelopment, lease and sale projects in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island and acting for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a land use transaction involving the ground lease of property to a private developer and the transfer of development rights.

Based in San Francisco, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP focuses its land use practice on the Bay Area and California. Pamela Duffy serves as lead counsel for 5M, a $1bn mixed-use project realized by a joint venture between Forest City Development and the Hearst Corporation. Another highlight is advising Uber Technologies on the development of its corporate headquarters campuses in the Bay Area; Tay Via leads the advice. The firm’s wine country practice was bolstered by the hire of Scott Greenwood-Meinert from Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty and the opening of new offices in downtown Napa and St. Helena, California. The group is led by Matthew Bove and also includes Harry O’Brien.

Clients value Cox, Castle & Nicholson for its ‘ability to help find creative solutions within existing laws and regulations’. Core areas of focus include commercial, residential and mixed-use developments throughout California. In a high-profile matter, Clark Morrison obtained authorizations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the construction of a master-planned community in Placer County, California. Stanley Lamport is acting for five property owners in the authorization process for the construction of five houses in the mountains above the City of Malibu; the case is currently on appeal after The Sierra Club challenged the approval, which was granted by the Coastal Commission in 2015.

Massachusetts heavyweight Goodwin serves a broad client portfolio that includes Boston Garden Development, Boston Properties, Rockwood Capital and the Massachusetts Port Authority, among others. A cornerstone for the practice is advice to institutional clients; the ‘experienced’ Lawrence Kaplan advises the Wentworth Institute of Technology on the permitting and development of a new multi-purpose academic building on its Boston campus. In another highlight, practice head Martin Healy assists citizenM, a joint venture between Boston Properties and Delaware North, with the leasing of an air rights space on the site of the Boston Garden to build a 10-story hotel tower.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a noticeable presence in New York and Florida and counts property developers, landowners, joint venture partners and investors among its clients. A sweet spot for the department is the health sector where it has extensive experience in advising on the development of healthcare facilities. Key points of contact are practice chair Jay Segal and Nick Hockens, who are based in New York. The group welcomed Ellen Berkowitz and Brady McShane from Akerman LLP in its Los Angeles and Denver offices, respectively.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLPexceeds the expectations’ of its clients and is well versed in commercial, residential, mixed-use and infrastructure developments. Los Angeles-based Victor De la Cruz successfully acted for Kilroy Realty Corporation in the entitlements and environmental review of its Academy Square project in Hollywood, while Susan Hori assists Newport Banning Ranch with the entitlement process to redevelop a 400-acre oil field in the city of Newport Beach into a mixed-use site. Other highlights include advising key client CapRock Partners on obtaining entitlements for five industrial developments in the Inland Empire area of southern California.

Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a nationwide land use practice that is particularly active in California. The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ group regularly advises energy and technology companies on land use and zoning matters. In one recent highlight the team handled litigation and subsequent settlement negotiations for Panoche Valley Solar pertaining to its utility-scale solar project in San Benito County; the case included an environmental review. Another area of expertise is the healthcare sector; David Gold assists Kaiser Foundation Health Plan with the land use aspects of a planned 1.2 million square-foot medical center campus in downtown Sacramento. Other notable clients are Amazon.com, Genentech and Sand Hill Property.

Paul Hastings LLP’s land use team is ‘very capable’ in planning, permitting and environmental matters and works closely with the firm’s real estate practice. Mitchell Menzer, who is lauded for his ‘technical expertise’, assisted Centinela Development Partners with obtaining land use entitlements for an office building adjacent to the Playa Vista master-planned community. On the contentious side, ‘excellent’ practice head Jeffrey Haber reached a settlement for Beverly Blvd Associates following a challenge launched by a neighboring community association to the approval for the redevelopment of the former International Creative Management Agency headquarters building in West Hollywood. Another name to note is Gordon Hart.

Led by the ‘outstanding’ Danielle Meltzer Cassel, Chicago-based Vedder Price serves a variety of clients, including developers, lenders, equity investors and institutions. A recent highlight was obtaining multiple land use approvals for key client Oakbrook Center, an open-air mall. Other engagements saw the team assisting Antheus Capital with municipal land use and development approvals for several redevelopment projects and advising Red Seal Development on the land use approval process for a luxury residential development in Cook County. The group has numerous longstanding relationships with clients including Target Corporation, General Growth Properties, La Casa Norte and BMO Harris Bank. William Lewis is now with Reed Smith LLP.

Arent Fox LLP is best known for advising on the development of major corporate campuses. The team obtained land use approvals for the Frank Gehry buildings and a hotel on the historic TE Campus in Menlo Park in 2016, and is assisting Facebook with approval processes for its expansion. Headline 2017 work includes advising on the development of the Willow Campus, a mixed-use village that provides community services, housing and transit solutions, as well as office space. Key advisers are practice head Timothy Tosta and senior associate Frank Petrilli.

Land use and environmental law boutique Bercow Radell Fernandez & Larkin has wide-ranging expertise in representing developers in commercial real estate matters. Recent mandates include counselling Aligned Bayshore Marina on the redevelopment of the upland portion of the marina, including obtaining City of Miami zoning approvals, and assisting Rosal Westview with the rezoning and site plan approval for a 100,000 square foot community shopping center in the Miami-Dade County area. Founding partner Jeffrey Bercow and Melissa Tapanes Llahues are the names to note.

Miami-based Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP handles planning and zoning applications and development agreements, as well as environmental and land use permitting. The group is also highly experienced in contentious land use matters. Its client base includes landowners, developers and investors across Florida. Albert Dotson specializes in public-private partnerships, while Stanley Price is highly knowledgeable in the historic preservation space.

Combining environmental expertise and extensive experience in land use matters, Cooley LLP regularly handles commercial, residential and infrastructure developments. The team handled the approval process for a 470 ft tall headquarters building in the Washington DC region for Capital One, while Mark Looney assisted Comstock Partners with two development applications to expand the Reston Station site. The group continues to work for Miller & Smith / One Loudoun, Boston Properties, Mitre Corporation and Renovate America. John Lavoie heads the practice. In May 2018, Antonio Calabrese moved to DLA Piper LLP (US).

Farella Braun + Martel LLP is retained by a variety of clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the American Conservatory Theater, Hines, First Solar and Pacific Eagle. The group specializes in residential, commercial and institutional developments. Steven Vettel advises The Related Companies on obtaining environmental clearance, rezoning and land use entitlements for rental housing and office mixed-use projects and assists Hanover Company with land use entitlements for the construction of a large scale residential development in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Another area of expertise is the California wine industry; Katherine Philippakis acts for wineries in land use matters and real estate transactions.

With a focus on the New York real estate market, Herrick, Feinstein LLP is experienced in residential developments and mixed-use projects. Highlights included Barbaros Karaahmet and Jonathan Adelsberg assisting the Republic of Turkey with the development of a new consulate in New York; the work includes advice on land use and zoning, government relations, leasing, and real estate development and construction. The group is led by Mitchell Korbey.

Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. services a broad range of clients in Florida and is recommended for residential and mixed-use developments. The group is advising Atlantic Housing Partners and Banc of America Community Development on all land use aspects related to the development of a 256-unit mixed-income apartment complex in the Orlando Creative Village. Co-head Rebecca Wilson serves as land use counsel for the rezoning of the Modera Central, a downtown Orlando high-rise project. Co-head Miranda Fitzgerald is highly rated.

Jointly led by the ‘politically savvyEdgar Khalatian and Patricia Tubert, Mayer Brown is one of the ‘best in class in LA’ and provides land use and entitlement advice to national and local developers. The group is particularly experienced in mixed-use projects; it advised the property owner/developer of 8150 Sunset on all land use aspects of the mixed-use site on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights in the City of Los Angeles and counselled The GPI Company on the development of a 28-story mixed-use project that includes the redevelopment of the Amoeba Music site in Hollywood to a residential tower.

In close cooperation with its real estate practice, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP handles land use, zoning and permitting proceedings for a variety of clients such as Spear Street Capital, Shorenstein and Golden Link Concessionaire. Areas of expertise include mixed-use and infrastructure projects. San Francisco-based Rachel Horsch and Robert Herr are names to note.

Public-private partnerships and infrastructure projects are the mainstay of Reed Smith LLP’s land use practice. The Pittsburgh-based group is led by Dusty Kirk, who specializes in land use and zoning appellate proceedings. William Lewis, previously with Vedder Price, and former in-house counsel Paul Mohun joined the firm. Jeffrey Mills left for Cozen O'Connor. Cynthia Jared has retired.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has carved out a solid California practice representing developers, builders, major landowners, lenders and local agencies. Key adviser Nancy Scull is assisting Greystar with the financing, acquisition and development of Ballpark Village in downtown San Diego and is advising the developer of mixed-use site Totem Lake in Kirkland Washington on the sale of a land parcel to a residential developer. Anna Dorros was promoted to the partnership.

Ross Moskowitz leads the New York-based practice at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, which is well versed in obtaining zoning permits and land use approvals for developers, landowners and financial service companies. Moskowitz, alongside Karen Scanna, is advising Alexandria Real Estate Equities on the acquisition and land use approval process for the development of the $700m Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at the East River Science Park in New York City. The group welcomed Seamus Curley from DLA Piper LLP (US).

Arizona-based real estate development boutique Withey Morris PLC is experienced in commercial and residential developments, hotels and master-planned communities. Recent engagements saw the team filing rezoning applications for two multi-family projects in Downtown Scottsdale’s Entertainment District and obtaining zoning approvals for Life Storage, a self-storage facility for commercial and residential use. The client roster includes McDonald’s, Banner Health, LGE and Shea Homes. Jason Morris and Adam Baugh are key contacts.

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