The Firm's Real Property Practice
The Firm’s real property practice draws on our expertise in many areas, including environmental law, administrative law, litigation, and business transactions. We represent clients in transactions involving real property and in litigation concerning real property. We have extensive experience in the purchase and sale of real property and in the preparation of lease agreements. The Firm’s Real Property Practice clients range from individual real property investors to a nationwide developer and manager of market-dominant communities operating more than 500 shopping centers in over 40 states. We currently represent the trust department of a major national financial institution and handle the diverse real estate related legal needs of their trust clients.
– Land Use and Development
Our clients regularly rely upon us for our real property development experience. We obtain land use approvals for our clients, including zoning permits, conditional use permits, and variances. We assist our clients in the development process from start to finish, from the financing and creation of appropriate business structures and conducting pre-acquisition due diligence to obtaining final certificates of occupancy and preparing lease agreements. We utilize our extensive regulatory and political experience in working with cities and counties to achieve our clients’ objectives through legislative, administrative, and political processes. When required, we represent clients in litigation to obtain their goals, or to defend against challenges to development, including those seeking to set aside approvals.
Our real estate litigation experience includes the representation of clients in disputes concerning title to commercial or residential real property, financing for real property, and the acquisition of real property. These disputes include issues arising from disclosure statements, estopppel certificates, delays in transfer, and failure to obtain conditional use permits. We also have experience in commercial lease disputes, including unlawful detainer actions, disputes over the exercise of options to extend leases, improperly constructed improvements, and delays in the provision of improvements. We regularly represent clients in litigation concerning permits, variances, obstruction of views, improper use of easements, and boundary disputes.
– Brownfields Policy and Legislation
The Firm has also been intimately involved in the development of Brownfields policy and legislation over the past decade. From the creation of the state’s Brownfields Clean Loan Fund to the progressive evolution of immunity law with respect to Brownfields ownership and development, the Firm’s attorneys have been integral to California’s treatment of these issues. The Firm’s clients in this area include one of the largest environmental engineering, design, and development firms in the world (which, along with the Firm, recently won the bid to redevelop the waterfront for the City of Antioch along the Sacramento River which connects the State’s capitol with the San Francisco Bay), one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, a specialized Brownfields developer focused on rehabilitating one acre to five acre sites, and a public entity seeking to remediate and reuse a high profile abandoned landfill surrounded by a pristine environment.
Last fall, the Firm organized and hosted a major conference on the current state of Brownfields law and opportunities, along with Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (nationally renowned for his innovative Brownfields development policy and accompanying successes), the Director and Chief Counsel of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Assistant Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (responsible for Brownfields development policy, regulation, and enforcement), the Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and most of the state’s leading developers and builders. The Firm’s strong relationships with the state’s administrative agencies provide our clients with unique opportunities to develop immunity plans through working directly with their regulators in a cooperative environment. In the end, we are uniquely adept in maximizing sources of public funding to assist our clients before, during, and after the development of their properties.