Riemer & Braunstein's real estate practice provides support and knowledgeable service to owners and developers in all aspects of commercial real estate acquisition, divestiture and development. In addition to regional real estate practices in the Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois areas, the firm handles acquisitions and dispositions, as well as coordination of development projects with local counsel, on a national basis. The firm is recognized in Massachusetts as one of the leading firms in the drafting and implementation of mixed use 'smart growth' zoning.
Our Burlington, Massachusetts office has been at the forefront of these activities for its more than 35 years of operation. The real estate attorneys in our Boston and Burlington offices work closely together to provide our clients with the judgment and expertise we have gained from our long experience. The attorneys in our Burlington office specialize in representing developers and cover the full spectrum of land use law, including the permitting and development of large corporate campuses and office parks, retail and mixed use redevelopments, and other commercial, industrial, and life science projects, as well as the permitting of multi-family housing developments, including subdivisions, transit-oriented housing, and affordable housing developments approved pursuant to MGL Chapter 40B. Our Burlington office also includes the services of land use planners, Melissa Cushing and Ethan Solomon, who are involved with the review and permitting of numerous projects. Their work complements the legal skills our attorneys bring to our real estate development work.
Our real estate attorneys manage an extensive range of issues for our clients, including:
- Environmental law
- Land acquisition and sales
- Commercial, industrial, office, and biotech leasing
- Title cases
- Title insurance issues
- Drafting and negotiating construction contracts and related contracts
- Structuring joint ventures
- Appeals before the Housing Appeals Committee
- Practice before Division of Administrative Law Appeals in environmental cases
- Practice before Department of Environmental Protection
The addition of our New York City and Chicago offices has expanded our real estate capabilities to provide for the representation of owners of commercial real estate in the New York and Chicago areas. The attorneys in our New York and Chicago offices have a wide range of real estate experience, including the leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate. We recently represented a client in the acquisition and financing of a $212 million office tower located in New York City.
Attorneys in the real estate group represent clients in all aspects of land use development, including land acquisition and sales, zoning, permitting, environmental law (federal, state and local), drafting and negotiating construction contracts, structuring joint ventures, and commercial, industrial, office, and biotech leasing. The attorneys in this group specialize in assisting developers and landowners in identifying and achieving the highest and best use of their properties. They use innovative legal techniques and approaches to overcome seemingly insurmountable land-use obstacles, thereby adding substantial value to the clients' properties.
The group has recognized expertise in wetlands and environmental law and regulations, and their impact on real estate development. For example, it has represented clients in the redevelopment of two federal Superfund sites, the negotiation of consent orders with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the litigation of environmental contamination claims. It also has made numerous successful appearances before the DEP to obtain superceding orders of conditions on appeals from local conservation commissions. In many more instances, attorneys in the group have been able to work out solutions acceptable to our clients through discussions with local conservation commissions.
The Riemer & Braunstein real estate practice is known for spotting key trends in the market and designing legal strategies to meet these new challenges. Riemer & Braunstein attorneys are often asked to comment on these trends for newspaper articles and for television news segments, including periodic appearances as commentators on New England Cable News' daily business show with anchors R.D. Stahl and Chet Curtis.
Recent and ongoing projects handled by the real estate group include:
- Repositioning for market of a 150-acre parcel and its subsequent permitting and development into the eastern United States campus of a major software company. The development currently consists of 1 million square feet of mixed-use office, research and non-destination accessory retail space and is expected to be 1.3 million square feet when fully built out.
- Negotiation and approval of significant Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) packages for corporations expanding within or relocating to Massachusetts.
- Development of the Woburn Industri-Plex Superfund site, including obtaining PWED grants for the construction of roadway improvements and the permitting of approximately 1 million square feet of office and retail space, including the Genuity national headquarters, a mixed office and research building for a leading bio tech company, the first Target store opened in Massachusetts and its own interstate highway interchange. The redevelopment of the site has received critical acclaim and awards.
- Federal, state and local permitting of a regional outlet mall for a national retail development Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
- Development of approximately 1,000 hotel rooms for national franchises.
- Master planning and development of a major Brownfields site to include approximately 1 million square feet of office space, research and development space, and complementary uses, including an extended-stay hotel.
- Rezoning, permitting and approval for several mixed-use development districts, including:
- a project consisting of 500 luxury residential units, 500,000 square feet of commercial space and a 9-hole executive golf course and amenities. The project is part of a master plan to create a "rail transit district" zoning overlay, which has received national recognition as an example of creative and responsible zoning.
- a 625,000 square-foot development consisting of 500,000 square feet of commercial space and 125,000 square feet of residential space.
- Representation of national and local home builders in the permitting of multi-family housing units with affordable components utilizing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Law, MGL Chapter 40B.
- Negotiation and implementation of a four-parcel "land swap" that resulted in the creation of 228 units of luxury and affordable housing and the development of 326,000 square feet of commercial office space. The project was awarded the Kenneth Pickard Municipal Innovation Award by the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
- Creation of numerous multiplex cinema developments, including acquisition, permitting and lease negotiations.