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Jeffrey N. Owen

Jeffrey N. Owen

Retired Partner

Jeff Owen concentrates his practice in commercial real estate law. 

For more than 35 years Jeff has represented clients on a broad range of projects in both urban and suburban environments. His clients include developers, Fortune 50 companies, publicly owned department store and general merchandise retailers, publicly traded entertainment companies, and global manufacturing and food service industry companies. 

Jeff's practice is international in scope. His diverse work includes counselling clients on:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Mixed use development
  • Leasing
  • Real estate financing
  • Public sector financing and public-private partnerships
  • Condominium development and condominium conversions
  • Ownership entity structuring
  • Restructuring and workout of troubled real estate projects and loans
  • International investments and tax structuring
Bar admissionsIllinois
CourtsUnited States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


His work includes the following matters:

  • Represented the owner of the iconic Sullivan Center building in Chicago, IL.  The project involved vertically separating and selling the retail component, and then selling the office component.. While preserving all historic architectural elements, we drafted a declaration of covenants, conditions, restrictions and easements governing the interrelationship between the office and the retail, based on existing building systems. For the retail sale, DLA negotiated a purchase and sale agreement with a publicly traded REIT which purchased the retail component, negotiated a partial release from the existing loan on the building and then closed the sale of the retail component within an extremely tight time frame dictated by the New York capital markets.  DLA also recently negotiated the sale of the office component to a New York real estate developer, which is scheduled to close in early 20
  • Represented the owner of a 55 story senior lifestyle facility known as the Clare, in downtown Chicago, Illinois, in resolving defaults and renegotiating a ground lease and related reciprocal operating agreement, to allow for the sale of the facility as the major asset under an approved plan of reorganization.
  • Represented a major international rental car company in connection with a bid protest and successful negotiation of a bid request for a lease and rental car concession issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation for construction of a $800 million consolidated rental car facility and airport transit system at O’Hare International Airport..
  • Represented the University of Chicago in the redevelopment of a site on 53rd Street in Chicago, Illinois, known as the Harper Court Project, a mixed use development with hotel, office, retail and garage uses, involving a public/private partnership with the City of Chicago and a private developer, construction loan financing on a ground lease, Recovery Zone Facility Bond financing for the Hotel and related complex real estate transaction documentation.
  • Represented the venture owning the commercial portion of the iconic 100-story 875 North Michigan Avenue Building Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, in connection with the anticipated vertical division and separate sale of several components of the commercial portion (retail, office, observatory, restaurant and broadcast towers), and prepared a draft declaration of covenants, conditions, restrictions and easements to govern the interrelationship between the commercial components, once sold. The proposed Declaration had to work in conjunction with an existing Easement Agreement and Grant Deed for the existing residential portion of the building. The divisions were implemented and the owner over the course of a year sold all of the commercial components for a substantial return on investment
  • Represented the owner of IBM Plaza in Chicago in the building’s redevelopment, negotiating the division and sale of a portion of the structure to a first-class hotel developer/operator, designing the governance and operating regime for the divided property, and obtaining Chicago Landmark designation, real estate tax incentives for historic rehabilitation, and approval of all government entitlements required for adaptive reuse, project construction and operation.
  • DLA Piper represented the owner and developer of the historic Majestic Building Theatre in Chicago in connection with a painstaking renovation and restoration into the new Bank of America Theatre. We represented the owner of the Shubert Theatre and the building, the Nederlander Organization, in separating the existing theatre from a class C office building and turning the office building into a new limited service hotel, with a full renovation and restoration of the theatre. The City of Chicago provided public sector financing for this project.
  • Represented a prominent New York developer in the development of a major mixed use residential and hotel condominium development in Chicago, Illinois, including obtaining entitlements and other mixed use and condominium development legal services, including condominium disclosure reports and documentation, Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act filings for each of the residential and hotel condominium components, preparation of the declaration of covenants, conditions, restrictions and easements, construction loan financing, vertical parcelization, contract, negotiation and unit sales
  • Represented ownership in the redevelopment of the 600-acre former US Steel South Works Facility on the south side of Chicago, Illinois with respect to zoning and land use entitlement, real estate development matters and public sector financing and other incentives from federal, state and local agencies
  • Represented The Boeing Company and Boeing Realty Corporation in the relocation of its world corporate headquarters from Seattle, Washington to Chicago, Illinois, including advising Boeing with respect to locations in Chicago, Dallas and Denver, analyzing and assisting in the negotiation of agreements memorializing the governmental incentive packages offered by Chicago, the State of Illinois and other local government agencies; managing contemporaneous lease negotiations for multiple sites in different jurisdictions and supervising final lease negotiations for the final chosen site in Chicago
  • Represented the developer in connection with the redevelopment of Chicago’s historic McCormick Office Building, assisting with the vertical subdivision of the office and residential condominium components, the relocation of office tenants, the preparation of reciprocal easement agreements and securing City of Chicago tax increment financing for a sprinkler system retrofit of the office component and modernization of the fire and life safety system of all other building components
  • Represented the owner in connection with the redevelopment of the historic Allerton Hotel building in Chicago in a hotel and retail mixed-use project involving vertical subdivision, securing landmark status for the property, sale of the retail component to an offshore investor, and the negotiation and recordation of the declaration that grants easements, allocates costs and provides for shared services between the hotel and retail space
  • Represented a national anchor restaurant and entertainment company, providing full-service leasing representation and permit and entitlement services involving 50 US retail sites
  • Represented a major public retail company in its 35-store expansion into the Chicago metropolitan area
  • J.D., John Marshall Law School 1979
    Associate Candidacy Editor, John Marshall Law Review (1978 – 1979)
    with distinction
  • B.A., Religion, Kalamazoo College 1976


  • Jeff has regularly been named an Illinois Super Lawyer, in a joint research project of Law & Politics and Chicago magazines, placed on the list of Best Lawyers in America and is an Illinois Leading Lawyer
  • The Legal 500 United States
    2016 - Recommended, Land Use / Zoning
    The Legal 500 comments, "Among the 'experienced' department are… Jeffrey Owen ('practical and strategic')…"

Insight Overview

Jeffrey speaks extensively in industry forums, among them events sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers.


  • Speaker, “Lakeside: A New Era for South Chicago”  ULI Spring Program, Leveraging Public/Private Partnerships, April 15, 2010

Memberships And Affiliations

  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association