Development, Land Use and Zoning
Dealing with complexity and moving your projects forward
We advise on all aspects of real estate development including land use, zoning, and other aspects of planning, public sector financing, incentives, historic preservation, and financings. We’ve gained approvals and entitlements for our clients that have moved major projects forward, and have obtained billions in incentives for developers and investors.
Delivering for clients in this area of the law requires a strong industry reputation, sector specific experience, and excellent relationships. We are an acknowledged thought leader in all aspects of development and land use, and are a go-to law firm for large-scale mixed-use projects.
We have more than 100 legal professionals working in this field in locations around the world, advising on areas of interest to our developer and investor clients.
“This is a team that understands and delivers. Real estate development has become increasingly complicated, but the team at DLA Piper manages to co-ordinate all of the relevant departments and specialisms to ensure the required outcome is delivered.”
Legal 500 2022
Our experience covers the many business, legal and real estate issues relating to the entitlement and development of land and the built environment. This includes managing complex approval processes, and obtaining and negotiating incentives as part of a prospective purchase, financing, sale, or lease transaction. We regularly navigate NIMBY and other stakeholder concerns in urban and suburban areas.
We’re also experienced in governmental regulatory matters. This often involves projects that have an impact on existing infrastructure, flood plains, wetlands, coastal zones, historic buildings, and other sensitive areas. We work closely with developers and their team of consultants to analyze the applicable legal requirements, defining an optimum development plan and executing a coordinated approval strategy.
Awards and recognition
- "Unsurpassed in-market knowledge and expertise with strong relationships on both the private and public sectors." – Client, Legal 500 2022
- "Highly experienced in contentious planning matters, acting for objectors and other parties on a range of issues, including affordable housing planning. Equipped to advise on a broad range of planning issues associated with energy developments. Works with both public bodies and private clients. Capable of advising on multi-jurisdictional planning matters." – Chambers 2022
- "Established team with a wide-ranging commercial property offering. Particular strength in large-scale development projects and landlord and tenant work, including corporate occupancy. Experience handling cross-border mandates for an impressive domestic and international client base." – Chambers 2022
- Advising 601W Companies LLC in the renovation and rehabilitation of the 2.5 million square foot Old Main Chicago Post Office. Successes include obtaining the largest Class L tax incentive in the history of the State of Illinois, expected to save our client USD100 million over a 12-year period.
- Advising This is Gravity Limited on the 635 acre redevelopment of the Gravity site near Bridgewater in the UK, including on development finance, large scale lettings and development of housing in conjunction with a major developer. The development is being transformed from a decommissioned BAE Systems site into a sustainable low carbon smart campus.
- Advising one of Asia’s largest conglomerates in Australia on the AUD800 million Village Docklands development, including hotel development, and sale of the project to one of Australia’s largest developers.
- Advising Huddinge Municipality on a EUR3 billion development project to form an international business and research hub located south of Stockholm known as Stockholm Business District over the course of the next ten years.
- Advising on the redevelopment strategy for Southend United Football Club to include the creation of a new 14,000 seater stadium, a new training ground, and the construction of circa 2,000 new homes of which circa 1,400 are pre-let to Southend Borough Council.
- Advising AEG on a joint venture with The Mall Group Ltd concerning the development, construction, leasing and operation of the 5,000 capacity EmSphere Theater and 15,000 capacity Bangkok Mall Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Advising Harridge Development Group in all development issues in the Crossroads Hollywood project in the heart of Hollywood, California - one of the largest, highest profile developments in recent memory in Los Angeles. We obtained all of the land use entitlements from the City required and successfully spearheaded the expedited defense of litigation challenging the project’s CEQA clearance.
- Advising Edyn on all aspects of its joint venture with Canary Wharf Group for the development and subsequent financing of One Charter Street, Canary Wharf in London for extended stay apartments. The development will comprise a 130,000 square feet development of 279 serviced apartments with amenities including a private meeting and event spaces, workout studio, coffee shop and bar, rooftop restaurant, co-working space and 300 sq. m of retail space.
- Advising QTS Realty Services in the development of 1.1 million square feet of data centers throughout Northern Virginia. Work included amending the previously approved plans and proffers, as well as a special exception, to permit a FAR increase from 0.6 to 1.0 and negotiations with the approving jurisdiction to facilitate a cash contribution towards adjacent road improvements in lieu of constructing the improvements on Loudoun County’s behalf.
- Advising Tishman Speyer in connection with local and state permitting for the first phase of the “Enterprise Research Campus” development project adjacent to a major university in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. The roughly USD1 billion first phase will create 900,000 square feet for research, office, hotel, retail, restaurant, conference center, and residential uses, and significant public realm improvements and affordable housing opportunities. The second phase will comprise an additional 1 million square feet.
- Advising The Pollen Estate on the redevelopment of numerous buildings in Cork Street, Bond Street and Cork Street Mews in Mayfair, London as two principal office buildings (one let to HSBC Private Bank) and seven retail units.