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Mariah F. DiGrino

Mariah F. DiGrino


Mariah DiGrino concentrates her practice in the areas of land use and zoning, public-private financing, public incentives, historic preservation, and community and economic development, as well as general real estate.

Mariah's practice involves representation of owners, developers, retailers, investors and public-private partnerships on both the local and national levels. She has experience securing annexation, development, zoning and subdivision approvals, negotiating and implementing public-private development and financing arrangements and public incentives, negotiating historic preservation designations and incentives, performing general and zoning due diligence and property evaluation and negotiating and closing real estate acquisitions and dispositions.

Bar admissionsIllinois


  • Representation of a Major League Soccer team to obtain land use approvals and negotiate a ground lease and related community investment agreements for development of a new training facility.
  • Representation of non-profit community development organization in connection with a pilot program to develop vacant City-owned lots in under-invested neighborhoods with new homes, including creating novel agreements for financing site development, acquisition, and construction with the City of Chicago.
  • Obtained land use approvals and incentives for acquisition and development of Bronzeville Lakefront, a redevelopment of the former Michael Reese Hospital site located in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood.  The site was acquired by the City of Chicago in anticipation of the failed 2016 Olympics bid, and was later discovered to be radiologically contaminated.  DLA obtained approval of acquisition authority, zoning approvals, and over $60 million in general obligation financing for infrastructure improvements, in addition to $30 million in tax increment funding being used by the City for environmental remediation.
  • Obtained approval of incentives and entitlements to redevelop the Old Main Chicago Post Office, including negotiating settlement of building court proceedings filed against the prior owner.
  • Representation of non-profit foodbank in the acquisition of land, renovation of its existing facility and construction of a new meal preparation facility.
  • Obtained land use approvals and incentives for Pullman Park, the phased mixed-use redevelopment of the 180-acre site of the former Ryerson Steel mill on Chicago's South Side. Approvals include zoning approvals and tax increment financing to support multiple projects completed over a decade in the making. Projects include reconstruction and reconfiguration of roadways, development of an approximately 400,000 square foot multi-tenant shopping center, development of an urban manufacturing facility for Method Home Products (Method's first US production facility), a Whole Foods regional distribution center, a Gotham Greens urban greenhouse, Chicago’s first Amazon Fulfillment Center, and neighborhood retail space, including One Eleven Food Hall.
  • Obtained approval of public financing for site development work to facilitate development of a Whole Foods Market in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
  • Obtained land use approvals to develop the Pullman Community Center, a 135,000 square foot community center in the Pullman neighborhood.
  • Obtained approval of a Class L property tax incentive and entitlements for the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the historic Marshall Field’s flagship store on State Street in Chicago.
  • Negotiated agreements with the City of Chicago and neighboring property owners in connection with the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of Tribune Tower, relating to development and use of public plazas and public rights of way.
  • Obtained land use approvals and approval of over US$26MM in public incentives for the restoration of the historic Uptown Theatre in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
  • Obtained land use approvals for development Southbridge, a mixed-use development on the site of the former Harold Ickes Homes.  The project will include 972 units, in a mix of public housing, affordable and market rate units, apartments, townhomes and condominium units, and 65,000 square feet of retail space and will include construction and re-establishment of the street network and other public infrastructure in and around the project site.
  • Obtained land use approvals to redevelop the former Robert Taylor Homes site with an approximately 150,000 square foot tennis training facility, providing underserved youth with an enriching after school safe-haven and athletic/academic pathway to college.
  • Obtained zoning and incentive approvals and negotiated a real estate agreement with the City of Chicago for the redevelopment of a manufacturer’s campus in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, including tax increment financing to relocate the manufacturer’s operations to an existing facility in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, zoning approvals for redevelopment of the former site, and negotiation of a real estate agreement with the City of Chicago to provide for the City's conveyance of additional land to facilitate redevelopment.
  • Obtained land use approvals and entitlements to redevelop Chicago's Navy Pier, the most popular tourist destination in the Midwestern US.
  • Representation of the owner of Willis Tower in obtaining land use approvals for a US$500 million redevelopment project.
  • Obtained US$29.5 million in increment financing for development of an elevated park, built over commuter rail lines, as part of construction of the 52-story River Point office building in downtown Chicago.
  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law 2004
  • B.A., Western Illinois University 2000


  • Landmarks Illinois Influencer, Landmarks Illinois' Preservation Forward event (2021)
  • Chambers USA
    • Band 3, Illinois Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2022-2023)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended, Land Use / Zoning (2015, 2018-2020)


  • Podcast Interview with Kate Maehr of the Greater Chicago Food Depository for DLA Piper’s "Beyond the Curve" podcast series, May 2020
  • Author, "Public-Private Partnership Withstands Court Challenge," Affordable Housing Finance, January 17, 2018
  • Chicago Board of Ethics hands down $90,000 fine for failure to register as a lobbyist, 14 Mar 2017
  • Publications:  Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Land Use Law Practice and Procedure, 2017 Edition, Chapter 4:  Processing a Land Use Application from Submission to Administrative or Legislative Decision
  • Author, "Chicago Affordable Housing Ordinance passes: key provisions, key requirements," March 23, 2015
  • March 2015 Publications: Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Land Use Law Practice and Procedure, 2017 Edition, Chapter 4: Processing a Land Use Application from Submission to Administrative or Legislative Decision
  • Co-author, "Cook County adopts new Class 7C property tax incentive: key points for commercial developers" Chicago Land Use News, September 23, 2014
  • Co-author, "Ch. 9, Processing a Land Use Application from Submission to Administrative or Legislative Decision," Illinois Land Use Law 2013

Presentations and Seminars

  • Panelist, Illinois Tax Increment Association, Fall Conference, “Identifying TIF-Eligible Costs,” September 2023
  • Moderator, ULI Chicago, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Racial Equity Series, "Racial Disparity in Lending," October 2020
  • Moderator, ULI Chicago Women’s Leadership Initiative, "Waking the Sleeping Giant," January 2020
  • Panelist, Lambda Alpha International – Ely Chicago, "Redeveloping Chicago’s Old Post Office," April 2019
  • Panelist, CoreNet Chicago, "Move the Needle:  Women Discuss Business," March 2019
  • Presenter, Chicago Bar Association Corporate Practice Committee, Young Lawyers Section, "Historic Rehabilitation Projects in Chicago: Regulatory and Incentives Overview," October 2018
  • Panelist, The Marbury Institute, Pro Bono Series, "Hunger Relief Around the World," October 2017
  • Panelist, American Bar Association – Business Law Section, "Success for Public Private Partnership," September 2017
  • Panelist, Urban Land Institute Chicago, "Old McHenry County Courthouse TAP," March 2015
  • Presenter, University of Illinois Real Estate Law Society, "Case Study: Wrigley Building Rehabilitation," March 2013
  • Panelist, American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter, "Working with Attorneys," September 21, 2012
  • Panelist, American Planning Association - Chicago Metro Section, "Overcoming (Re-) Development Obstacles," June 23, 2010

Civic and Charitable

  • Board of Directors and Outside Pro Bono Counsel, Landmarks Illinois (2023-present)
  • Wilmette Plan Commission (2020-present)
  • Chair, Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards Blue Ribbon Panel (2016-present)
  • General Counsel, Greater Chicago Food Depository (2013-2023)

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Lambda Alpha International, Ely Chapter
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Executive Board Member, ULI Chicago Women's Leadership Initiative (2013-2021)