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


Representative Projects
  • Representation of GRIT Chicago, LLC, a joint venture led by Farpoint Development, in obtaining 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.
  • Representation of 601W Companies in connection with redevelopment of the Old Main Chicago Post Office, including negotiating settlement of building court proceedings filed against the prior owner, obtaining approval of a $100 million Class L property tax incentive for historic rehabilitation, obtaining land use approvals to develop riverfront tenant signage and a tenant plaza, and obtaining approval of financial assistance and long-term rights from the City of Chicago to redevelop and use a public plaza serving the Old Main Chicago Post Office building.
  • Representation of Greater Chicago Food Depository in the acquisition of land, renovation of its existing facility and construction of a new meal preparation facility.
  • Representation of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives in obtaining 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 facilityfor 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.
  • Representation of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives in obtaining public financing for site development work to facilitate development of a Whole Foods Market in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
  • Representation of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives in obtaining land use approvals to develop the Pullman Community Center, a 135,000 square foot community center in the Pullman neighborhood.
  • Representation of Brookfield Properties in connection with redevelopment and rehabilitation of the historic Marshall Field’s flagship store on State Street in Chicago, including approval of the Class L property tax incentive.
  • Representation of a joint venture of Golub & Company and CIM in connection with redevelopment of the historic Tribune Tower, including negotiating agreements with the City of Chicago and neighboring property owners relating to development and use of public plazas and public rights of way.
  • Representation of the team redeveloping the historic Uptown Theatre in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, securing zoning approvals and over US$26 million in public incentives.
  • Representation of a joint venture of McCaffery Interests and The Community Builders in the redevelopment of Southbridge, on the site of the former Harold Ickes Homes. Our work includes obtaining land use approvals and incentives for development of the project. The mixed-use development 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.
  • Representation of XS Tennis and Education Foundation in obtaining land use approvals to redevelop the former Robert Taylor Homes site with an approximately 150,000 square foot XS Tennis Village, providing underserved youth with an enriching after school safe-haven and athletic/academic pathway to college.
  • Representation of Vienna Beef in connection with the redevelopment of Vienna's former headquarters facility in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, including tax increment financing to relocate Vienna's manufacturing operations to an existing facility in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, zoning approvals for redevelopment of Vienna's 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 Vienna's redevelopment. Recently completed work includes securing approval of a right of way vacation and closing on an assemblage of land to complete the development site.
  • Representation of Navy Pier, Inc., in connection with land use approvals and entitlements to implement the Centennial Plan strategic framework to redevelop Chicago's Navy Pier, the most popular tourist destination in the Midwestern US. The first phase will cost US$115 million in pier funding plus an additional US$35 million in private investment from restaurants and retail tenants.
  • 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.
  • Obtained land use approvals and approval of tax increment financing for development of an approximately 127,000 square foot retail center anchored by a grocery store in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood.
  • Representation of owners and developers of prominent Chicago landmarks in local landmark and historic tax incentive approvals, including the former IBM building, the first Virgin Hotel in the US, the Wrigley Building, Wrigley Field, the London Guarantee and Accident building at 360 North Michigan Avenue, Restoration Hardware's redevelopment of the Three Arts Club at 1300 North Dearborn, the Essex Inn at 800 South Michigan Avenue and the Macy's Marshall Field's flagship store at 111 North State Street.
  • Obtained land use approvals for development of a 35-story office tower in downtown Chicago, including a transfer of development rights from adjacent property owner.
  • Obtained land use approvals for development of a 24-story residential building in Chicago's River North neighborhood adjacent to a historic church, including a transfer of development rights and approval of development bonuses.
  • Representation of multiple shopping center developers in obtaining land use approvals, including public-private financing for development of major transportation and infrastructure improvements.
  • Representation of companies in the pursuit, negotiation and implementation of state and local financial incentives in connection with corporate headquarters and major facility relocations.
  • Representation of a private partner with the United States Navy, under its Military Housing Privatization Initiative, in the development and operation of military housing at locations throughout northeast Illinois, including negotiation of jurisdictional, municipal service and traffic management agreements with state and local municipalities.
  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law 2004
  • B.A., Western Illinois University 2000


  • Chambers USA
    • Band 3, Illinois Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2022)
  • 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 developersChicago 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


  • 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

  • General Counsel, Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Chair, Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Commercial Real Estate Awards Blue Ribbon Panel

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Urban Land Institute
  • Executive Board Member, ULI Chicago Women's Leadership Initiative