Land Use & Economic Development

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Taking a real estate development concept from blueprint to reality can be complicated, involving several stakeholders and various private and public interests with millions of dollars often on the line. Additionally, cities, towns, and jurisdictions are in constant competition to attract more businesses to their communities and promote job growth. That’s why Dickinson Wright land use and economic development lawyers work closely with you to understand your overall business goals and provide you practical, actionable advice.


Our land use and economic development team is a tightly knit collaboration of transactional, zoning, environmental, taxation, finance, construction, land use litigation, and regulatory lawyers, allowing us to provide comprehensive representation on the full range of land use and economic development matters.


Our Clients

Our attorneys have forged close working relationships with U.S. and Canadian builders, contractors, consultants, property owners, lenders, investors, and local, state, and federal government entities,  across a spectrum of industries and sectors, including:


 Additionally, we have handled a wide variety of properties, such as:


  • Automobile dealerships

  • Mixed-use developments

  • Brownfield projects

  • Multi-family housing

  • Educational facilities & student housing

  • Office buildings

  • Historic restoration

  • Planned unit developments

  • Homes, subdivisions, & apartment buildings  

  • Shopping centers & retail stores

  • Hospitals

  • Sports & entertainment facilities

  • Hotels, casinos, & resorts

  • Utilities

  • Logistic/warehouse projects

  • Utility-scale solar & wind farms

  • Manufacturing plants



Our Services

From the beginning stages of conceptualization and strategizing to incentive procurement to land use and construction to closing and post-closing restructuring, our land use and economic development team provides comprehensive legal services while vigorously advocating to achieve our clients’ objectives. Our services include:

Land Use Development

• Advising on land acquisitions, financing, renovation, and leasing
• Obtaining zoning, rezoning, site plan, special land use, and sign approvals
• Ensuring compliance with environmental, wetlands, and water rights regulations
• Negotiating access, utility, conservation, and reciprocal easements
• Preparing site development, farmland development, and operating agreements
• Providing guidance on green building, wind rights, oil and gas, and mineral rights

Economic Development

• Implementing economic development strategies
• Drafting state and federal incentive legislation
• Facilitating alliances between businesses and local governments
• Procuring local, state, and federal incentive packages
• Advising on participation in grant programs
• Securing tax credit and tax-exempt bond financing
• Serving as bond counsel
• Structuring public-private partnerships
• Negotiating construction contracts

Condominium & Mixed-Use Development

Dickinson Wright attorneys regularly counsel clients on complicated structuring, operational, and management issues with condominium and mixed-use development projects. Among our exclusive client solutions is Accountrak, a proprietary online database that allows associations to interact in real-time with our collection representatives and thereby directly monitor the matters we handle on their behalf. We routinely act on behalf of:


  • Community & umbrella associations

  • Planned unit Developments
  • Condominium & homeowner associations      

  • Recreational associations

  • Cooperatives

  • Retail, office, & industrial developments


We also provide assistance to associations in the everyday management of their condominium projects, including:


  • Contract preparation & review

  • Legal compliance

  • Documentation

  • Implementation of rules & regulations

  • Resolution of transition issues


Land Use Litigation, Condemnation, & Eminent Domain

real estate lawyers also handle land use litigation in state and federal courts and represent clients in administrative proceedings. We regularly represent both owners of condemned properties and the local municipalities that pursue condemnation actions. From pre-taking planning to trials and appeals over regulatory takings and just compensation, we work with property owners, commercial and residential developers, manufacturers, utilities, and state and local agencies to facilitate effective and favorable arrangements. We also partner with appraisers, engineers, consultants, and community leaders to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

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