Real Estate & Land Use

Lindabury’s Commercial Real Estate, Environmental and Land Use/Planning Group represents developers, property owners, builders and financiers in all aspects of real estate transactions. The group is comprised of over 20 attorneys, each of whom possesses unique and complementary legal experience and expertise in their respective disciplines. This breadth and depth of experience allows us to utilize a team approach to counsel our clients in all aspects of their real estate transactions and help them achieve their desired business objectives in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

We have significant experience at the local, county, and state levels in connection with the acquisition, sale, lease, development and finance of real property. We routinely represent developers of projects for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial use including both residential and office condominiums as well as other high density developments. Of particular interest to many of our real estate clients is our team’s experience in the efficient procurement of development related permits and approvals at all governmental levels pertaining to wetlands, brownfields, and other environmentally sensitive sites.

Our land use attorneys handle applications to municipal zoning and planning boards and state, county and regional authorities for site plan approvals, permits, zoning variances and rezoning requests.  We counsel clients in disputes with municipalities regarding land use and permitting matters including appearing in municipal courts. In addition, we also counsel clients who oppose applications for development as well as municipal efforts to rezone their property or nearby property.

Acquisitions & Sales

The acquisition, sale and financing of developable land, commercial and industrial properties is a core service provided by Lindabury’s Real Estate group. Our attorneys handle the acquisition, conveyance and financing of single and multi-property parcels throughout New Jersey. As counsel to both the buyers and sellers of New Jersey real estate, we are able to provide guidance to our clients on due diligence, title issues, easements, and complex contract negotiations.

Development, Land Use, Permitting & Construction

Our firm provides comprehensive legal representation to builders, developers and owners of construction projects of all types, from inception to completion and occupancy or sale. Our Real Estate, Environmental and Land Use/Planning Group works closely with attorneys in our Construction Practice Group throughout the process to ensure that the client’s needs and objectives are met. Our representation covers all aspects of real estate development including acquisition, financing, zoning and permitting, contracts, construction administration and claims, and project completion and commissioning.

Our attorneys become involved at project inception, when their experience can help guide the owner through the design and permitting process. In New Jersey’s highly regulated real estate environment, having a clear understanding of local and regional land use regulations and how they may impact a project is of vital importance. Our expertise in land use matters enables us to suggest and evaluate project alternatives and manage the permitting and approval process to a successful conclusion through local boards, county planning boards, and regional and state agencies. We successfully obtain and defend variance, site plan and subdivision approvals, rezoning applications, requests for ordinance interpretations, and environmental permitting for commercial, individual, institutional, residential and mixed-use projects. Our experience also extends to site acquisition, project financing and negotiating and drafting of contacts with design professionals and consultants. When our clients’ interests are impacted by proposed development of neighboring property, we are available to assist in the opposition to such development.

During construction we work closely with our Construction Practice Group attorneys to assist in negotiation and drafting of construction management agreements, general construction contracts, design/build contracts, and agreements with subcontractors and material suppliers. We are familiar with the proper procedures for construction administration and the issues which arise during the course of a project, including issues regarding surety bonds. When disputes arise, we attempt to resolve claims quickly and amicably. However, we are experienced in all phases of alternative dispute resolution and litigation. We also assist with the filing and discharge of mechanic’s liens and related lien claims. Once the project is completed, we are prepared to assist with issues arising during commissioning, and issuance of final permits and certificates of occupancy.

Financing & Loan Restructuring

Lindabury is well versed in the complexities of developing structured finance solutions with lenders and borrowers seeking to acquire, construct, develop or refinance commercial, residential and mixed-use properties. We work closely with members from the firm’s Business & Financial Services and Tax groups to provide clients with a comprehensive approach to financing their real estate projects.

Our firm serves as counsel to local, regional and national lenders in commercial mortgage loan transactions, workouts and foreclosures. We also represent owners and investors in obtaining all types of real estate financing. When dealing with distressed real estate, our attorneys can call upon the experience of Lindabury’s Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights group to quickly and cost-effectively acquire or dispose of the distressed asset.

Leasing & Property Management

Our Real Estate group routinely negotiates and drafts complex commercial, office, retail and residential lease agreements on behalf of landlords and tenants. We represent property owners throughout New Jersey in the efficient drafting and enforcement of complex lease agreements including leases for “green properties”.

Environmental

Lindabury provides environmental counseling to its clients across the entire spectrum of environmental law. Our environmental attorneys have backgrounds in engineering, science and other associated fields and are thus well equipped to provide counsel on the most technical issues. We routinely deal with issues involving site inspection, due diligence, remediation, cost recovery, liability and cost allocation, underground storage tanks, asbestos, natural resource damages and compliance counseling under both state and federal environmental laws. We have developed substantial capabilities regarding brownfields, wetlands and flood hazard issues, permit compliance and negotiation, legal obligations created by the spill or discharge of hazardous substances, and the impact of state and federal environmental laws upon business and real property transactions. We offer clients thorough representation in administrative enforcement hearings and in negotiations with state and federal environmental agencies. The firm also advises clients on new or pending regulatory developments in environmental law and assists clients in preparing to meet new obligations as they arise. A significant portion of our environmental practice involves the application of, and compliance with, New Jersey's Industrial Site Recovery Act, (ISRA), the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) and the state's other remediation statutes. The firm has successfully handled numerous contamination and remediation cases, and is fully familiar with the evolving policies of the state and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. We also provide our clients with quality litigation services in connection with environmental matters. The firm has prosecuted, as well as defended, numerous claims relating to environmental contamination, including claims for property damage and cost recovery, natural resource damages and toxic torts. In addition, the firm has extensive experience litigating environmental insurance coverage issues.

Redevelopment

Lindabury’s Real Estate group counsels clients through the maze of local and state statutes governing redevelopment in New Jersey. We assist redevelopers in declaring and developing areas ‘in need of redevelopment’ or ‘in need of rehabilitation’; prepare and implement redevelopment plans; assist in obtaining funding including municipal bonds and private investment; secure necessary zoning approvals; negotiate redeveloper and tax abatement agreements and litigate any disputes arising from redevelopment projects. In redevelopment projects where the power of condemnation/eminent domain will be utilized, our team negotiates fair market value proposals and litigates any condemnation actions.

Litigation

Our Real Estate group handles all aspects of real estate litigation including:

  • Construction and design defect cases
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Condemnation and Eminent domain matters
  • Land use and zoning
  • Redevelopment challenges
  • Environmental contamination/cost recovery litigation
Tax Appeals

Lindabury’s Real Estate group represents owners of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential properties who seek a reduction in or exemption from their New Jersey property tax assessment. We review property tax assessments and counsel clients on the viability of pursuing a property tax appeal. When a property tax appeal is warranted we first negotiate with the appropriate tax assessing authority and when necessary file and prosecute the appeal with the County Board of Taxation or the New Jersey Tax Court.

Condemnation/Eminent Domain

Lindabury has assembled a multidisciplinary team of attorneys capable of counseling clients in all aspects of the government taking of commercial, industrial and residential properties and undeveloped land. Governmental takings can include full or partial takings as well as easements, all of which require the determination of fair market value in order for appropriate compensation. We are able to draw upon the experience and resources of Lindabury’s real estate, environmental, and litigation attorneys to provide property owners the tools necessary to determine property valuation and vigorously defend condemnation actions. We represent both private property owners and taking authorities including redevelopers and government entities.

Relevant Experience

Acquisition, Development, Land Use, Permitting & Construction
  • Represented a national residential builder in the approval of a 150 home planned community in Burlington County New Jersey.
  • Represented a national REIT in the $13 million purchase of a data center in Northern New Jersey.
  • Represented a developer in Middlesex County in connection with the acquisition, approval and development of a 105 unit residential condominium development.
  • Represented a developer in connection with the development of a 40 lot residential subdivision in Ocean County.
  • Represented developers in the Turks and Caicos Islands in connection with the acquisition and development of a 75 unit condominium.
  • Represented a startup microbrewery in obtaining site plan approval and an interpretation of the municipal zoning ordinance to permit the microbrewery use.
  • Represented an independent school in obtaining variance and site plan approvals for a 55,000 sq. ft. athletic center.
  • Represented a franchisee of a national laundry and cleaning chain in obtaining variance and site plan approvals for a drive through clothes cleaning establishment.

Financing & Loan Restructuring

  • Represented a nonprofit institution in connection with a $20.5 million bond financing.
  • Represented a nonprofit institution in connection with a $5 million line of credit.
  • Represented a lender with respect to a $4.5 million refinancing of a New Jersey strip mall.
  • Negotiated terms of a $3 million loan for the construction of an office complex in Union County New Jersey.
  • Represented the lender in connection with a $3.5 million refinancing of a Philadelphia area apartment complex/

Leasing & Property Management

  • Serve as counsel to large retail property manager in all lease negotiation and enforcement actions.
  • Represented a high-tech manufacturer as tenant in leasing of 26,000 square feet of office and light manufacturing space in Mercer County, NJ.
  • Represented a financial services firm as subtenant in the sublease of office space in Manhattan.

Environmental

  • Represented various Fortune 500 companies in connection with Superfund remediations.

Redevelopment

  • Represent redeveloper of 10 block area in Newark which once complete will result in the creation of a mixed-use residential and retail center, and transportation hub.

Litigation

  • Represented developers in connection with defending claims by the Homeowners Association of fraud.

Tax Appeals

  • Successfully represented regional lending institution in appealing the tax assessments of their bank-owned properties resulting in a reduction of their overall tax assessment by $25,000 annually

Eminent Domain/Condemnation

  • Represented a redeveloper in the condemnation of industrial properties and vacant parcels in Newark each which had environmental contamination issues.
  • Represented property owners in connection with the taking of an $18 million environmentally contaminated property in Middlesex County.