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Housing, Economic Development and Real Estate

Best Best & Krieger LLP’s (BBK) Housing, Economic Development and Real Estate team helps cities, counties, economic development agencies, housing authorities, redevelopment successor agencies and housing successor agencies, as well as private commercial and residential developers, throughout the lifecycle of their development projects.

Unrivaled Experience
We represent hundreds of public agencies and serve as general or special counsel to cities, counties, transportation districts, redevelopment successor agencies, housing authorities, housing successor agencies and economic development-related agencies. We actively guide clients through the Surplus Land Act process to move them forward with their property disposition efforts for housing and economic development purposes. Our attorneys are adept at helping public and private clients navigate, qualify for and use the Surplus Land Act, community enhancement programs and emerging economic development tools to fund projects and accomplish their development goals.

Working collaboratively with our Public-Private PartnershipsEminent DomainReal EstateEnvironmental Law & Natural ResourcesTaxLabor & Employment and Public Agency Litigation attorneys, we advise on:

  • Financing and development of affordable and market rate housing 
  • Disposition of real estate assets, including those subject to the Surplus Land Act
  • Compliance with economic opportunity and sales tax sharing agreements
  • Siting and predevelopment planning
  • Land use, zoning, permitting and entitlements
  • Creative financing strategies, including tax credit financing, Homekey Program, No Place Like Home, CDBG, CDBG-DR and other state and federal financing programs
  • Acquisition, construction, leasing and development of real estate
  • Competitive bidding and prevailing wage requirements compliance
  • Tax incentives, credits, assessments and liabilities 
  • Environmental due diligence, compliance with and remediation of compliance issues under the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act
  • Litigation/alternative dispute resolution
  • Commercial, residential and mixed-use projects
  • Public-private partnership, management and other agreements necessary for development

Affordable Housing
BBK attorneys represent numerous housing authorities and housing successor agencies. Our housing experience includes the development of ownership and rental affordable and market rate housing projects, compliance with Redevelopment Dissolution Law and Housing Authority Law requirements, SB 341 and housing successor agency obligations, density bonus issues, inclusionary housing, compliance with federal housing requirements and funding programs. Our attorneys negotiate and draft affordable housing agreements, loan agreements and associated regulatory and resale restriction agreements, and rental and for-sale affordable housing project-related contracts.

Additionally, we advise on:

  • Compliance with Housing Authority Law requirements
  • Density bonus issues
  • Inclusionary housing requirements and programs
  • Fair housing issues, including California’s Affirmative Fair Housing Law obligations
  • SB 330
  • Housing Crisis Act compliance
  • No Net Loss requirements
  • Accessory dwelling units
  • Housing elements
  • Funding programs

Our Government Affairs team actively engages in legislative and regulatory processes, advocating for clients regarding laws affecting federal housing laws and funding.
Working closely with members of our Public Finance team, we assist in structuring the financial aspects of economic and housing deals, including bond and tax-credit financing. Additionally, we help clients create financing districts, including infrastructure and community services facility districts, special tax vehicles, and assessment districts.

Economic Development
Since redevelopment agencies dissolved in 2012, public agencies have sought alternative ways to facilitate and fund economic development, affordable housing development and other community improvements. BBK attorneys are uniquely qualified to help our clients achieve their vision for the economic development of their communities. We work with cities, counties and other public agencies to develop projects that result in greater and more diverse employment opportunities, repurpose space and property to improve the tax base and redevelop sites to provide community serving businesses and amenities. We work with clients on a variety of agreements to achieve desired economic goals through the siting of desired businesses, funding and construction of commercial development, and community improvement projects.

We have advised on and drafted numerous public-private partnership agreements, tax sharing agreements, and financing agreements to facilitate development consistent with our clients’ economic development vision.

Real Estate
Experienced in all aspects of real estate asset acquisition and dispositions, we have structured all types of deals across asset classes, including purchase and sale agreements, lease-leaseback arrangements, commercial and residential leases, ground leases and other conveyances. We also structure and assist with project finance and entitlements. Our team is experienced in all types of real estate transactions across the residential, commercial, industrial, sports venues and entertainment, retail/mall redevelopment, and hospitality industries. With assistance from our Land Use, Planning & Zoning, Environmental Law & Natural Resources and our Public Finance groups, we are able to assist clients with all aspects of their real estate transactions.

  • Negotiated and drafted the land sale and loan agreements for the development of a 50-unit senior affordable housing development. 
  • Negotiated and drafted the grant and regulatory agreements for conversion of decrepit hotels into transitional and permanent supportive housing for people made homeless or at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19, under the Homekey Program.
  • Represented various cities in the purchase and sale of affordable housing projects by limited partnerships using tax credit financing.
  • Negotiated and drafted a disposition and development agreement for the vacation and sale of right-of-way to facilitate the development of a four-star hotel with ancillary retail services.
  • Negotiated the workout of a failed hotel development project leading to the cleanup of the site and the construction of a 169-room hotel, approximately 40 residential units, parking structure, associated amenities and offsite improvements.
  • Negotiated and drafted the disposition and development agreement for the sale of a warehouse building for development as a food hall.
  • Negotiated and drafted the disposition and development agreement for the sale of multiple parcels resulting in the development of a mixed-use project consisting of 163 residential dwelling units, roughly 23,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, a four-screen Laemmle Theatre, and an associated parking structure.
  • Negotiated and drafted purchase and sale agreement and related development agreements for the development of a mixed-use project located immediately adjacent to a Metro station. The project consists of 127 luxury apartments and approximately 12,000 square feet of retail.
  • Negotiated and drafted numerous job covenant and location agreements for cities throughout California, including: the cities of Ontario, Fontana and Upland. 
  • Negotiated the acquisition of multiple parcels as part of a land assembly project that will be sold to an affordable housing developer for the development a 179-unit low-income housing project.
  • Negotiated the sale and cleanup of a 17-acre brownfield site for the development of two drive-through restaurants, a 60,000 square foot lumber/hardware store, and storage facility.

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