Development - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Brownstein’s Development Group is focused on one goal—bringing all the legal elements together to complete your project successfully. 

Our deep bench, extensive experience and well-established reputation enables our Development Group to tackle even the largest, most complex projects in an efficient, timely and effective manner. We are in tune with market forces and know how to assess reasonable expectations during the negotiation process—insight that helps us finish your project with fewer complications.   

Our team includes seasoned transactional, land use, financing and business advisory attorneys who understand the needs of developers as well as the concerns of local communities and governmental authorities. They guide you throughout the entire process, including setting objectives and handling matters of due diligence, land use, entitlements, acquisition and disposition, environmental concerns, financing and construction, contracts and tile and mineral issues. We also assist development clients with financing, including mezzanine debt structures, equity investments and permanent financing options, as well as positioning property for sale.

We regularly team with the firm’s Acquisition and Disposition and Finance and Lending groups. If litigation or government relations become necessary, we can tap robust resources in those areas well. 

Representative Matters
  • Represented Brue Baukol Capital Partners and its partner, John Fair, in the acquisition of 64 acres of land near DIA for development. The property is adjacent to the Panasonic development and is directly in the path of progress.

  • Represented Brue Baukol Capital Partners with its partner Brinkman in the acquisition and construction financing of the high profile Foundry development site in Loveland, Colorado, The acquired parcels at Foundry will be developed into two multifamily complexes with mixed-use ground floor components.

  • Drafted special legislation on behalf a major California city to provide concrete authority for it to utilize a public-private partnership (P3) for development of a civic center project.

  • Provide assistance to land use consultant preparing CEQA documentation and processing permits for remediation of oceanfront site in Santa Barbara County, and negotiating and drafting option agreement with non-profit for purchase of site upon completion of remediation. Assisting client in obtaining adequate water supplies for land farming, dust control, and revegetation of impacted site with natives plants and in obtaining permits for relocation of major creek. Permitting included Federal, State, and County agencies. Remediation groundbreaking is imminent.

  • Assisted client in preparing remediated property for sale to park foundation in the middle of heavily industrialized area of Los Angeles County with no nearby park serving local residents. Services included negotiating and documenting sale, drafting appropriate deed restrictions to prevent change of use that could expose seller to risk of liability, resolving/clearing title issues, drafting lease agreement, coordinating with buyer in negotiations with regulatory agencies for bona fide purchaser status under California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act of 2004 (CLRRA), Prospective Purchaser agreement, agreement and covenant not to sue (from DTSC), land use covenant and agreement for environmental restrictions, and related documents. Transaction was completed timely.

  • Represented Sterling Ranch, LLC, a Denver based real estate developer, with respect to the structure of, and governing documents for, Sterling Ranch, a 3,400 acre master planned community in Douglas County, Colorado.

  • Represented Mill Creek Residential Trust in connection with the acquisition and development of several multi-family projects in Denver, Colorado. Properties are located in central Denver, RINO, LoHi, DU and Capitol Hill areas.

  • Represented White Lodging Services in connection with the site acquisition, entitlement, design review and construction financing for a new build Hyatt House/Hyatt Place and a new build AC/Le Meriden in downtown Denver, Colorado.

  • Serves as land use counsel to Cate School, a prestigious private high school on California's Central Coast. The campus includes 178 acres, 320,000 sf of existing structures (dorms, classrooms, administrative buildings, faculty housing and the like), 640,000 sf of impervious surfaces (including parking for 187 cars), and 585,000 sf of recreational open space (playing fields and the like). The school has existed on the site since 1913. It has secured approval for an update to its Master Plan under which it would construct 180,000 sf of new buildings, 101,000 sf of additional impervious surfaces, and six new faculty homes. An EIR was prepared for the project, and the Master Plan has been approved by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. Brownstein has been closely involved in the permitting and environmental review process, including reviewing EIR comment letters and responses to comments, and represented the school before the Planning Commission.

  • Serving as Nevada counsel to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority in connection with the development of a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium to serve as the future home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

  • Represented buyer in the $70M acquisition, financing, and development of an office building in Portland, Oregon. Performed real property due diligence; and drafted and negotiated purchase and sale agreement, joint venture agreement, loan documents and construction agreements.

  • The firm is representing ZBlock Holdings LLC in negotiating the financing, the joint venture and the condominium and construction documents, as well as numerous management and property-related agreements, in the redevelopment of an entire city block in lower downtown Denver known as Dairy Block. The project includes Dairy Block, a 6 story, mixed use project with 260,000 square feet of office space, ground floor retail and 170 hotel rooms. The deal required two separate financing/lending deals.

  • Represented the developer in connection with the creation of a residential planned community in Douglas, County, Colorado.

  • Represented a real estate investment company in the acquisition and financing of a multi-use, multi-property project in Nashville, TN. Project included an existing 239 unit apartment building and 27,359 square feet of retail space and a to-be-developed 139 unit apartment building and approximately 8,525 rentable square feet of retail space. Provided real property due diligence; amended commercial leases; negotiated membership purchase agreement, joint venture agreement, loan documents, property management agreements, reciprocal access and parking agreements, shared amenities agreement, and temporary construction agreements; and formed, converted, merged and dissolved entities in multiple states.

  • Represented the developer in connection with the creation of a mixed-use planned community in Loveland, Colorado.

  • Represented the developer in connection with the creation of a commercial planned community in Littleton, Colorado.

  • Representing Continuum Partners in the redevelopment of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center 9th and Colorado campus, which will include a horizontal and vertical mix of uses, including residential, office, retail, restaurant, hotel and public space. The firm negotiated the acquisition of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at 9th and Colorado in Denver, which included completing all physical and legal due diligence for the site, providing advice with respect to Continuum’s administrative amendment for the GDP encumbering the property, and negotiating with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for $47.9 million in TIF funds. We continue to oversee all legal work at the 30 acre project, including the development of both the retail and residential components of the site.

  • Represented developer of large luxury condominium project in negotiation and drafting of owner-architect and owner-contractor agreements. Assisted client in development and implementation of comprehensive risk mitigation and defect avoidance strategy.

  • Representing an oil and gas support services client in the negotiation of a build-to-suit lease for construction of a new operating facility.

  • Serves as land use counsel for Casa Dorinda, a Southern California 360-resident retirement community, which secured approval for an update of its campus master plan. The update includes new cottages and other independent living units, an enlarged personal care facility, and a new memory care unit. Brownstein assisted the client in successfully negotiating settlements with a number of neighbors who had concerns about the intensification of use on the campus.

  • Advised a major California city on the development of a new city center project for its municipal offices and related public facilities utilizing a public-private partnership model. Worked closely with development and financial consultants to develop a framework that responded to the city’s cost constraints and overcame tax hurdles to meet the city’s goals and timing. Services included development of performance criteria, request for proposal and selection of the preferred proposer.

  • Represented hotel casino operator in connection with the negotiation and drafting of a long term ground lease to a national retail tenant, including access and easement issues related thereto.

  • Development of the Highpoint 1,800 acre mixed use community adjacent to Denver International Airport. 

  • Negotiated on behalf of a municipality an amended and restated development agreement and parks agreement with respect to a large master planned community.

  • Assisted client in the nearly $8 million acquisition of a distressed property for future development into a luxury hotel. Advised client regarding all aspects of the transaction, including assignment of the purchase and sale agreement, structuring of workout with previous developer and new market and federal historic tax credits.

  • Led efforts for the redevelopment of a large outdoor mall to create a new, mixed-use center, including retail, residential and office space. The firm managed the joint venture structuring, eminent domain process, public and private financing, construction matters, creation of governing documents, national anchors tenant negotiations and leasing of more than one-million-rentable square feet of retail, office and residential space to national, regional and local retailers.

  • Served as strategic advisor for one of the country's largest residential home builders to complete the acquisition of various real estate assets and entity interests related to the development of both commercial and residential property in multiple counties.

  • Representation of a real estate investment company in its $285M refinance of an approximately 590 acres hotel and golf course resort property.

  • Served as counsel to health club owner in the leasing and development of a 54,000-square-foot health club facility in Boulder, Colorado, and a 38,000-square-foot health club facility in Denver, Colorado, each including substantial landlord performed tenant improvements.

  • Represented AREA Property Partners in their investment in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, including negotiation and closing of $200,000,000 of equity and debt financing for the redevelopment of this 1,193 room hotel which was reopened on October 19, 2011 after being closed since Hurricane Katrina in September, 2005. Served as lead counsel in negotiation of joint venture documents with Poydras Hotel Members and Hyatt Corporation, and $140,000,000 of construction loan financing. Representation and deal structure also included PILOT treatment, ground lease components and hotel management agreement.

  • Representing Fortress Investment Group and its affiliates in the making of a preferred equity investment in an entity owning a large Colorado Shopping Mall with ongoing construction components, including the negotiation of the buy-out of a partner in such entity, representation of the joint venture entity in its acquisition of a simultaneous refinance loan from Wells Fargo Bank, the negotiation of a management agreement with the sponsor regarding the management of the Property and representation of client in all aspects of the structuring of the investment and transactions from a tax perspective in 2012.

  • Represented SIMEON Commercial Properties in the financing, acquisition and development of apartments in San Jose, California.

  • Represented client in purchase of a distressed San Francisco property out of bankruptcy for development of an approximately 81 unit multi-family building. Assisted with land use and CEQA due diligence.

  • Structure capital funding of $500M multi-unit apartment developments in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, and Utah. 

  • On behalf of a national homebuilder, Brownstein obtained approval of the Water Supply Assessment, final Environmental Impact Report, General Plan Amendments and Specific Plan for development of a 1,500 acre-property in Southern California proposed to include 5,400 residential units and commercial uses, as well as defending subsequent challenges including CEQA.

  • Served as on-going outside counsel to The Wellbridge Company in connection with its ownership and operation of health club facilities located in various states. This representation includes corporate structuring; real estate and club acquisition, development and financing; dispositions and leasing; contracts incidental to operations; and coordination of employment and labor matters and litigation prosecution and defense.

  • Represented MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation on real estate, land use, redevelopment, and CEQA issues associated with the construction of a 17,000 square foot museum, designed to LEED Silver standards, in the City of Santa Barbara's downtown El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District.

  • Developed strategy and program to obtain development entitlements for a new residence in an existing and established high-end, beach neighborhood in Montecito, CA. Following the controversial entitlement process, managed the LEED Platinum certification process for the contemporary, custom-designed, sustainable residence which will also receive a resolution of commendation from the Board of Supervisors, Santa Barbara County's highest decision making body.

  • Negotiated and consummated the purchase of the vacant land adjacent to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will be developed into a park. Brownstein also advised the Smith Center on various real estate and development matters.

  • Represented the investor group in its joint venture to redevelop the historic Union Station train station in Downtown Denver, which is being transformed into a mixed-issued project with a hotel, transit station and restaurant and retails uses.

  • Served as land use counsel to the City of Mesa, Arizona regarding the development agreement with First Solar, Inc. Brownstein provided counsel on agreement concerning the redevelopment of up to 263 acres for photovoltaic solar manufacturing facilities.

  • Served as Nevada counsel to Caesars Octavius, LLC and Caesars Ling, LLC with respect to a new $450 million credit facility to be used to complete the construction of the Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace and to develop a retail, dining and entertainment project between the Imperial Palace and Flamingo properties.

  • Represented Intercontinental Potash Corp. in all aspects of developing one of the largest potash mines in the country. Representation included guiding the company through every aspect of the multi-year NEPA and the Endangered Species Act permitting process and obtaining all necessary federal, state and local permits.

  • Represented Orange County toll road agency in seeking State and Federal Coastal permits to complete construction of State Route 241.

  • Represented U.S. Geothermal Inc. in the development and construction of its $137 million, 22-megawatt-net geothermal power plant in Oregon. Part of the project financing included negotiating a loan and a loan guarantee with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Financing Bank for this leading renewable energy geothermal development company.

  • Represented a housing developer in securing a Local Coastal Plan amendment and Coastal Development Permit for a 25-unit single family housing project, and then handled the subsequent litigation and appeal.

  • Performed due diligence for entitlement of multiple lots along the Gaviota Coast.

  • On behalf of several different casino and hotel owners for a variety of large projects throughout Las Vegas, performed transactional risk assessment and mitigation recommendations; handled all aspects of permitting; advised regarding environmental issues; made recommendations regarding on-site and off-site renewable and alternative energy facilities and power purchases; handled regulatory and all matters related to LEED Certification.

  • Negotiated the amendment to the third amended and restated agreement to design, construct and lease a performing arts center with the City of Las Vegas on behalf of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Represented Sage Hospitality in connection with the management and development of the Spring Hill Suites at Metro State College of Denver.

  • Represented Starwood Hotels and Resorts in connection with the management and development of the Westin Denver International Airport.

  • Represented the developer of a mixed-use commercial and residential development in Denver in the negotiation and development of a suite of construction contracts for the project.

  • Negotiated the development agreement with the City of Las Vegas for the design, construction and operation of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The Firm also negotiated and amended the first, second and third restated development agreements.

  • Represented a Nevada Indian tribe in the negotiation of a Solar Energy Ground Lease Agreement and other agreements with a large renewable energy developer for the construction of a 200 MW concentrated solar project on approximately 1000 acres of vacant tribal land located in southern Nevada.

  • Represented a national retail chain of home improvement and construction products on environmental and land development issues throughout the western United States. Involved in the development and permitting of new stores in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Colorado. Representation included the development of large "brownfield" properties.

  • Represented the developer in the acquisition of a vacant hotel, obtaining entitlements for redevelopment of the site as a mixed-use (residential/retail), transit-oriented development; resolution of title matters; construction financing; leasing of retail space and eventual $60.9 million sale of the project in Denver, CO.

  • Negotiated and documented commercial real estate leases for more than 12 million square feet of distribution and industrial space for ProLogis at more than 60 properties in 18 states and in Mexico.

  • Represented Valle Verde, a 250-unit continuing care retirement community in Santa Barbara, CA, owned by American Baptist Homes of the West, with respect to a proposed updating of its facilities, including expanding the number of independent living units and scope of resident services.

  • Represented the purchaser/redeveloper of the former Gates Factory site, which consists of 55 acres and 2 million building square feet, located at I-25 and Broadway in Denver. The firm's work for the redevelopment involved brownfields redevelopment, environmental remediation, acquisition of entitlements for a mixed-use transit-oriented development, neighborhood negotiations and structuring of public and private financing.

  • Provided land use due diligence analysis for acquisition of a 350-acre ranch in Ojai, California.

  • Represented the buyer in providing land use and title due diligence for the acquisition of a 25-acre agricultural property containing several significant historical structures and involving complex conservation easements and related private covenants in the Santa Barbara County foothills.

  • Land use entitlement, CEQA compliance and environmental permitting, for complex 300 high-end single family residential unit project in canyons of Orange County.

  • Represented applicant in a phased apartment project totally over 650 units, resolving a variety of complex issues regarding environmental and permitting issues, negotiation of development agreement, and assistance with the negotiation of public financing.

  • Provided strategic planning and representation for the development of one million square foot research and development business park situated on 92 acres. Handled a wide range of entitlement issues, including negotiation of a development agreement and specific plan, negotiation of aviation easements with Municipal Airport, oversight of the project's environmental review and implementation of a complex set of project conditions of approval, and negotiation of project amendments.

  • Managed consultants for and represented the client before the Santa Barbara County and the California Coastal Commission to obtain entitlements for redevelopment of beach blufftop property.

  • Represented a New Valley Realty in the acquisition of a distressed note and foreclosure on a Palm Springs, California development, including pursuit of guaranties. Brownstein enforced a completion guaranty against the borrower that required them to complete all improvements for a golf course resort community enabling the completion of the community, golf course clubhouse and resale of lots.

  • Represented a major university in negotiations involving land use and real estate matters for a casino and hotel development.

  • Represented Alberta Development Partners, LLC in the development and financing of Cornerstar, a new mixed-use center containing 158 acres of retail and residential space in Aurora, Colorado. Brownstein handled the leasing and selling of portions of the center to national and regional retailers such as Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Office Depot, 24 Hour Fitness and Sunflower Market.

  • Represented Alberta Development Partners, LLC in all aspects of redevelopment of Southglenn Mall to create a new, mixed-use center called The Streets at SouthGlenn, including the eminent domain process, public and private financing, creation of governing documents with Sears and Macy's and leasing of more than one million rentable square feet of retail, office and residential space to national and regional retailers such as Whole Foods, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Staples, 24 Hour Fitness, Ross and eCollege.

  • Represent owners in processing of multi-agency entitlements for an existing equestrian academy located in rural Santa Barbara County.

  • Process entitlements and coordinate environmental review for the subdivision of a 2,000-acre ranch in coastal Santa Barbara County.

  • Handle ongoing constraints and opportunities analysis for a 4,000-acre ranch in coastal Santa Barbara County related to land use, agricultural and natural resources planning. Brownstein is also coordinating related entitlements for two single-family residences and managing the process for LEED for Homes certification.

  • Promoted and obtained RWQCB alteration in policy to protect Golf Courses.

  • Represented Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Inc. in connection with various development and resort management transactions, including the Fairmont Vail, a master planned luxury resort community located in Vail, Colorado and the Fairmont Roco Ki, a master planned luxury resort community located in the Dominican Republic.

  • Represented World Leisure Partners in connection with the acquisition, redevelopment and management of Cap Juluca, a world-renowned luxury resort in the British West Indies on the island of Anguilla.

  • Represented the developer of the Snowmass Village base area in connection with the development of a hotel condominium, luxury residential condominium and subterranean parking garage condominium.

  • Represented developers in connection with development of two hotel condominiums at Mountain Village ski resort.

  • Represented a developer in connection with the redevelopment of two existing condominium projects in Steamboat, Colorado.

  • Represented a developer in connection with a condominium conversion at Steamboat ski resort.

  • Represented a client before Santa Barbara County to obtain entitlements for the development of a custom-designed, sustainable home. Brownstein also assisted in easement issues and managed the LEED certification process for the property.

  • Represented an individual private investor in the acquisition of approximately 24 acres of real property located in Douglas County, Colorado. Brownstein handled the associated matters in connection with developing the property as an osteopathic college, including the negotiation of related contracts for the acquisition of additional adjacent property and the development, cost-sharing, tap purchase and infrastructure acquisition agreements between the investor, the seller and various metropolitan districts.

  • Represented a homeowner group in challenging the application for a permit for a major condominium development.

  • Represented Lennar Colorado, LLC, a large Colorado developer, in a complex option to purchase and share in the construction and development of a private golf course community in Adams County, Colorado.

  • Represented the resort division of a major homebuilder in connection with the development of a mixed-use planned community and a residential condominium project in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Represented the Colorado Community College System in the development of a 150-acre campus at Lowry. Brownstein handled negotiations involving federal limitations, multi-jurisdictional land use matters and related real estate issues for this mixed use development.

  • Represented Vista Ridge Development in the development of 1,500 acres of the Vista Ridge housing and golf course community in Erie, Colorado. Brownstein assisted in the subsequent disposition of the country club/golf course and residential community.

  • Represented the developer of the Copper Mountain ski resort in connection with its real estate development projects, including a large master-planned community, seven residential, commercial and mixed-use condominium projects, a fractional interest project and residential lot subdivision.

  • Represented a Colorado development company in connection with development and operation of 330-lot golf-course community in Silverthorne, Colorado.

  • Negotiation of purchase, sale and development agreements for sale and development of 300,000 square foot hotel complex in Aurora, Colorado at High Point Office Park adjacent to Denver International Airport with use of public/private financing. 

  • Providing ongoing representation for a variety of residential, commercial, industrial, and non-profit applicants for development projects.

  • Development of 1,000 acre Vista Ridge Residential/Golf Course Community in Erie, Colorado. 

  • Represented a major hotel developer in pursing permits before the Coastal Commission.

  • Development of the 1,000 acre Grant Ranch Residential Community in Jefferson County, Colorado.

  • Represented the purchaser/redeveloper of an environmentally contaminated 402 acre coastal property in Newport Beach, California to be developed into a $2 billion mixed-use project including 1375 residential units.

  • Deveopment of an $80M office complex in Austin, Texas.

  • Represented the purchase/redeveloper of an environmentally contaminated 3.5 acre site in downtown San Francisco to be developed into a $200 million mixed-use project compound on 400 residential units and 50,000 square feet of communal space.

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Meet The Team

Nicole R. Ament Shareholder T 303.223.1174 nament@bhfs.com
Edward N. Barad Shareholder T 303.223.1108 ebarad@bhfs.com
Jennifer Eiteljorg Shareholder T 303.223.1162 jeiteljorg@bhfs.com
Tal Diamant Shareholder T 303.223.1235 tdiamant@bhfs.com
Noelle Riccardella Shareholder T 303.223.1204 nriccardella@bhfs.com
Bruce A. James Shareholder T 303.223.1167 bjames@bhfs.com
Christine A. Jochim Associate T 303.223.1163 cjochim@bhfs.com
Andrew L. Meyers Shareholder T 303.223.1193 ameyers@bhfs.com
Blair E. Lichtenfels Shareholder T 303.223.1190 blichtenfels@bhfs.com
Matthew R. Nyberg Shareholder T 303.223.1153 mnyberg@bhfs.com
Ronda L. Sandquist Shareholder T 303.223.1191 rsandquist@bhfs.com
Ashley B. Wingfield Shareholder T 303.223.1218 awingfield@bhfs.com
Gregory A. Vallin Shareholder T 303.223.1103 gvallin@bhfs.com
Melinda R. Hart Paralegal T 805.882.1435 mhart@bhfs.com