Sullivan assists clients in obtaining permits for real estate development projects, including all local, state and federal permits. We also provide representation in administrative enforcement matters and litigation as necessary.  We represent developers, landowners, lenders, investors and public authorities in addressing land use laws affecting planning and zoning, environmental and historical impact review, coastal zone management, wetlands and waterways, brownfields, solid, hazardous and municipal waste, public lands and endangered species. We analyze requirements for development projects, financings and acquisitions, and we assist clients in obtaining, renewing and complying with permits and regulatory requirements for facility construction and operation.

In recent years, Sullivan has focused on the expansion of its Zoning & Land Use practice, which now includes a bench of seven permitting and land use specialists as well as a government relations practitioner. At the close of 2021, Sullivan’s Zoning & Land Use team is currently in the midst of permitting nearly 10 million square feet of new development in Boston and Somerville alone, with over 8 million of those square feet being represented by life science development. 

Our group of practitioners have spent years forming close relationships with the key permitting agencies and staffers in Boston/Somerville/Cambridge, and our expertise includes the authorship of the two authoritative practice guides to permitting in Massachusetts: Boston Zoning: A Lawyer’s Handbook, and the two-volume Massachusetts Zoning Manual. Our representation of clients goes far beyond a methodical permitting practice, and, instead, reaches into the practice of our clients: we learn the industries of our clients so that we can best assist them with the community-centric and political practice of permitting law. Our group specialists include lawyers who were formerly architects, elected representatives, political campaign staff, and municipal legal counsel. We also live our practices by our volunteer positions sitting on local zoning and conservation boards.

Representative Client Work

BOSTON

  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for a single client relating to the development of three life science buildings on a 4.5 acre site in the South Boston Marine Park, multiple life science buildings on a 16.5 acre site in Dorchester, a single 400,000 square foot life science building in Downtown Boston, and a single 350,000 square foot life science building in South Boston
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for the master planning of 7.5 acres in Dorchester for mixed use including life science, residential, and retail
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for the master planning and design impact review of a 25.5 acre site in Charlestown including life science, office, residential, hotel, retail and significant open space and resiliency measures
  • Ongoing permitting and project-management work for a local university for a new ten-year master plan, redevelopment of an athletics field and complex, and a new dormitory and student center
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for the master planning of a 6.5 acre site in the LMA/Fenway neighborhoods including life science/office, residential and retail uses
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for the permitting of a 625,000 square foot office building in Back Bay
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for a single client relating to multiple development sites for life science developments in Allston/Brighton and Fenway
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for the master planning and tax incentive financing of a 7.5 acre site in Allston/Brighton including a significant affordable housing component
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for a single client regarding two large-scale multi-family developments in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston
  • Conducted review of practices, policies and procedures of the City of Boston Zoning Board of Appeal and prepared comprehensive memorandum providing recommendations for the improvement of Board practices
  • All permitting work for an international development and construction company of a 300,000+ square foot office building in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston including resolution of complex easement issues
  • All permitting work for a publicly traded developer for an addition to a pre-existing nonconforming office-building in downtown Boston
  • Permitting and land-use work for a +1 million square foot, five-building development in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston including negotiation of article 80 agreements, PIC licenses, agreements and easements and zoning opinion for lender
  • Permitting diligence during purchase and permitting work post-purchase for the redevelopment of a downtown Boston office building into a boutique hotel
  • Zoning and development analysis and permitting work for a developer of 1.8 million square feet of mixed uses including office, hotel, residential, recreation and retail, including negotiation of Section 6 agreements under c. 121A for tax relief
  • Represented developer of mixed-use tower in Seaport District, including zoning and environmental permitting issues and related mitigation agreements, drafting of PDA and addressing issues under Massachusetts Contingency Plan. Project involved Municipal Harbor Plan amendment and C. 91 waterways licensing, and drafting of zoning and environmental opinions for project financing and environmental indemnity agreements
  • Represented developer on permitting and regulatory requirements for a 420-room hotel, two office buildings in excess of one million square feet, and a 2,300-space garage on historic-filled tidelands adjacent to the Boston Harbor
  • Represented yacht club developer concerning state and local land use, wetlands and tidelands permits, and related litigation

SOMERVILLE

  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work relating to the development of a 315,000 square foot life science building in Boynton Yards
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work relating to the development of a 250,000 square foot life science building in Davis Square
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for a single client relating to multiple life science/office/industrial buildings within 14 acres of land straddling Brickbottom and Inner Belt
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use work for a single client relating to a multi-family residential building and a life science project in the East Somerville neighborhood
  • Representation of public REIT in land assembly and swap, permitting, infrastructure, and negotiations for new T station for major redevelopment project in Somerville, MA

GREATER BOSTON

  • Ongoing permitting representation of a private developer/family office and successful negotiation of land disposition agreement with the city for redevelopment or urban renewal of a 2+ acre parcel in Quincy Center, MA, including the development of a 240,000+ square foot life science/medical office building
  • Ongoing permitting representation of a private developer/family office for redevelopment of 14+ acre former hospital site in Quincy, MA into nearly 500 units of multi-family housing mixed-use project
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use representation of a private developer/family office for redevelopment of former historic Masonic Temple in Quincy Center, MA into multi-family housing mixed-use project
  • Ongoing 40B permitting and land-use representation of affordable housing developer for projects located in Cambridge and Templeton
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use representation of private development of multiple large-scale multi-family housing developments in Everett
  • Ongoing permitting and land-use representation regarding potential redevelopment of 95-acre waterfront site in Everett
  • Zoning and development analysis and permitting work for a private developer of mixed-use projects in Needham, Massachusetts, on multiple adjacent parcels for a 1.15 million square-foot development including Tripadvisor’s corporate headquarters, office/laboratory buildings, residential, hotel, and parking

Key Contacts

Related Practices

Related Industries


undefined

Jump to Page