Robert C. Buckley

Senior Partner

Real Estate & Land Use

O: (617) 880-3537

F: (617) 692-3537

About Robert

Land use planning, commercial real estate law, and environmental law are the focus of Bob’s practice. He is recognized for his experience in developing comprehensive zoning initiatives for mixed-use development projects and his expertise in environmental issues, including wetlands and Brownfield sites. His work on several projects has been cited by Massachusetts officials as examples of creative and responsive zoning.

Bob is a sought-after panelist, moderator, and commentator for real estate development trends. He recently joined panels on the challenges facing suburban and city developments and how cities and towns can prepare for the expansion of life sciences development in the Boston metro region. Bob’s projects have been featured in local and national publications, including The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, and The Wall Street Journal. He also has written articles for several publications and has spoken at forums on land use and zoning issues associated with commercial real estate development.

Representative Matters

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  • Drafted the enabling zoning ordinance to permit a client to develop mixed-use development in excess of 1.8 million square feet of office; research and development, multi-family, hotel and retail uses. This ordinance has been cited by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and professional planning associations as an example to be followed by municipalities to foster economic development.
  • Drafted for a client comprehensive zoning by-laws for several mixed-use developments, including a 1.4 million square foot campus for a major computer corporation
  • Obtained Federal, state, and local permits for constructing office space, retail centers, and hotels for major corporations
  • Drafted a comprehensive transit oriented development zoning by-law governing a client’s development of a mixed-use project that would incorporate a commuter rail station and the reclamation of a Federal Superfund site and obtained required federal, state, and local permits
  • Drafted zoning by-laws and obtained Federal, state, and local permits to permit a life-science campus for a major pharmaceutical company
  • Permitted more than 3,000 units of multi-family housing in Massachusetts
  • Worked on the drafting, negotiation, and approval process for Tax Increment Financing projects totaling more than 2 million square feet under the Massachusetts Tax Incentive Program

In The News

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  • A hard look at mall sites’ future – dining, entertainment replace department stores – Riemer & Braunstein’s Bob Buckley discusses how malls are redeveloping themselves as entertainment, recreation and experiential gathering places.
    Banker & Tradesman, September 18, 2017
  • Developer says exchange South End could be Amazon HQ2 contender – A Boston development company has filed plans for a South End complex it says could be a piece in the city’s Amazon HQ2 puzzle. Riemer & Braunstein’s Bob Buckley discusses how this could be an opportunity to bring better transportation to Boston.
    Bisnow, September 21, 2017
  • Local communities see benefit of mixed-use developments – Robert Buckley, a land-use attorney and senior partner at Riemer & Braunstein LLP, said he’s seeing suburban towns increasingly embrace the idea of compact, walkable, mixed-used developments that evoke more of a communal atmosphere.
    Banker & Tradesman, July 25, 2016
  • Big development parcel stirs interest – Robert Buckley, a senior partner in Riemer & Braunstein’s real estate practice, comments on trends in area commercial real estate.
    Banker & Tradesman, January 18, 2016
  • Regional transit authorities taking the wheel – Employers are slowly realizing that highly-skilled workers value transportation options. Riemer & Braunstein’s Bob Buckley comments on the importance of transportation as a benefit to employees.
    CommonWealth, January 12, 2016
  • It’s time to take action to address traffic congestion – A sign of the rise of economic well-being in the Commonwealth comes at us daily with the upswing in congestion on many of the major arteries in eastern Massachusetts. However, unless the state aggressively works with the business community as well as municipalities to lessen congestion, frustration is likely to grow with long-term implications adversely impacting economic prospects for the Commonwealth. Bob Buckley discusses how the state can help with this important issue.
    MASSter List, July 16, 2015
  • Chinese insurers invest in Boston Seaport site – Two Chinese life insurance companies are investing in a Boston Seaport District redevelopment project as Chinese insurers continue shopping for American real estate. According to Robert Buckley, an attorney who focuses on land use and development at Riemer Braunstein in Boston, the area has experienced a rebirth.
    China Daily USA, April 9, 2015
  • Greater Boston’s next billion-dollar-plus redevelopment opportunity – Bob Buckley discusses how a good real estate development strategy can turn Suffolk Downs into an ideal site for redevelopment success.
    New England Cable News, September 18, 2014
  • Praise for Middlesex 3 Coalition – The Middlesex Route 3 corridor has become the strongest marketplace off Route 128 in the last decade, the state’s secretary of Housing and Economic Development said. Robert Buckley, senior partner at Riemer & Braunstein and vice president of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, touted the recent Community Innovation Challenge state grant that the five municipalities received for transportation.
    The Lowell Sun, March 28, 2014
  • Development innovation gets boost along Route 3 corridor with help from R&B Partner Bob Buckley – Putting the power of its public-private partnership to good use, members of the Middlesex 3 Coalition have been working to bring jobs, transportation projects and economy-boosting programs to the Route 3 North corridor and to the city and towns of Burlington, Bedford, Billerica, Chelmsford and Lowell. The effort was recognized when the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) presented the Middlesex 3 Coalition with the Kenneth E. Pickard Municipal Innovation Award.
    Robert Buckley heads up the private sector involvement for Middlesex 3.
    The Lowell Sun, January 29, 2014
  • Economist backs regional effort to promote Route 3 corridor – A collaborative effort among five communities to promote their shared Route 3 corridor is getting praise from well-known economist Barry Bluestone, founding director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Bob Buckley, a senior partner in the Burlington office of Riemer & Braunstein, is vice president of the coalition’s board.
    The Boston Globe, July 18, 2013
  • Banker & Tradesman profiles Bob Buckley: Making change one approval at a time – Riemer & Braunstein’s Bob Buckley focuses on strategies that help clients create mixed-use projects in Massachusetts. And the media has noticed.
    Banker & Tradesman, June 10, 2013
  • Suburban Transportation: Let the discussion begin – Recently, the city of Marlborough has begun consideration of an innovative zoning bylaw to address some of the vacant properties that exist along the Interstate 495 corridor. In particular, the city adopted an ordinance written by Riemer & Braunstein to reposition the former Hewlett-Packard campus into a thriving and vibrant mixed-use project to consist of office, retail, multifamily housing and hospitality uses. Bob Buckley discusses how the city council has also used this proposal as an opportunity to bring to the forefront one of the more pressing issues facing suburban commercial properties: interconnective transportation.
    Boston Business Journal, January 4, 2013
  • Collaboration can bring innovation, life back to cities – The city of Marlborough, like many municipalities, has experienced good times and bad since the economic downturn began in 2008; however, it refuses to sit on the sidelines and is forging its own path to economic recovery and prosperity, writes Arthur Vigeant, Mayor of Marlborough and Robert Buckley, senior partner at Riemer & Braunstein LLP.
    Atlantic Management purchased and began marketing the 109-acre former Hewlett-Packard campus, soon to be Forest Park, in 2010. Riemer & Braunstein represented Atlantic in helping to craft the Forest Park overlay district, which brings a 360-degree living experience back to Marlborough.
    Banker & Tradesman, December 31, 2012
  • Route 3 communities join to promote area to businesses – A newly formed partnership among five area communities to promote and enhance their shared Route 3 corridor has made its formal debut. The Boston Globe reports on the effort. Robert Buckley, a senior partner in the Burlington office of the law firm Riemer & Braunstein, one of the business members on the board, said Middlesex 3 is being well-received in the business community.
    The Boston Globe, September 30, 2012
  • Middlesex 3 Coalition seeks to boost business along Route 3 corridor – According to Robert Buckley, a senior partner at Riemer & Braunstein, his law firm and several other businesses came together with municipal officials from the towns along Route 3 to launch the Middlesex 3 Coalition early this year. The goal is to bring all five towns along the Route 3 corridor together to focus on employers’ needs along the widened Route 3 — namely workforce training, transportation and housing.
    Boston Business Journal, September 24, 2012
  • Middlesex 3 — A creative public/private experiment – The Massachusetts towns of Burlington, Bedford, Chelmsford, Billerica and the city of Lowell have formed a new entity called “Middlesex 3,” a unique experiment of municipal collaboration to achieve economic development. Gregory Bialecki (Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development), Richard T. Reed (Town Manager of the Town of Bedford, and Chairman of Middlesex 3), and Robert C. Buckley (Senior Partner at Riemer & Braunstein LLP and Board Member of Middlesex 3) discuss how Middlesex 3 aims to channel each community’s common goals of economic development and sustainability, while preserving and respecting the individual characteristics of each.
    Banker & Tradesman, August 20, 2012
  • Barcelona success yields model for Boston Innovation District – Recently, 11 business, civic, and academic leaders from Greater Boston traveled to Barcelona and Madrid as part of the World Class Cities Partnerships’ Inaugural Policy Exchange Mission. The delegates explored Barcelona’s unique strengths, which have developed and fostered innovation in that city, with a focus on talent attraction and retention. What they found was a well-branded innovation district with government support for entrepreneurs. How might the Boston area leverage current growth in Kendall Square, Longwood, and South Boston to boost our region’s innovation economy? Riemer & Braunstein’s Robert Buckley and Michael Lake of Northeastern University, both delegates to Barcelona, explore this question.
    Banker & Tradesman, February 12, 2012
  • Infrastructure essential in attracting new development projects – Bob Buckley discusses how towns that are able to work with developers to address zoning issues find projects moving forward even in the current economy.
    Boston Business Journal, July 16, 2010
  • Lexington, Mass. attracts biotech development – Lexington has been successful in attracting biotech because it understands the nature of this industry and what zoning regulations need to be in place to welcome biotech. Bob Buckley and Susan Yanofsky, the Lexington Director of Economic Development, discuss Lexington’s biotech developments and the benefits to residents with NECN’s Chet Curtis.
    New England Cable News, December 23, 2009
  • Opportunities for new development after car dealerships close – As local GM and Chrysler dealerships close, communities are feeling the impact; however, this can also lead to new opportunities. Bob Buckley, who is working on a mixed-use redevelopment for the former Burlington Dodge dealership, discusses how cities and towns can develop zoning that facilitates new developments on these sites.
    New England Cable News, May 28, 2009
  • California company opens $1B lab in Mass. – Bob Buckley talks with New England Cable News about a $1 billion lab complex planned for Cambridge, MA.
    New England Cable News, May 23, 2008
  • High gas prices benefit some real estate? – Bob Buckley discusses the benefit rising gas costs have on real estate near public transportation.
    New England Cable News, April 21, 2008
  • Mass. initiative aims to lure businesses – Bob Buckley discusses attracting building and development in the Commonwealth.
    New England Cable News, March 31, 2008
  • High costs force labs to leave Cambridge, Mass. – Many biotech companies are leaving Cambridge for the suburbs. Bob Buckley talks with New England Cable News’ R.D. Stahl about how communities can attract biotech development.
    New England Cable News, March 5, 2008
  • How towns can attract biotech development – Bob Buckley discusses ways communities can attract biotech development through zoning initiatives.
    New England Cable News, January 30, 2008

Affiliations

Founder and Director – Middlesex 3 Coalition, a Massachusetts regional planning initiative consisting of representatives from state, local and private sectors – Middlesex3.com
Director: Leading Cities Inc., International Non-profit Planning and Thought Leadership Consortium
American Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association
National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
Urban Land Institute

Admissions

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Education

Boston College Law School, J.D., cum laude
Dartmouth College, A.B., magna cum laude