Real Estate & Land Use

Providing support and service to owners and developers in all aspects of commercial real estate

Riemer & Braunstein’s real estate/land use practice provides experienced support and service to owners and developers in all aspects of commercial real estate acquisition, divestiture and development. In addition to regional real estate practices, the firm handles acquisitions and dispositions on a national basis, as well as coordination of development projects with local counsel. We are recognized in Massachusetts as one of the leading firms in the drafting and implementation of mixed use ‘smart growth’ zoning. We also participate in numerous industry organizations, and one of our partners, Joan Parsons, was a past president (2010 – 2011) of CREW Boston, the successor to New England Women in Real Estate.

Our Burlington and Boston based attorneys focus on representing developers on projects throughout Massachusetts and cover the full spectrum of land use law, including the permitting and development of large corporate campuses and office parks, retail and mixed use redevelopments, and other commercial, industrial, and life science projects, as well as the permitting of multi-family housing developments, transit-oriented housing, and affordable housing developments approved pursuant to MGL Chapter 40B and Chapter 40R. Our staff also includes the services of a land use planner. The Burlington, Massachusetts office has been at the forefront of these activities for its more than 45 years of operation.

The addition of our New York City, Chicago, and Miami offices has expanded our real estate capabilities to provide for the representation of owners of commercial real estate in the New York, Chicago, and Miami areas. The attorneys in our New York, Chicago, and Miami offices have a wide range of real estate experience, including the leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate.

Range of Services

  • Permitting
  • Zoning – including overlay, mixed-use and form based
  • Environmental law
  • Land acquisition and sales
  • Liquor licensing
  • Subdivisions
  • Commercial, industrial, office, and biotech leasing
  • Easements
  • Title cases
  • Title insurance issues
  • Drafting and negotiating construction contracts and related contracts
  • Structuring joint ventures
  • Appeals before various judicial and regulatory bodies including the Housing Appeals Committee; Division of Administrative Law Appeals in environmental cases; and Department of Environmental Protection

Attorneys in the real estate group represent clients in all aspects of land use development, including land acquisition and sales, zoning, permitting, environmental law (federal, state and local), drafting and negotiating construction contracts, structuring joint ventures, and commercial, industrial, office, and biotech leasing. The attorneys in this group focus on assisting developers and landowners in identifying and achieving the highest and best use of their properties. They use innovative legal techniques and approaches adding substantial value to our clients’ properties.

The group has recognized expertise in wetlands and environmental law and regulations, and their impact on real estate development. For example, it has represented clients in the redevelopment of two federal Superfund sites, the negotiation of consent orders with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the litigation of environmental contamination claims. It also has made numerous successful appearances before the DEP to obtain superseding orders of conditions on appeals from local conservation commissions. In many more instances, attorneys in the group have been able to work out solutions acceptable to our clients through discussions with local conservation commissions.

The Riemer & Braunstein real estate practice is known for spotting key trends in the market and designing legal strategies to meet these new challenges. Riemer & Braunstein attorneys are often asked to moderate and participate on real estate industry panels to discuss industry trends and to comment on these trends for newspaper articles and for television news segments.

Representative Projects

  • Repositioning for market of a 150-acre parcel and its subsequent permitting and development into the eastern United States campus of a major software company. The development currently consists of 1 million square feet of mixed-use office, research and non-destination accessory retail space and is expected to be 1.3 million square feet when fully built out.
  • Negotiation and approval of significant Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) packages for corporations expanding within or relocating to Massachusetts
  • Representation of a national real estate fund in connection with the acquisition and financing of multi-family apartment projects in Naples and North Lauderdale, Florida
  • Development of the Woburn Industri-Plex Superfund site, including obtaining PWED grants for the construction of roadway improvements and the permitting of over 1 million square feet of office and retail space, including a mixed office and research building for a leading bio tech company, the first Target store opened in Massachusetts and its own interstate highway interchange. The redevelopment of the site has received critical acclaim and awards.
  • Federal, state and local permitting of a regional outlet mall for a national retail development Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
  • Development of numerous hotels for various national franchises
  • Master planning and development of a major Brownfields site to include approximately 1 million square feet of office space, research and development space, and complementary uses, including an extended-stay hotel
  • Rezoning, permitting and approval for several mixed-use development districts, including:
    • a project consisting of 500 luxury residential units, 500,000 square feet of commercial space and amenities. The project is part of a master plan to create a “rail transit district” zoning overlay, which has received national recognition as an example of creative and responsible zoning.
    • a 625,000 square-foot development consisting of 500,000 square feet of commercial space and 125,000 square feet of residential space
    • a 750,000 square-foot commercial space, 500 unit residential and 150 room hotel project through the utilization of award winning zoning initiatives
  • Representation of national and local home builders in the permitting of multi-family housing units with affordable components utilizing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Law, MGL Chapter 40B and the Smart Growth Zoning Overlay District Act, MGL Chapter 40R
  • Negotiation and implementation of a four-parcel “land swap” that resulted in the creation of 228 units of luxury and affordable housing and the development of 326,000 square feet of commercial office space. The project was awarded the Kenneth Pickard Municipal Innovation Award by the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
  • Creation of numerous retail developments, including acquisition, permitting and lease negotiations


Boston & Burlington

Robert C. Buckley
(617) 880-3537

Mark T. Vaughan
(617) 880-3547

New York

Ronald N. Braunstein
(212) 789-3131


Matthew R. Nash
(312) 780-1191


Steven M. Klein
(305) 389-3233