Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental

Stevens & Lee assists higher education clients in a broad range of real estate matters, including acquisitions and sales of commercial and residential properties; lease transactions, including ground leases; planned developments for commercial and residential uses; zoning matters; title insurance; student housing and other housing; and matters related to easements, rights-of-way and licenses.

Our real estate lawyers assist colleges and universities in the planning, analysis and structuring of real estate transactions related to land acquisition, zoning and land development approvals, facilities construction and planning, and the creation of student housing projects. We also negotiate and document transactions and coordinate the practical matters involved in seeing real estate transactions through to completion, including obtaining land use approvals, contracting with builders and construction firms, and assisting in obtaining construction financing and security.

We have assisted colleges and universities in the construction and renovation of classroom facilities, laboratories, dormitories and administrative facilities. These projects involved counseling our clients in the public and private bidding processes, including contract and bid preparation, contract negotiation, contracting for design and management services, appropriate risk management and bonding and resolution of construction disputes through federal and state court litigation, arbitration, mediation and settlement. We also regularly draft, negotiate or review service and maintenance contracts for facilities and equipment.

Our environmental attorneys represent higher education clients in matters relating to the acquisition or divestiture of real estate, evaluation and remediation of impaired properties, environmental permitting and compliance and, with respect to green buildings, sustainability, and alternative and renewable energy projects. We have also assisted higher education clients with respect to facility management issues, such as above-ground and underground storage tanks, asbestos, lead-based paint, mold and radon management and mitigation, hazardous waste management and environmental audits.

Our environmental experience includes the following:

  • Represented a college foundation in the acquisition of facilities to support an expansion, and have completed similar projects for other institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth
  • Represented a consortium of 14 universities to identify due diligence and liability issues regarding the purchase of a former military facility as a marine biology study center, among other significant matters
  • Represented institutions of higher education in issues that involve asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) and mold abatement and maintenance, including assistance with mold evaluation and abatement in student residence facilities
  • Represented a higher education client with respect to Clean Air Act Compliance and compliance with Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) regulations associated with refrigeration equipment maintenance, repairs and replacement