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Development and Incentives

Lathrop Gage knows how to develop and negotiate creative incentive packages that drive development. We have the experience, resources and relationships to help clients build or strengthen their presence in a number of major metropolitan areas.

As a full-service law firm with special expertise in real estate and commercial development, Lathrop Gage can assist in every area of a project, from the earliest planning stages through completion. For instance, we regularly assist clients with:

  • Site selection. Our team of experienced attorneys knows the lay of the land in markets nationwide; we have the ability to offer advice on the most beneficial sites for a new development.
  • Purchase of the real estate. Once the site is selected, we assist with the details of the purchase, including: the negotiation and drafting of sale and closing documentation; review of title reports and surveys; resolution of title problems; negotiation of title insurance coverages; negotiation and drafting of leases; and preparation of closing instructions for complex escrow closings.
  • Creation of a cohesive development strategy. As with most major projects, a detailed strategy is a key factor in a development’s success. We can leverage our past experience to help lay out a multi-faceted plan that takes into account all of the necessary processes and hurdles to take your project from blueprints to the grand opening as smoothly as possible.
  • Organization of the planned development. Once the strategy is decided upon, we assemble the requisite pieces into an organized step-by-step process to ensure the success of the development’s early stages. 
  • Planning and zoning issues. Our years of practice and in-depth involvement in major projects have given us the ability to identify the best solutions to planning and zoning issues for our clients. In addition to our expertise on the client side, several of our real estate attorneys are former city attorneys with knowledge of the “inner workings” of local government that provides invaluable insight in the zoning/planning process.
  • State and local incentive packaging. We offer high-level of expertise in preparing numerous financing plans and presenting them to various commissions. In this capacity, our attorneys have drafted redevelopment agreements, present value calculations, economic impact analyses, Tax Increment Financing policies and proposed ordinances. We strive to seek all available project incentives, enhancements, deferments and abatements, which can lead to significant savings.  
  • Tax matters. Our team can assist with specialized tax matters that may arise, including tax protests, obtaining tax abatement or TIF and other public financing tools.
  • Resolving any environmental issues with the appropriate agencies. We assist in the environmental aspects of development, including drainage, wetland and flood plain regulation, as well as creating, developing and protecting historic preservation districts if necessary.
  • Issuing and vetting local contractor RFPs. We can assist with the drafting of requests for proposals to streamline and organize the bidding process for portions of the project to be handled by local contractors. 

Representative Experience:

  • Obtained TIF and Transportation Development District incentives for a Kansas City, Kansas, retail center featuring a Wal-Mart and Best Buy, among other tenants. Negotiated development agreements with Wyandotte County and demonstrated the feasibility of the project for bond insurance.
  • Represented Pinnacle Entertainment in its successful attempt to win RFPs to build casinos in both St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The project resulted in $1 billion dollars of construction.
  • Served as special counsel to the St. Louis Development Corporation in negotiating development rights for the Arena/Highlands site. Arena/Highlands areas was the largest development site available at the time. 
  • Assisted the City of Mission, Kansas in creating and negotiating the development agreement for a series of TIF districts, a TDD and Sales Tax Revenue Bond incentives to the developer of a large retail project, including an aquarium.
  • Serving as outside legal counsel to a legendary and prolific hotelier in the $80 million development of a new downtown Kansas City hotel. Negotiating approval of complicated TIF and industrial revenue bonds. Completed a land-swap deal with a major Missouri employer, dealt with franchisee issues, worked with city on bond release regarding the purchase of city land and all other development issues.

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