Real Estate, Land Use & Development

At Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba our Real Estate, Land Use & Development practice is one of the cornerstones of our success.

FLB will advise you through the entirety of the entitlement process to obtain governmental approvals.  Our attorneys have worked on projects large and small in virtually every business sector, including these and many others:


  • Residential single-family and multi-family developments
  • Retail spaces
  • Commercial offices
  • Warehouses
  • Distribution centers
  • Cell towers

  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities
  • Higher education
  • Medical offices
  • Restaurants (including fast food)
  • Standard restaurants
  • Convenience stores



We work closely with our transactional attorneys to provide you with exceptional services in acquisitions, sales, development financing, exchanges and all aspects of real estate-related transactions, from commencement of construction to post-development project completion.


Our Service Areas

 

Some of the largest and best-known projects in eastern Pennsylvania were accomplished with the legal and project leadership of FLB.  For nearly thirty years, our attorneys have been intimately involved in processing approvals for commercial, industrial and residential projects, working closely with local and state government agencies in development and construction projects. Our clients include local, regional and national developers and retailers and commercial and industrial businesses. The practice has also developed an expertise in representing wireless communication companies in zoning, land use and leasing matters.

FLB’s attorneys assist its clients through all levels of the land use approval process. The practice’s services include:

  • Preparing zoning and land development applications, ranging from a minor variance for a client’s new office to the use, subdivision and land development approval of an entire shopping center.
  • Appearing before local planning and zoning boards. Among them, the shareholders in the Real Estate Group have over 80 years combined experience practicing before these boards and regularly appear in support of their clients’ projects. On any night, FLB attorneys likely will be in several different municipalities providing representation to the Firm’s numerous real estate clients.
  • Drafting amendments and rezoning petitions to zoning and land development ordinances.
  • Handling governmental matters related to land development with agencies such as the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection and the County Conservation Districts.
  • Reviewing and negotiating documents associated with project approvals.
  • Arguing zoning and land use decisions before the local Common Pleas Courts and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

Our attorneys work closely with our real estate clients in acquisitions, sales, development financing, exchanges and all manner of real estate-related transactions.  We routinely guide our clients with permitting and entitlements, taking the process through governmental approvals, and assist in overseeing development of projects large and small, through commencement of construction and to post-development project completion.  In addition to our strong land use, subdivision and zoning practice (which includes local, state and federal agency and environmental matters), we provide counsel in the areas of leasing, licensing and tax assessment appeals.

Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba has significant experience in commercial lending, from both the lender and borrower perspectives.  Our relationships with traditional banks as well as private and specialty lenders enable us to match our borrower clients with the optimal financing source.

Every year, we close a significant volume of commercial loan transactions in the Lehigh Valley and in Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, Chester and Philadelphia Counties, as well as in New Jersey.

In choosing the right lender for your needs, negotiating favorable loan terms and covenants documenting the transaction, or advising owners on loan amendments or forbearance agreements, FLB is well-positioned to add value.

Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba is devoted to providing the highest quality legal representation and advice to owners of residential, commercial and industrial real estate in Pennsylvania Tax Assessment Appeals.

Our clients own multi-tenant office buildings, corporate headquarters buildings, assisted care facilities, warehouses, golf courses, retail buildings, multi-unit housing and residential homes in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Montgomery counties and the surrounding areas. We work closely with you and quality appraisers and financial and valuation specialists.

We also have experience and a deep understanding of the complexities of public utility appeals governed by Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Realty Tax Act (PURTA), which allow us to creatively address assessment challenges.

At Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, we know that early involvement of legal counsel is crucial when the power of eminent domain is used by either a government or public utility.

Those burdened with a taking are entitled to just compensation and the utility or governmental agency exercising this extraordinary power must balance the interest of its constituents with those of the property owner.

Our knowledge of the law, when combined with our significant real estate and trial experience, can help advance your interests.

As a member of the Community Associations Institute, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba provides general legal representation, counseling and litigation assistance to homeowners associations (HOAs), condominiums, planned communities and property management companies throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Handling a full range of issues for our planned community clients, including governing document drafting, amendments and revisions, transition issues, covenant enforcement and assessment violation/collection issues, FLB provides competent, experienced litigation representation at every level—from administrative forums to federal court. We also provide mediation services for planned communities that choose to handle their disputes outside of a courtroom setting.

Our planned community attorneys work closely with our experienced real estate, land use and zoning attorneys to provide you with all the resources you need. We have a strong land use, subdivision and zoning practice and regularly provide counsel in the areas of leasing, licensing and tax assessment appeals.

Our attorneys also assist with additional, related issues such as fiduciary duty, bankruptcy, foreclosure, insurance coverage, labor and employment, code standards and violations, fair housing and discrimination, corporate/nonprofit matters, taxation, FHA approvals and credit-related matters.

 

At Fitzpatrick Lentz & Buba, we consider your needs from a global perspective. Our team is ready to assist you with all manners of energy, transportation and general infrastructure projects throughout the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York region, proving a full range of legal services appropriate for your needs.

The historic growth in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale region has presented a wide variety of unique, multi-disciplinary legal challenges for landowners and business entities.

Our area-leading real estate and development practices, our extensive knowledge of local, state and federal regulatory regimes, and our experience and relationships with the region’s banking and finance communities combine so we can offer developers a high level of service in all aspects of infrastructure related transactions.  We are here to help you through the entire transaction, from the inception of a lease through the productive life of a well, and beyond.

Our Service Areas:

  • Estate planning techniques incorporating gas production royalties
  • Real estate development in emerging markets
  • Analysis of surface rights for leased property
  • Royalty agreements and non-payment dispute resolution

Recent Projects and Accomplishments

 
  • Counseled business partners and professional sports team ownership in major downtown arena and urban redevelopment project, working with private and government participants in the city’s economic employment and construction growth initiative.
  • For over 25 years, handled on an ongoing basis municipal and related development approvals for major convenience stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and fast food retailers.
  • Successfully challenged property tax assessments before local taxing authorities and in appeals to the respective county, including a certified class action appeal on behalf of over 300 homeowners, through appeal and trial, one of the largest assessment reductions in Pennsylvania for the international headquarters of a Fortune 500 company.
  • Litigated and resolved major condemnation claims for property owners and handled government takings and intrusions on private property, including a federal highway taking seizure of retail buildings, parking lots and property rights.
  • Prevailed in obtaining for a Fortune 100 company zoning, subdivision and land development approvals for a 200,000 square foot retail center in suburban Lehigh Valley.
  • Broke new ground on establishing and protecting the rights of a private property owner in a challenge filed by development opponents involving complex stormwater regulations.
  • Led the development team in the entitlement, approval and build-out of the region’s largest upscale lifestyle retail center, including consultation on project regulations and covenants.
  • For almost two decades, have provided legal direction and obtained entitlements for telecommunication carriers and tower owners, consisting of over 1,000 sites in more than half of Pennsylvania’s counties.
  • Represented multinational utility companies in obtaining land development approval for construction and expansion of a 25-acre solar energy facility.

Representative Clients

 
  • Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.
  • Allentown Commerce Park
  • Allied Building
  • AT&T Mobility
  • Cedar Fair, Inc.
  • DeSales University
  • Diversified Realty Advisors
  • Eastern Industries
  • Eden Wood Realty
  • IDS Real Estate Group (CA)
  • Iron Hill Construction
  • JACQUET Mid-Atlantic
  • J.G. Petrucci Company
  • Lehigh University
  • Liberty Property Trust
  • McDonalds
  • NAI Summit
  • North Star Development
  • Panattoni Development
  • Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Center
  • PPL
  • Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley
  • Rockefeller Development
  • Serfass Construction
  • Stabler Land Company
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network
  • Talen
  • TD Bank
  • The Waterfront Development Partners
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Watson Land Company
  • Wawa Markets
  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • Werner Enterprises