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Real Estate Development & Land Use


The Real Estate Development and Land Use Practice Group at Karr Tuttle Campbell is a part of the firm’s Business and Finance Department. The group has a comprehensive background of representing owners, lenders, borrowers, investors, developers, contractors, brokers, property managers, title insurers, escrow agents, municipalities and syndicators in every segment of the real estate industry. Our experience extends to all aspects of federal, state, local and private land use regulation, including compliance with controlling regulations such as the Growth Management Act and implementing regulatory schemes.

Our attorneys routinely assist clients in matters such as master site planning, environmental review, permit processing, subdivisions and zoning restrictions, and the negotiation of project mitigation and permit conditioning.  Lawyers of our Real Estate Development and Land Use Practice Group are familiar with site remediation, construction-related contracting and dispute resolution, cell and telecommunications tower siting and regulation and in the public and private financing of real estate development projects.  Our real estate clients range from personal investors to large, multinational corporations.

Representing our clients’ interests frequently involves handling landlord/tenant issues such as lease negotiation, as well as the resolution of landlord/tenant disputes and, where necessary, the prosecution or defense of unlawful detainer actions, and the initiation or defense of collection actions against guarantors.  Our attorneys also have particular experience in buying and selling real properties out of bankruptcy.  We have represented real estate developers in workouts and Chapter 11 reorganizations, many of which require addressing financing, title issues and a variety of related problems.

Lawyers in the Real Estate Development and Land Use Group are well-grounded in environmental law and issues involving hazardous materials and weather-related property damage. The resources of other practice groups within the firm are available to our real estate clients in the event that foreclosure, loan workout, lender liability, eminent domain, inverse condemnation or other litigation concerns should arise.

Representative Matters

  • Karr Tuttle Campbell represents a developer in obtaining revisions to a local government’s comprehensive plan policies and the site’s land use and zoning designations, and in seeking the necessary government approvals to remediate existing on-site contamination and obtain approval for the construction of the region’s most sustainable urban center development on a 60-acre waterfront site on Puget Sound.
  • Our attorneys are actively involved in the approval process for a number of “planned action” and master planned, mixed use developments in the region.
  • The firm serves as special consultant to Cascade Land Conservancy, the largest nonprofit land trust in the Northwest.  In this capacity, the firm has facilitated the purchase and preservation of more than 7,000 acres of high quality wildlife habitat, natural areas and parks throughout western Washington.  The protected properties include portions of more than 20 rivers and estuarine bays, as well as 20 miles of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound and along the Washington coast.
  • Two master planned housing projects for which our attorneys obtained all necessary governmental approvals were named Master Builder “Community of the Year” in successive years.
  • Our attorneys have assisted in the approval and development of major corporate campuses throughout the region.
  • We advised the buyer of the real property of Tacoma Boat building Company from the Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession.
  • As part of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan for the developer of a large recreational subdivision on the Oregon Coast, we were able to restructure the developers’ financing.  We also assisted the in resolving internal governance problems with a homeowner’s association and in successfully negotiating settlement of a lawsuit with adjoining property owners. The lawsuit, involving a common water system, had prevented the sale of any lots in the subdivision for more than two years.
  • Our attorneys’ work facilitated development of mixed use commercial and residential developments on both owned and leased parcels of land.
  • We provided advice that made possible a master redevelopment plan and preliminary plat approval for a 165-home “neo-classical” single-family community.
  • We frequently negotiate and document the purchase, sale and financing of apartment buildings.
  • Our firm provided legal counsel to the seller of an airline jet fuel tank farm located outside of SeaTac Airport to the Port of Seattle.
  • We were instrumental in facilitating master site plan approvals for a 189-unit “national park lodge style” multi-family development.
  • We worked with private parties and county officials to resolve access, easement, utility, design, and covenant issues surrounding the subdivision of a large Orcas Island tract into individual lots.
  • We represented the developer of 65-unit subdivision in a dispute with adjoining property owners over private water system and in refinancing the development.
  • In connection with a series of store leasing and purchase transactions, we advised a grocery store chain.