Eric represents owners and developers, contractors and design professionals in complex and controversial real estate development and construction projects.

Overview

Eric advises private, non-profit and public owners and developers, contractors and design professionals in all aspects of real estate acquisition, ownership and development, with particular emphasis on entitlements and governmental assistance, brownfield redevelopment, and construction contracts. In his more than 25 years of practice, Eric has applied his depth of experience to a wide range of projects, including Minnesota’s world class Target Field ballpark, the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, multi-family, senior and student housing, hospitals and clinics, alternative energy production facilities, and gaming facilities.

Eric has guided his clients through approval processes with neighborhood associations, governmental authorities, lenders and grantors. That experience includes entitlements for controversial projects in historic districts, environmental cleanup funding and liability assurances for brownfield redevelopment, tax increment financing for urban redevelopment projects, and approvals and financing for industrial sites, student housing, and facilities for the homeless. He also advises owners, designers and contractors about project delivery, joint ventures and design and construction contracts.

Eric practiced as a licensed architect before entering law school. Lessons learned in ten years in architecture provide Eric with particular insight into what matters to owners, lenders, contractors and architects, and what is required to obtain and retain public support for a project.

Eric has twice been honored by the firm as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, in 1994 and 2016, for volunteer work in the arts and for service to the indigent and homeless.

Experience

Counsel to owner of Midway Shopping Center, St. Paul, a 25 acre traditional regional shopping center now being redeveloped as a mixed use transit-oriented district under a master plan that includes the recently opened Allianz Field professional soccer stadium, including land use approvals, environmental remediation grants, and ground leases to stadium developer.

Counsel to the University of Minnesota in negotiation of project management, design and construction agreements for 50,000 seat, $250,000,000 Big Ten football stadium.

Counsel to Hennepin County, MN in negotiation of development, design and construction agreements for 40,000 seat, $400,000,000 Target Field baseball stadium, including Development Agreement between the County, through its Ballpark Authority, and the Minnesota Twins.

Counsel to the owners of the Minnesota Wild NHL hockey team in development of the Xcel Energy Center arena, including negotiation of development agreement between owners and City of St. Paul, and acquisition, bidding and procurement issues related to state bonding.

Counsel to urban high school in development of an athletic field and bleachers on historic Nicollet Island, in cooperation with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, including environmental review (EAW), and development approvals from the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, City Council, Planning Commission, and Heritage Preservation Commission, the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Finance, and defense of those approvals in litigation.

Counsel to YWCA of Minneapolis in funding and construction of the Midtown Y in Minneapolis, MN, including joint use agreements with Minneapolis Special School District No. 1, state bonding grant and use agreements, acquisition, bidding and procurement related to state bonding, design and construction agreements.

Counsel to CenterPoint Energy Resources in acquisition of former Neiman Marcus department store building in downtown Minneapolis for redevelopment as regional headquarters, including governmental approvals, amendments to declaration of covenants for three-dimensional subdivision to ensure rights of access, parking rights, and utility service from the other properties within the RLS after the subdivision, and contracts for design, construction and abatement.

Counsel to nonprofit owner in acquisition and redevelopment of riverfront industrial site land for headquarters for regional center for organ and tissue donation, including land use approvals, approval of environmental remediation under MPCA VIC program, and remediation grants from the State of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County.

Counsel to lead recycling company in acquisition, financing, remediation and redevelopment of $110,000,000 lead smelter in Tampa, Florida. Negotiation and drafting of agreements for architects and contractors, EPC agreements for production components, subcontracts and purchase orders.

Counsel to former Gander Mountain Company for acquisition, financing and development of new stores throughout Southeast and Southwest US and leasing, financing and land uses matters related to existing stores.

Pro bono counsel to Listening House, a non-profit drop-in center for homeless, indigent and lonely people, located in the basement of a neighborhood church, defending against challenge to land use approvals by residential neighbors, in City proceedings and subsequent litigation.

Pro bono counsel to Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center, Minneapolis, MN, a Somali Islamic congregation in acquisition and redevelopment of former manufacturing facility, for use as a community center for education, recreation, and prayer.

Pro bono counsel to The Jungle Theater, a nonprofit performing arts organization in acquisition, financing, land use approvals, environmental remediation, and governmental assistance for a live theater redevelopment project.

Counsel to People Serving People, Inc., a homeless shelter on the eastern edge of downtown Minneapolis, in acquisition and land use approvals, including rezoning.

Counsel to developers in preparing and defending environmental review (EAW, EIS, AUAR) including Block E, RiverStation, and DeLaSalle High School.

Counsel to developers in obtaining liability assurances, and in some cases reimbursement and other financial assistance, for environmental investigation and remediation under the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (“VIC”) and Voluntary Petroleum Investigation and Cleanup (“VPIC”) programs, for many projects, including the projects listed here.

Counsel to construction contractor on several casino and hotel projects on Indian land, requiring assessment of risks under tribal law and negotiation and drafting of waivers of sovereign immunity, consents to jurisdiction, and related issues.

Counsel to residential developers, in acquisition, project approvals, tax increment financing, conventional financing, condominium and sales documents.

Counsel to student housing developers, in acquisition and entitlements.

Counsel to Hennepin County in due diligence and long-term Lease and Operating Agreement related to transfer of assets of largest public hospital in Minnesota, including hospital, clinic, medical office buildings and energy center covering 5 blocks of downtown Minneapolis.

Acquisition, development, and financing of new $54,000,000 25 bed critical access hospital in Jamestown, ND. USDA Rural Development fund financing. Subsequent ground lease of land to private developer of new medical office building.

Counsel to Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in various acquisition, development and leasing transactions, including acquisition and remediation of land for new St. Paul Addiction Treatment Center.

News & Insights

Recognitions

Recognitions

Martindale Hubbell Judicial Edition AV Preeminent®

Recognized as Lawyer of the Year© by The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 in Land Use and Zoning Law

Elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law since 2008

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

American College of Real Estate Lawyers

American Bar Association

Minnesota State Bar Association, Construction and Real Estate Sections

Hennepin County Bar Association, Construction and Real Estate Sections

Minneapolis Downtown Council Greening Committee

Urban Land Institute

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Education

University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1991

University of Minnesota, B.Arch., College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 1978

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