Real estate development in Illinois is complicated by ever-changing regulations issued by a host of governmental bodies. With zoning relief and entitlements at stake, compliance is critical. Achieving success requires sophisticated legal counsel with the right mix of experience, knowledge of the state and local regulatory regimes, and the ability to work collaboratively with government agencies. 

Akerman represents clients developing properties throughout Illinois—helping developers and institutions obtain zoning relief and entitlements so they can turn their projects into reality. As part of a national team named a leader in land use, zoning, and real estate law (U.S. News – Best Lawyers), we have a strong track record of successfully handling some of the most complex, high-profile projects in the Chicago metropolitan area. Our work has—literally—shaped the Chicago skyline.

Using a comprehensive approach that balances the interests of our clients, the community, and governmental agencies, we assist in the development of commercial, mixed-use, residential, institutional, and industrial projects. Our team provides counsel throughout the entire entitlement process—from site evaluation and selection to project approval and opening.

We routinely conduct due diligence and entitlement analyses and assess site development options to determine the highest and best use of a property. Once a site is selected, our team guides clients through the land use and entitlement process with local jurisdictions and advises on local, state, and federal regulatory compliance matters. In addition, we provide land use guidance and analyses related to the acquisition, disposition, and financing of properties. Our team also drafts and negotiates agreements between governmental agencies and private parties to secure development rights and advance our clients' interests.

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