Public-Private and Mixed-Use Projects


Robinson+Cole’s team of land use, real estate, finance, environmental, and construction lawyers works with our clients and their other professional advisers and consultants to help them successfully complete all manner of development projects, including large and complicated public-private development and mixed-use projects. We have a deep roster of talented and knowledgeable lawyers in these critical practice areas, many of whom have advanced degrees in planning or other disciplines, along with nonattorney land use planners and environmental scientists. Our efficient team-based approach to legal services brings the appropriate skills and the scale and scope of resources needed for every project.

Our Services

We represent owners, developers, and public agencies in all aspects of project planning, permitting, and execution for public-private and mixed-use projects. Our key services include the following:

  • developing comprehensive permitting strategies that address local, state, and federal regulatory programs, including multiphase approaches
  • drafting regulatory amendments where needed to enable complicated projects to succeed
  • negotiating municipal development agreements for infrastructure and financing
  • preparing documentation for condominium and common interest community ownership
  • collaborating with design and engineering professionals to bring effective team-oriented solutions to large projects

Our Team

Robinson+Cole’s land use lawyers work seamlessly with other lawyers in the firm to provide comprehensive advice and service from project start to finish:

  • We team with Robinson+Cole’s Government Relations Group to successfully position clients and their projects for economic development assistance, including tax incentives, at the state and local levels.
  • We team with lawyers in our Public Finance Group to structure public-private financing mechanisms needed for critical infrastructure.
  • We team with lawyers in our Environmental + Utilities Group to manage risk and successfully implement remedial strategies for project sites with historic contamination.
  • We team with Real Estate + Development lawyers to coordinate and implement transactional components of projects, including purchase and sale agreements, financing, and easements for access, utilities, and roadway improvements.
  • We team with Construction Group lawyers to provide advice on construction agreements and different project delivery.
    • Experience
      • Storrs Center

        For more than 13years, Robinson+Cole has represented the master developer of Storrs Center, a $250 million mixed-use project located in Mansfield, Connecticut, near the UConn campus. Our services included virtually all aspects of the P3 project, including the preparation of a state-level municipal development plan, the negotiation of development agreements with the municipal development agency and the town, and the creation of a new special design district to streamline zoning permits. We worked with the client’s team in developing comprehensive design guidelines; drafted and negotiated numerous phased purchase and sale agreements with state agencies and private landowners; composed land use and environmental permit applications with local, state, and federal agencies (local inland wetland

        permits, special use permits, subdivision approvals, state traffic agency approvals, and stormwater permits); drafted easements for roadway improvements; prepared commercial leases with retail and restaurant tenants; created a condominium structure; and provided government relations services that resulted in state and federal infrastructure funding.

      • Blue Back Square

        Represented the Town of West Hartford, Connecticut, in a mixed-use, retail-restaurant-office-residential development with related public infrastructure components. We negotiated all aspects of the master development agreement that established the structure of the transaction, the public and private financing, and the construction phasing. We likewise participated in municipal review of all of the project’s zoning applications. The public funding involved $48 million in general obligation bonds that funded improvements to the town’s facilities and parking garages using a special services district. The project’s private funding consisted of approximately $180 million and supported the construction of 160 condominium units and 480,000 square feet of commercial space. Public benefits from the project included an addition to the town’s library, renovations to its town hall, the creation of a public square and related street improvements, a town park, and two municipal parking garages.

      • Wonderland Station

        Robinson+Cole represented a private developer in a large mixed-use, transit-oriented development on land adjacent to the MBTA's Wonderland Station. The 1.3 million-square-foot project involved the construction of over 900 residential units; a 125-room hotel; 187,000 square feet of retail, office, and cultural use space; and structured parking for over 2,000 vehicles. Our services included drafting the developer's response to the City’s RFP, performing all due diligence for the nine-acre site, preparing and negotiating the master development agreement, and preparing a long-term ground lease with the MATA. We also prepared and negotiated the construction management contract for the MBTA parking garage, prepared several memoranda of understanding with state agencies and utility companies, and assisted with the project’s federal, state, and local permitting requirements. We likewise participated in securing federal stimulus funds to construct the MBTA garage.

      • State of Connecticut Highway Service Plazas

        Represented a public-private partnership with the State of Connecticut to redevelop, operate, and maintain Connecticut's 23 highway service plazas. The 35-year agreement was the result of extended negotiations with the state Department of Transportation. The service plaza overhauls also included "green" initiatives to bring the facilities up to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, improve water runoff patterns, and install idle-reduction technology for use by trucks on Interstate 95.

      • New Haven Coliseum

        Represented the master developer for the redevelopment of the former New Haven, Connecticut, coliseum site. The mixed-use project will include a wide range of retail, restaurant, commercial, and residential uses, all carefully integrated with extensive public space. Legal services included the drafting and negotiation of a development agreement for the disposition and redevelopment of the project property. 

      • Adriaen's Landing

        We continue to represent HB Nitkin Group in its development of a portion of the Adriaen's Landing Project in Hartford. The developer is constructing a mixed-use development with restaurant and entertainment venues, retail establishments, and residences. The project is being developed with the Capital Region Development Authority (formerly known as the Capital City Economic Development Authority) in conjunction with the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. The financing of the project was undertaken with state bond funds, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 loan, a Brownfields Economic Development Initiative Grant, an Urban Action Grant, and a City of Hartford property tax pilot agreement.

Our Team