Photo of Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation
Overview

Overview

We help clients comply with the complex layers of local, state and federal laws that apply to historic buildings, districts and other resources. Our work includes advising on:

  • Environmental review requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for changes to historic resources, including appropriate alternatives and mitigation for adverse changes
  • Efforts to register structures as nationally and locally designated historic landmarks
  • Compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings with regard to the rehabilitation of historic structures and additions to existing historic structures and districts
  • Compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and the Federal Department of Transportation Act
  • Compliance with tax rules and credits applicable to the rehabilitation of historic structures

We represent developers in connection with historic tax credit properties, including the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic structures; the negotiation and documentation of disposition and development agreements with local agencies; bridge, government and institutional financing; conservation easement donations; transaction structuring; and tax credit syndications to raise equity from sophisticated corporate investors. We call upon our close working relationships with the National Park Service and the State Office of Historic Preservation to guide clients successfully through the tax credit process.

We also advise corporate investors in connection with private equity investments and nationally-syndicated affordable housing and historic tax credit funds. Our work includes tax analysis, due diligence, document review and negotiating partnership, limited liability company and finance documents.

Our attorneys have served on the boards of influential preservation organizations, including the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Foundation for San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage and Preservation Action. We have also represented and worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation on a variety of matters. We use our relationships with these groups to foster communication among competing parties in preservation disputes and help devise solutions to those challenges.

When litigation is unavoidable, we defend and prosecute land use lawsuits involving historic preservation issues, including alleged violations of CEQA, local preservation ordinances, the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 4(f) and related constitutional claims.