Kira Teshima is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Areas of Practice

Kira assists public, private and nonprofit developers, property owners, and corporations with complex real estate projects.

Kira has deep experience obtaining and negotiating land use entitlements and other regulatory approvals for complicated hotel, office, housing, and mixed-use development in the City of Los Angeles and throughout California.  She also advises on commercial cannabis permitting, including obtaining and negotiating Conditional Use Permits and Development Agreements to operate in various cities across California.  Her significant land use expertise encompasses:  advising lenders, prospective buyers, and current owners on development opportunities, risks, and value-based recommendations through due diligence review of land use restrictions; complex project entitlements, including large-scale high-rise, campus, and studio projects involving multiple legislative and quasi-judicial approvals such as a General Plan Amendment, Zone Change, Sign District, Development Agreement, Conditional Use Permit, Design Review, and Subdivision Map; multi-phase master-planned developments; adaptive reuse of or development involving historical resources; joint development projects (e.g., private partnerships and public-private partnerships); utility scale energy projects; and affordable housing and mixed-income developments.  Her extensive entitlement experience is complemented by her strategic advice on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including ways to streamline environmental review for transit-oriented infill development and affordable housing projects.  She also represents developers and management in traditional labor law issues, including union negotiations. 



Representative Experience

  • Representing multiple clients on affordable housing projects in Los Angeles, including a 100 percent affordable permanent supportive housing project on City-owned property near a major transit stop with up to 80 units; a 100 percent affordable Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Tier 4 project with up to 135 units; and a mixed-income Density Bonus project with 69 affordable units that is utilizing modular construction.
  • Representing multiple clients on mixed-use hotel projects around Los Angeles, including an approximately 350,000-square-foot mixed-use project in Chinatown; a mixed-use, 1,000-key hotel project in Downtown Los Angeles; a mixed-use, 114-key hotel project in Hollywood; a mixed-use, 160-key hotel project in Hollywood; an adaptive reuse project for a 66-key boutique hotel in the Arts District; and a 450-key mixed-use hotel and event center in Downtown Los Angeles. All of these projects require multiple discretionary entitlements from the City of Los Angeles and several implicate potential historic resources and/or historic districts. In addition to managing the environmental review process and development team, Kira advises clients on community and historic preservation engagement, garnering political support from elected officials and CEQA litigation risk assessment.
  • Represented a studio client on an 18-story, mixed-use, creative office project on a 1.55-acre site in Hollywood. Kira helped manage the environmental review process and team. The project required several entitlements, including a General Plan Amendment, Zone Change/Height District Change, Ordinance to modify street designation standards, Conditional Use Permit and Site Plan Review. Kira also advised on all environmental issues, strategy to avoid or win litigation, community engagement and political support from elected officials.
  • Represented a studio client on entitlements for its marquee studio property with approximately 400,000 square feet of creative office buildings, post-production facilities and parking structures within their historic studio campus in Hollywood. The project was a model of success. The client avoided administrative appeals and no CEQA lawsuits were filed – a rare feat in Hollywood development.
  • Represented a municipality in the acquisition of an approximately 700-acre airport property. Kira managed the title review component of the transaction, which included nearly 150 parcels, and the final issuance of the title insurance commitment.
  • Represented a developer in a public-private partnership for the development of a 400,000-square-foot retail space on a former industrial site. Kira’s role included revising entitlements, an addendum to the Project EIR, street vacations and acquisition of portions of the project site. Kira also advised on all CEQA, environmental remediation and local land use permitting issues.
  • Provided CEQA and NEPA counseling on the development of a solar generation project. Project approvals sought included a Conditional Use Permit, right-of-way grant from the Bureau of Land Management and certification of related CEQA and NEPA documents. The project involved analysis of agricultural, global warming, water quality, cultural resources, biology and cumulative impacts.
  • Drafted and negotiated a tribal consultation agreement on behalf of a developer, allocating rights and responsibilities to the developer and unrecognized tribe in connection with a proposed coastal development.
  • Conducted land use due diligence in preparation for the purchase and sale of commercial property in the cities of Thousand Oaks and San Diego. Kira advised the purchaser of zoning compliance issues prior to closing.
  • Advised the purchaser of a commercial business center in the City of Orange regarding reinstatement of Association and amendments to governing documents and CC&Rs.
  • Drafted and negotiated easement agreements with the County of San Luis Obispo on behalf of a property owner, allocating rights and responsibilities for long-term property use, access and maintenance.
  • Represented a developer in connection with the entitlement and environmental review of over one million square feet of residential, office and entertainment uses in Los Angeles, including the preservation and rehabilitation of a historic theatre and recording studio.



Recipient, 2018 Bob Williams Award which recognizes Sheppard Mullin associates who provide exceptional service for the betterment of the firm and the community

Recipient, U.S.-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program

Southern California Rising Stars, Super Lawyers, 2020




Board of Directors, Little Tokyo Service Center

Board of Governors, Japanese American Bar Association

Board of Directors, Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation

Board Member, New Leadership Advisory Counsel of the Japanese American National Museum

Member, Los Angeles Urban Land Institute, Young Leaders Group



J.D. Southwestern Law School, 2012, Special Project Editor, Southwestern Law Review

B.A., University of California, San Diego, 2007, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • Extern to the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
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