• Marv Pearlstein

    Real Estate and Land Use
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    San Francisco
    Direct: 415.291.7439
    General: 415.291.7400
    Fax: 415.291.7474


    University of California, Berkeley,
    Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1977.
    Editor-in-Chief, California Law Review.


    Washington University, St. Louis, MO, B.A. and M.B.A., 1972.

    Bar Admissions
    • Profile
    • Representative Matters
    • Honors & Awards
    • Publications
    • Memberships & Activities
    • Speaking Engagements


    Marv Pearlstein represents some of the most successful and active real estate development companies and investment firms in their acquisition, development, construction, financing, management and disposition of real property. He has substantial experience in representing these clients in every major real estate product area, including multifamily, office, commercial, industrial and hospitality.

    Mr. Pearlstein’s work with real estate developers and investors includes entity formation strategy and the negotiation of joint venture arrangements on behalf of both development and capital partners.

    Mr. Pearlstein is well grounded in real estate finance, as he spent considerable time earlier in his career representing major financial institutions in their real estate equity investments and a wide range of sophisticated financing and leasing arrangements, including playing a lead role on numerous large portfolio transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of asset pools. He has also worked extensively with lenders on their restructuring, workout and enforcement activities.

    Prior to starting in private practice, Mr. Pearlstein served as a judicial clerk for one year on the staff of California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk.

    Representative Matters

    Represents a premier national real estate private equity fund in its acquisition of operating multifamily apartment properties and development sites, as well as performing and nonperforming real estate-secured loans throughout California and other Western states.

    Represents a $5 billion private equity fund in its investments in large master-planned communities in the Western United States. Work for this client spans many activities, including property acquisition and development, joint venture arrangements with developer partners, securing land use entitlements, financing, environmental compliance, mitigating impact fees and dispositions. In a typical year the fund will invest several hundred million dollars in the acquisition of land and the development of properties in its portfolio.

    Represented a leading real estate finance company in the workout of troubled assets in its loan and REO portfolios, including the disposition of numerous properties and the sale of loans secured by real estate assets in the Western United States. This work required a multidisciplinary approach, involving real estate, land use, bankruptcy and workout experience.

    On behalf of a major developer, closed on a long-term escrow for the acquisition of a large residential development site in Northern California, the first in a planned portfolio of apartment assets for this East Coast-based client. The site involved a number of difficult issues, including the resolution of proposed school fees and other project impositions, the relocation of cell towers under long-term leases on-site, modification of existing reciprocal easement arrangements and investigation of an environmental event occurring on the eve of closing.

    Represents one of the largest investors, developers and operators of apartment communities in the United States in the acquisition of sites for multifamily developments throughout California. Each deal has required the resolution of significant issues—CC&R’s prohibiting the proposed redevelopment, assemblage of parcels from multiple owners, long-term tenancies of current occupants, and averting proposed development fee increases.

    Represents a private shopping center developer and investor on special issues confronting centers it owns in California, including navigating the resolution of disputes concerning the ground lease of a portion of the land used for one of its centers, and on the financing and disposition of its centers.

    Represents a university in complex arrangements involved with the sale of several hundred acres of excess land owned by the educational institution. The development of the land slated for sale had been challenged by a ballot initiative that was successfully defeated. The successful closing on a sale requires the resolution of key issues involving land use matters, upgrading the college’s private water treatment plant and creating trail and open space easements, reciprocal access easements and restrictive covenants.

    Honors & Awards

    The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2016.


    Author, “Real Estate Deals Could Be Shaky Ground For Nonprofits,” Law360, February 12, 2016.

    Co-author, “The Importance of Earnest Investigation of Industrial Properties,” Area Development, July 6, 2015.

    Quoted, “Dealing With Dirty Dirt,” The Registry, March 11, 2015.

    Quoted, “Going for the Gold,” Multi-Housing News, May 2014.

    Author, "When Nonprofits Run Aground," GlobeSt.com, November 21, 2013.

    Memberships & Activities

    Admitted to practice in California.

    National Multifamily Product Council Member, Urban Land Institute.

    San Francisco Residential Product Council Member, Urban Land Institute.

    Member, Board of Directors, Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California.

    Past President, Bentley School Board of Trustees.

    Speaking Engagements

    Mr. Pearlstein is a frequent lecturer in the areas of real estate development, risk management strategies, joint ventures and creative deal structuring.