• Michael Polentz

    Co-Chair, Real Estate and Land Use
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    Palo Alto
    Direct: 650.251.1440
    General: 650.812.1300
    Fax: 650.213.0260


    Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., 1996.
    Articles Editor, Santa Clara Law Review.


    University of San Diego, B.A., Business Administration, 1992.

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


    Michael Polentz is a partner in the firm's Palo Alto office and Co-chair of the Real Estate and Land Use Practice Group. His practice focuses on acquisition, land use, leasing, development, construction, alternative energy and business and commercial law.

    Representing buyers, sellers, investors, lenders, developers and contractors in commercial, office, industrial, residential, vineyard/winery, hotel, fractional interest, infrastructure and alternative energy transactions, Mr. Polentz negotiates and documents transactional, development, construction, acquisition, disposition, public-private partnership, power purchase and financing documents and performs and manages complex due diligence investigations. In addition, he advises clients on CEQA compliance and growth control measures, development conditions and exactions, redevelopment, zoning, rezoning, subdivisions, planning, variances, annexations and construction.

    Mr. Polentz has extensive experience in negotiating and documenting commercial, retail, industrial and residential space, ground, out-parcel, in-line, single-tenant and multitenant leases and built-to-suit transactions for landlords, tenants and brokers. He is well versed in the formation of partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies; general corporate governance; negotiating and preparing merger, acquisition, buy-sell and employment agreements; assisting in securing licenses and regulatory approvals from federal and state agencies; and negotiating and preparing distribution, supply, marketing, intellectual property, joint venture, and vendor agreements.

    Representative Matters

    Worked with owner in the development, land use and financing of hospitality, single family home, restaurant and fractional interest project in the County of Napa, California.

    Negotiated and documented the acquisition, development and financing of multifamily and affordable housing projects throughout the United States for a large East Coast private equity fund.

    Advised federal governmental agency in the redevelopment of a military base in Northern California.

    Counseled private home builder in multiple acquisition, disposition, land use, brokerage and regulatory matters for projects throughout California.

    Created form construction and warranty documents for national general contractor in the construction of mixed-use high rise condominium projects.

    Negotiated and documented the development, construction and leasing of multiple campuses throughout the Western United States on behalf of a for-profit college.

    Performed risk assessments of mixed-use and hospitality projects for a national captive insurance company.

    Assisted one of the leading national solar energy providers with energy, licensing, tax, construction, leasing, government policy and corporate transactions throughout the United States.

    Representative Clients

    • Facebook Inc.
    • John & Marcia Goldman Foundation
    • Michael Roberts Construction, Inc.
    • PlumpJack Management Group, LLC
    • Ridgeline Energy LLC
    • Robson Homes, LLC
    • Ronald (Getty) Family Trust
    • Summit Public Schools
    • SunEdison, LLC
    • Sungevity, Inc.
    • SunPower Corporation
    • U.S. Bank
    • Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc.

    Honors & Awards


    Quoted, “Guess Who’s Coming to Contract (Without an Invitation)?” Corporate Counsel, April 14, 2016.

    Co-author, “How to Protect Yourself Against Surprise Parties to Contracts,” GlobeSt.com, April 6, 2016.

    Co-author, “Big Picture—What Could We See in 2016?” GlobeSt.com, January 20, 2016.

    Quoted, “4 Common Errors In Year-End Race To Seal Real Estate Deals,” Law360, December 17, 2015.

    Co-author, “The Home Sharing Economy,” GlobeSt.com, November 18, 2015.

    Co-author, “Restrictions on Condominium Conversions,” GlobeSt.com, October 7, 2015.

    Quoted, “Calif. Condo Market Comes Back With A Vengeance,” Law360, September 29, 2015.

    Quoted, “Is Your Lease Financeable?” GlobeSt.com, July 21, 2015.

    Quoted, “5 Real Estate Regs Calif. Developers Are Watching,” Law360, July 6, 2015.

    Author, “5 Things to Know About Tenant Star,” Globest.com, May 20, 2015.

    Co-author, “5 Things Lawyers Want Developers to Know”, The Registry, April 30, 2015.

    Co-author, “PACE Financing to JumpStart Rooftop Solar?” GlobeSt.com, March 23, 2015.

    Quoted, “Gush Of Real Estate Capital Fueling Struggles For JV Control,” Law360, February 9, 2015.

    Quoted, “5 Ways Developers Are Responding To Millennials,” Law 360, January 26, 2015.

    Co-author, “California’s New Energy Efficiency Challenge,” GlobeSt.com, January 22, 2015.

    Quoted, “Best Bets for 2015,” Real Estate Forum, January 2015. 

    Author, “The Intersection of Solar Energy and Energy Storage,” Environmental Leader, December 17, 2014.

    Co-author, “A Boost In Funding CA’s Infrastructure Projects,” GlobeSt.com, October 27, 2014.

    Quoted, “Japan Returning To Calif. RE But Avoiding Trophies, Law360, September 8, 2014.

    Co-author, “NY In High Demand for International Investors,” GlobeSt.com, August 22, 2014.

    Quoted, “PE’s Calif. Multifamily Chase Fueling ‘Champagne Bubbles,’” Law360, August 21, 2014.

    Author, “Sequestration Impacts on 1603 Grants for Solar Projects,” GlobeSt.com, July 10, 2014.

    Co-author, “Making Wine Out of Water,” GlobeSt.com, April 2014.

    Interviewed, “Smart Homes Aim for Consumers’ Wallets as Energy Costs Soar,” CNBC.com, March 2014.

    Author, “Can Community Zero Net Energy Work?” California Current, February 28, 2014.

    Co-author, “Dodd-Frank Rules’ Impact on Seller Financing,” GlobeSt.com, January 2014.

    Interviewed, “Builders Tackle Efficiency Challenges With Net Zero Energy”, Law360, January 2014.

    Quoted, “Builders Tackle Efficiency Challenges With Net Zero Energy,” Law360, January 21, 2014.

    Co-author, “CA’s Title-24 Update...Are You Ready?” GlobeSt.com, January 2014.

    Author, "Zero Net Energy in High Rise, Lofty Goal?" GlobeSt.com, November 15, 2013.

    Interviewed, “Samsung’s 385,000-SF Campus Moves Dirt,” GlobeSt.com, October 2013.

    Interviewed, “Green Retrofits: Modern Maintenance or Low-Hanging Fruit?,” National Real Estate Investor, September 2013.

    Author, “Infrastructure Projects Drive Private Builds,” GlobeSt.com, September 2013.

    Author, “11 Ways to Finance Commercial Real Estate Energy Retrofits,” Commercial Investment Real Estate Online, July 2013.

    Author, “Managing Conversion Risks in Multifamily Frenzy,” GlobeSt.com, July 2013.

    Author "Risk Allocations in Construction Contracts,” GlobeSt.com, April 2013.

    Author, “Structured Finance Negotiations, "Bad-Boy" Carve-Outs,” GlobeSt.com, February 2013. 

    Interviewed, “Special Report: Financing Options Exist For Sustainable Retrofits,” GlobeSt.com, July 2012. 

    Co-author, “10 Reasons Why Sustainable/Energy Retrofits of Commercial Buildings Will Be the Next Big Thing,” Environmental Leader, July 23, 2012. 

    Author, “Here Comes the Sun,” The Registry, July 9, 2012.

    Interviewed, “Record Leasing Brings Development Frenzy To Silicon Valley,” GlobeSt.com, May 2012.

    Author, “The Real-World Application of Corporate Sustainability,” Environmental Leader, July 18, 2011.

    Co-author, “Five-Step Guide to Financing Rooftop Solar,” Environmental Leader, November 25, 2009.

    Co-author, “Ensuring Carbon Offsets Do Their Job,” Law360, August 2009.

    “Predatory Lending: Borrowers and Lenders Beware,” California Real Estate News Alert, Miller Starr, May 2005.

    Co-author, “Public/Private Workforce Housing Projects and California Competitive Bidding and Prevailing Wage Laws,” 22 California Real Property Journal, Winter 2004.

    Co-author, “Trends in Commercial Real Estate,” Business Facilities, October 2003.

    Co-author, “Illegal Split:  Will Your Client’s Lease Violate the Subdivision Map Act?” San Francisco Daily Journal and Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 2001.

    “Post-Daubert Confusion with Expert Testimony,” 36 Santa Clara Law Review 1187, 1996.

    Memberships & Activities

    Law360 Real Estate, Editorial Advisory Board Member, 2016.

    Member, SPIRE (Stanford Professionals in Real Estate).

    Admitted to practice in the state of California.

    Admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

    Member, Real Estate Editorial Advisory Board, Law360, 2014

    Co-Chair ULI Silicon Valley, Urban Land Institute, for Bay Area Chapter and member, Local Commercial Product Council and Public Development and Infrastructure Council.

    Member, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

    Member, Law360 Real Estate Editorial Advisory Board.

    Member, State Bar of California-Real Estate Section.

    Editor, Hospitality Law@Manatt Newsletter.

    Lecturer, Comprehensive Due Diligence Assessment in Acquiring Real Estate Assets, Draper University, June 2012.

    Lecturer, Real Estate Entity Formation, San Jose State University, Graduate Land Use Program, October 2011.

    Speaking Engagements

    “Presentation of Damages and Damage Expert Utilization/Economic Loss Rule/Construction Delay Claims/Expert Cost Recovery,” ALFA International Construction Law Practice Group Seminar: The Economic Outlook for Construction – A Global View: Managing Risk and Identifying Future Trends, July 2010.

    “Design-Build Updates,” CLE International Construction Law Conference, March 2010.

    “Hospitality Real Estate Transactions Workshop,” Hospitality Law Conference, February 2010.

    “Due Diligence Assessments in Acquiring Distressed Hospitality Assets,” Hospitality.com Webinar, October 2009.

    “Workouts & Breakouts: What Can Be Built in Today’s Market,” Urban Land Institute Staying Alive Series, September 2008.

    “Los Angeles/Northern California/Pacific Condo/Hotel Branded Residence Market Discussion Roundtable,” IMN Financing, Developing & Operating Condo Hotels & Branded Residences Conference, December 2007.

    “Exploration of Careers in Real Estate Law,” Real Estate Law Society, Santa Clara Law School, February 2007.