Three Manatt Partners Recognized as Top Land Use Lawyers by Daily Journal

Manatt partners Timi Hallem, Susan Hori and Kristina Lawson have been recognized by the Daily Journal as three of California's leading land use lawyers. The list, "Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers," was published on August 13, 2014, and identifies the attorneys in California whose work in the development arena significantly impacted projects that are helping to shape the transformation of cities.

In its profile of Hallem, the Daily Journal reports that she is enjoying her role in the rebirth of downtown Los Angeles and is doing her part in fueling what she calls a downtown "renaissance." Hallem is currently helping Lowe Enterprises turn two vacant warehouses in the arts district into a 320-unit residential project with mixed use retail on the ground floor. Across the street, she's representing tenants in building an art gallery in a flour mill building complex. "Together we got these two projects that show the incredible dynamism of the expansion going on in the arts district in downtown L.A.," Hallem said. "I love to be part of the resurgence in downtown L.A. and adding to the intensity and density of life, which I think adds to the vibrancy of the city."

The Daily Journal notes that for Hori's developer clients, the amount of time a project will take to build is crucial. So when Hori helped Toll Brothers acquire a large portfolio of homebuilding projects, she also helped assess the timing of each project, squaring up the $1.6 billion price tag. The portfolio included more than 5,200 sites among San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County. "The whole idea is that time is money in development," said Hori. "Is this a year away in development, or five years?"

For Lawson, who has seen land use law from a lot of angles, the Daily Journal notes that she is currently guiding two major projects through Berkeley's less-than-friendly planning process. One project involves 350 residential units with ground floor commercial and retail space, and the other is an 18-story mixed-use hotel and conference center. Lawson also serves as the mayor of Walnut Creek and has been a city council member since 2010. "I really have a strong understanding of how the politics of any jurisdictions you're working in can impact the entitlement process," she said.



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