Significant Recent Successes
- Playa Vista Project, City of Los Angeles: Alston & Bird was retained by Playa Vista Capital to defend Los Angeles’ approvals of the project against litigation under CEQA and other environmental laws. In 2011, the firm successfully defeated lawsuits in the trial and appellate courts challenging two different phases of the project. The Playa Vista project is one of the largest master-planned, mixed-use communities in the history of Los Angeles, with residential, commercial and office uses on over 100 acres.
- Malibu Bay Company, City of Malibu/California Coastal Commission: After assisting Malibu Bay Company in obtaining the required entitlements from Malibu and the commission, Alston & Bird successfully defended in the appellate court an amendment to Malibu’s Local Coastal Program (LCP) to facilitate the subdivision of the last undeveloped beachfront property along Broad Beach. In a published decision, the court upheld the CEQA document adopted pursuant to the commission’s certified regulatory program, and found that the LCP amendment was consistent with the California Coastal Act.
- Water Replenishment District of Southern California: The firm represented the Water Replenishment District of Southern California in an action and appeal that involved a motion brought by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and other parties to an existing water rights judgment to provide for use of the storage space in the Central Groundwater Basin.
- The Broad Museum, City of Los Angeles/County of Los Angeles: Working with the applicant and its project team, Alston & Bird secured CEQA clearance and other entitlements for the Broad, a major new, 120,000 square-foot museum integrated into the Grand Avenue Project in downtown Los Angeles. The architecturally-striking new museum is slated to open in 2012 and will house the modern art collection of philanthropist Eli Broad. The entitlements were secured on an expedited basis, despite needing approvals from multiple agencies in both Los Angeles City and County. The firm previously represented the developer in the entitlement phase for the Grand Avenue Project and defending it in litigation.
- Community Memorial Hospital, City of Ventura: Alston & Bird secured approvals for the $400 million expansion of Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, providing advice on entitlement processing and CEQA compliance.
Additional Representative Matters
Land Use Entitlement Projects
Various retail centers throughout California, including Westfield’s centers in Arcadia (adjacent to Santa Anita Racetrack), Sherman Oaks (City of Los Angeles), West Covina, Carlsbad, San Diego, Sacramento, and Roseville. Represent international shopping center developer in connection with land use entitlements, CEQA compliance and land use litigation.
The Home Depot
Various new retail development projects in Southern California, e.g. Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, etc. Provide counsel for environmental and controversial entitlements, including management of Ballot Measure campaign brought by competitor adversary.
AREA Property Partners/Sunset Millennium Project
Redevelopment of two city blocks on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood by international real estate fund manager, with hotel, residential towers, and street-front retail and restaurants. Provide land use and environmental counsel for the client’s Sunset Millennium project, as well as other projects throughout Southern California, including the City of Oxnard.
Centrum Properties, Inc./8801 Sunset Boulevard
Redevelopment of former Tower Records site on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood by national real estate developer, including retail and office uses, a health facility and signage rights. Provide counsel regarding CEQA compliance and entitlements.
Pacific Theaters Corp./Robertson Properties Group
Development of various retail and entertainment centers throughout Southern California, including centers in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Ventura, Thousand Oaks and Huntington Park. Representation of these affiliated companies includes work that has encompassed the successful redevelopment of the historic Cinerama Dome Theater at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, which involved historic preservation and redevelopment issues. Also represent companies in connection with permitting for ArcLight Cinema projects, including securing alcohol beverage permits for consumption at theater.
BENHAR/Editing Film Center and Offices at Seward
Five-story, 127,000 square-foot office building in Hollywood, California, designed to house film industry support companies performing editing and related post-production services, replacing two existing film storage facilities. Secured approval for the project, including amendments to the city's general plan, zone changes and height district changes, as well as support from previously opposed neighbors and Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council.
Upside Development/Russell Ranch Road Food and Beverage Boutique Center
In-fill upscale food and beverage complex in City of Westlake Village. Managed entitlement process and public outreach.
Malibu Bay Company/Broad Beach
Beach front residential subdivision on Broad Beach in Malibu, California. Provide land use and environmental counseling to support issuance of Local Coastal Program amendment, coastal development permit, tentative parcel map, including advice on CEQA compliance by Malibu and the California Coastal Commission. The firm also represents Malibu Bay Company in subsequent litigation over the project.
Prudential Insurance Company/RainbowVision
Mixed-use retirement community proposed in the city of Palm Springs, California. Obtained extensions of expiring land use entitlements and assisted client with emerging endangered species issues.
The Related Companies/Grand Avenue Project
$1.8 billion mixed-use development in the civic and cultural center of downtown Los Angeles, with new civic park, significant streetscape improvements along Grand Avenue, and 2,060 residential units, 225 hotel rooms, up to 479,500 square feet of retail space, and up to 600,000 square feet of commercial office space. Successfully secured entitlements and CEQA compliance for the project.
BRIDGE Housing/Sage Park
Mixed-use workforce housing complex to be located on a school district site in Los Angeles. Assisted the client, a nationally-recognized affordable housing developer, in securing approvals from the city and resolving community opposition to successfully avoid a litigation challenge.
Sage Community Group, Inc./Triangle Ranch
Residential development in western Los Angeles County involving the subdivision of 320 acres to create a high-end 66-unit single-family community. Successfully secured entitlements, including subdivision map and conditional use permits, and defeated CEQA litigation filed by community groups to challenge the project approvals.
Rottman-Froman Communities/Oak Canyon Ranch
Master-planned retirement/destination community in Calaveras County, California, consisting of 2,275 homes, golf courses, and resort facilities on 3,000 acres. Assist client in obtaining land use entitlements and permits and CEQA/NEPA clearance from the County (Specific Plan, Zoning Code, Development Agreement), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Biological Opinion) and Army Corps of Engineers (Section 404 permit, with Section 106 cultural resource consultation). Also advise client regarding environmental compliance and litigation, debt and equity financing, various real estate transactions, land exchange for major county thoroughfare, and endangered species/wetlands.
The Boeing Company/Santa Susana Field Laboratory
2,850 acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory facility in Simi Valley, California. Provide land use and CEQA/NEPA advice to client, including compliance with federal, state, and local laws regarding cultural resources and biological resources. Also counsel client on strategies for government relations with Ventura County.
The Kroger Co./Paramount Warehouse Facility
300,000 square-foot warehouse in Paramount, California. Secured land use entitlements for unique warehouse facility, including permits for operating the facility on a 24/7 basis, that sought to implement labor saving programs through new automation technology. Also developed necessary plans and deed restrictions for remediation of soil and ground water at the site.
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority/Alameda Corridor
Largest infrastructure project in the United States, which consolidated three existing rail lines into a single line linking the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles with major rail yards located south of downtown Los Angeles. Developed an environmental protocol for dealing with soil and groundwater that would permit construction to proceed without interruption, obtaining approval from the relevant environmental agencies prior to the start of construction.
Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc./Sunshine Canyon Landfill
Major regional landfill expansion, known as Sunshine Canyon, in the north San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, involving extensive waste disposal, environmental restoration, and regional planning issues, which required the coordination of federal, state, regional and local agencies. Acquired approval for all entitlements for the landfill, as well as entitlements for a joint city/county facility.
IDS /Spectrum Industrial Center
Redevelopment of former Northrup Gruman property in Thousand Oaks, California. Project involved management of entitlements process and approvals for existing 50 acre development, CEQA advice and counseling, EPA and DTSC clean up orders and permitting mapping of adjacent 50 acres for future industrial and R&D businesses.
Autry National Center of the American West/Autry Resource Center
As part of client's plan to supplement its well known museum in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, the firm represented the Autry National Center in securing CEQA clearance and other entitlements for new gallery space in the City of Burbank.
Los Angeles Unified School District
Acquisition of potential school sites, construction and/or expansion and modification of existing schools.
Provided CEQA advice regarding compliance at specific sites, and proposed strategies for overall design of the District’s CEQA compliance program. Also worked with the District to develop a template EIR to address environmental assessment methodologies and issues which are common to many school sites.
Land Use Litigation Matters
The Firm represents this international shopping center developer in various land use lawsuits throughout California. Most recently, the Firm successfully prosecuted a land use lawsuit brought by Westfield against a proposed project that would have severely impacted its nearby existing retail center in Arcadia.
AREA Property Partners/Sunset Millennium
In addition to obtaining entitlements for mixed-use development located on a two-block stretch of the Sunset Strip, defeated three CEQA and land use lawsuits filed against the project by two neighboring hotels and a homeowner association in Superior Court and Court of Appeal.
Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc./Sunshine Canyon Landfill
First defended client against a variety of CEQA lawsuits brought against this landfill project, which is located in both the City and County of Los Angeles. After successfully defending against those lawsuits, the Firm also brokered a settlement with the City, which occurred after the Firm filed a takings lawsuit against the City.
Ahmanson Land Company Washington Mutual/Ahmanson Ranch Project
In addition to obtaining entitlements for the 2,500 acre master-planned community in Ventura County, defeated 14 lawsuits against project brought by local jurisdictions, homeowners associations and environmental groups in Superior Court and Court of Appeal. Also, successfully prosecuted five lawsuits against local jurisdictions for issuance of permits to construct various off-site improvements.
Miller Brothers Investment, LLC/Dos Vientos Ranch
Represented developers and City of Thousand Oaks approval agency in defending various nuisance lawsuits in Superior Court of Ventura county seeking to stall or defeat this 3,900 acre mixed residential and retail Specific Plan project.