Lynda J. Harris
Lyn Harris concentrates her practice in the areas of real estate, finance, and land use and governmental approvals. She has extensive experience representing both developers and lenders in complex real estate transactions including acquisition, development, construction and permanent loans, syndicated loans and participations, loan work-outs for office buildings, retail centers, large-scale mixed use projects including public-private partnerships, and large-scale multi-family residential projects, bulk real estate sales and acquisitions, and land use and governmental approvals for development projects.
Lyn Harris is a member of the firm’s Real Estate & Finance, Government Law & Consulting, and Real Property Litigation practice groups.
- CityPlace: A $675 million mixed-use street front retail, residential and entertainment development project located in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, including 286 residential units in Phase I. Subsequent phases included a 16-story luxury office building and a 20-story, 422 unit luxury residential condominium. Ms. Harris has been the attorney for the developer since 1996, representing it in all phases of project development which include: development of community outreach and charity programs; development of RFP submittal response and structure of winning developer proposal incorporating public-private partnerships with the City of West Palm Beach for the development of public parking, infrastructure and public amenities; structuring of unsubordinated long term lease and other incentives to benefit both the developer and the City; participation with bond counsel to structure bond financing to maximize City's bonding capacity through the formation of a community development district to issue tax exempt bonds for development of public improvements; negotiation and drafting of legal documents to implement the public-private partnership components, the CDD formation and bond issuance; closing of bond and project development financing, including $110 million institutional and $55 million bond financing; subsequent refinancings; and obtaining all land use and governmental approvals required for project approval.
- The Strand: A two-phase $100+ million project in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, including 376 residential rental apartments in a 15-story tower and 66 luxury condominium units. Ms. Harris was the attorney for the developer, representing it in obtaining all land use and governmental approvals required for the development of the project, including the structure and negotiation of an agreement with the City to provide Tax Increment Financing for parking required for the development of this urban project. This was a highly controversial project and required structuring of both community and governmental relationship strategies and development concepts.
- One Watermark Place: Developed at the most high-profile and controversial site in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. With a history of 15 years of dispute and litigation, Ms. Harris was able to obtain City approval and tremendous community support for the development of a 15-story residential project containing 48 condominium units to be priced from $3 million to $10 million, located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to the North Bridge. The project required structuring of both community and governmental relationship strategies and development concepts to achieve the necessary governmental approvals for what will be a landmark project.
- The Slade; The Mark; and Villa Lofts: All residential tower condominiums projects in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ms. Harris was the attorney for the developer representing it in all acquisition, financing, land use and governmental approvals for the projects.
- One City Plaza; Two City Plaza: Residential tower condominium projects developed in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ms. Harris was the attorney for the developer representing it in all land use and governmental approvals for the projects.
- Hyatt Place Hotel in downtown West Palm Beach: 165 key hotel. Ms. Harris was the attorney for the developer representing it in all land use and governmental approvals for the project.
- Various Municipalities: Ms. Harris works with various municipalities in structuring and documenting their proposed redevelopment projects and public-private partnerships with developers.
- Real Estate Finance: Ms. Harris has represented both developers and financial institutions in large, sophisticated loans in excess of $100 million, including syndicated loan transactions around the state of Florida and in large-scale loan workouts and settlements. Lender clients include Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia.
- Land Use Due Diligence: Ms. Harris has represented both developers and financial institutions in due diligence with regard to portfolio / bulk asset or loan sales and acquisitions as well as due diligence review in connection with large scale acquisition, development and construction loans and loan workouts throughout the state of Florida.
- Recent Transactions: The $67 million bulk sale of a foreclosed condominium project. The $127 million sale of an office tower. A $150 million loan modification representing the borrower. Acquisition of two historic South Beach hotels. City code amendment to allow boutique hotels in downtown West Palm Beach. RFP selection of client to develop the 400-room Palm Beach County Convention Center hotel. Negotiations with Palm Beach County for the Convention Center hotel. Zoning approvals in process include a 506-unit condominium project; a downtown West Palm Beach boutique hotel; and all approvals for the Convention Center hotel.
- Ms. Harris speaks regularly to public, civic and legal organizations on topics of mixed-use developments, urban development and redevelopment, and public-private partnerships and financial benefits to municipalities and developers. Ms. Harris has presented programs on those topics for the American Bar Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and Urban Land Institute.
- Ms. Harris recently served as moderator and speaker for the International Council of Shopping Centers U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference on the topic of “Reclaiming Our Cities – Retail Development in Urban Markets” focusing on the public-private partnership components of various large scale mixed-use projects around the United States, and as a roundtable panelist for a program presented by the Urban Land Institute of Southeast Florida/Caribbean, The Florida Redevelopment Association, and the University of Miami titled “Best Practices Through Case Studies – What Makes Up a Successful Public-Private Partnership.” She also presented on CityPlace to the American Planning Association; representatives from Cutler Bay, Florida; and Leadership West Palm Beach.
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Selected by peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America (2012-2013)
- Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers (2007-2013)
- Listed in the Top 100 in South Florida by South Florida Legal Guide (2009-2013)
- Daily Business Review’s 2012 Top Dealmakers of the Year for representation of CityPlace Office, LLC in the $125 million sale of the CityPlace Office Tower
- South Florida Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters Real Estate Movers and Shakers Award (2012)
- Finalist for Executive Women of Palm Beach County’s Women in Leadership Award 2012
- The American Bar Association (Real Property, Construction Forum and Business Law Sections)
- The Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Business Law Sections)
- The Palm Beach County Bar Association (Real Property Section)
- Boys Town of South Florida (Board of Directors)
- West Palm Beach Library Foundation (Board of Directors and Secretary)
- Rotarian - West Palm Beach Rotary Club
- Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches (Board of Directors and Chairman Governmental Affairs Committee)
- Advisory Board City of West Palm Beach Downtown Master Plan Update
- City Center Partnership (Board of Directors), a non-profit organization organized to encourage and provide assistance with the redevelopment of downtown West Palm Beach, Florida