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Robert A. Fishman

Partner, Chair, Land Use, Permitting and Development Practice Group
T: 617.439.2204
F: 617.310.9204

Robert A. Fishman is a partner in the Real Estate and Finance Department and chairs the Land Use, Permitting and Development Practice Group. His practice focuses on development, land use/environmental permitting, acquisition and disposition, leasing, entity formation, conveyancing, and financing.

Bob represents developers, lenders, corporate, institutional, municipal, and nonprofit clients involved in the development and financing of mixed-use projects, downtown office buildings, suburban industrial and office parks, shopping centers, hotels, multifamily housing, senior assisted living housing and community facilities. His interests and expertise focus on mixed-use, smart growth projects which incorporate sustainability and energy conservation features.

Bob's representative work includes: 

  • Acquisition, disposition, permitting, financing, and leasing for National Development of New England on such Massachusetts projects as Station Landing in Medford, Marketplace at Lynnfield (40R), IBM campus in Littleton, ArborPoint at Woodland Station in Newton (40B), and numerous other office, research and development, shopping center, residential and assisted living projects 
  • Contractual, permitting and financing for Hebrew SeniorLife’s 160 acre NewBridge on the Charles intergenerational campus in Dedham, Massachusetts 
  • Land Disposition Agreement contractual work and I’Cubed infrastructure financing for the City of Quincy in connection with the New Quincy Center redevelopment project proposed by Street-Works and continuing representation on downtown development projects 
  • Contractual and permitting work for the YMCA of Greater Boston, Inc. in connection with the complex sale of a portion of its property on Huntington Avenue, Boston for a new Northeastern University dormitory and related agreements with New England Conservatory 
  • Sale of multiple Beacon Hill properties for the Unitarian Universalist Association 
  • Contractual work for numerous community facilities for Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc., including sales of certain facilities, acquisition of new facilities, leasing and restructuring of loans to other charitable organizations 
  • Contractual and permitting work for Federal Realty Investment Trust on Assembly Row in Somerville, including the new Partners Healthcare Systems facility 
  • Assisting The First Church of Christ, Scientist on diverse real estate matters related to its campus in the Back Bay section of Boston 
  • Assisting Adobe Systems, Inc. in the acquisition and later sale of a new office headquarters building in Waltham 
  • Assisting Lubert-Adler and its partners in their acquisition out of bankruptcy of the Malden Mills property in Lawrence and Methuen, including all title, permitting, environmental analyses, and subsequent dispositions of individual properties within this large complex 
  • Acquisition and development of the Oracle Corporation campus in Burlington, Massachusetts 
  • Contractual and permitting work for the Pearson Education/Addison Wesley campus in Reading, Massachusetts, including adoption of 40R zoning and later sale to a residential housing developer 
  • Acquisition and financing of 160 Federal Street in Boston and Harvard Mills in Wakefield, Massachusetts, for Taurus Investment Holdings LLC, including leasing and multiple refinancings

Bob also has extensive experience representing insurance companies and pension funds, including CIGNA Corporation, Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc. and AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. Representative matters have included equity and/or debt work on the Viridian residential project at 1282 Boylston Street, 33 Arch Street, 75 State Street, Rowes Wharf, One Post Office Square, One Boston Place, World Trade Center East and West, Wellesley Gateway, Atrium at Chestnut Hill, Emerald Square Mall, Arsenal Mall, Mall of New Hampshire, and Fox Run Mall, and the acquisition and disposition of numerous suburban commercial properties.

In addition, Bob has a general land use and environmental law practice with a full range of experience in permitting and counseling. He has extensive experience with local zoning and subdivision matters, federal and state environmental impact reports, sewage and wastewater discharge permits, wetlands and waterways licensing, sustainability requirements, energy conservation, and evaluation of brownfields and hazardous waste matters. He has been involved with remediations of contaminated soils and groundwater, environmental insurance, environmental audits, environmental aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions, and due diligence for real estate and other business transactions.

Bob was elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers in 1991. He is an active member and lecturer in the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations (BBA) and served a two-year term as co-chair of the Development and Land Use Committee of the BBA. Bob appears among the best real estate lawyers in Massachusetts in the Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers Guide and was selected for Massachusetts Super Lawyers in a survey by Law & Politics and Boston magazine. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2016, and in Who's Who Legal: Real Estate, 2009-2014.

Bob's most recent articles and presentations have addressed zoning and smart growth issues, permitting of complex development projects, environmental indemnification and environmental insurance in business transactions, permitting of assisted living facilities, and non-conforming uses and structures. He has also authored a chapter of MCLE's Massachusetts Zoning Manual. Bob teaches advanced real estate transactions as an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and also has taught at Harvard Law School and Boston College Law School.

Bob is an active member of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He has chaired NAIOP's Public Affairs Committee and has represented NAIOP on the Governor’s Zoning Reform Task Force. Bob has received NAIOP’s Public Affairs Award three times for his work on legislative and administrative matters of importance to the real estate industry. Bob is also an active member of the Urban Land Institute.

Bob is a past chair of the Lawyers’ Team of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc. (CJP) and has served on CJP’s Board of Governors. In 2008, Bob received the Community of Excellence Award from CJP in recognition of his contributions to both the broader community and the legal profession. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Bob also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.