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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 Nutter’s Real Estate and Finance Department and chairs the firm’s Land Use, Permitting and Development Practice Group. His practice focuses on development, land use/environmental permitting, acquisition and disposition, financing, leasing, entity formation, and conveyancing.

Developers, lenders, corporate, institutional, municipal, and nonprofit clients all rely on Bob’s counsel 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. Clients frequently engage Bob on mixed-use, smart growth projects which incorporate sustainability and energy conservation features.

Land Use, Permitting and Development Notable Experience:

  • 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, including closing the bond issue of over $450 million
  • 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
  • Contractual and permitting work for Federal Realty Investment Trust on Assembly Row in Somerville, including the new Partners Healthcare Systems facility
  • 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
  • Represented mall owner in extensive contractual, zoning, permitting, environmental and related litigation to redevelop the underutilized Assembly Square Mall and to develop a mixed-use project on the nearby Yard 21 site in Somerville, Massachusetts. Negotiated a new mixed-use, Smart Growth zoning ordinance, a Development Covenant with the Mayor, and site-specific permits from the Somerville Planning Board
  • Permitting and land use litigation of numerous new and upgraded stores for Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. and Charter Realty and Development Corp.
  • Entitlement analysis in connection with the workout of Legacy Farms (Weston Nurseries) in Hopkinton
  • General real estate services and permitting of numerous projects for Tufts University at its campuses in Medford/Somerville and Boston, Massachusetts

Acquisition and Disposition Notable Experience:

  • 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 of the City on current downtown development projects
  • 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
  • Sale of multiple Beacon Hill properties for the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Assisting The First Church of Christ, Scientist on diverse real estate matters related to its campus in the Back Bay section of Boston, including advice on permitting matters
  • 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 mill complex
  • Acquisition and development of the Oracle Corporation campus in Burlington, Massachusetts
  • 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

Insurance Companies and Pension Funds Notable Experience:

  • Extensive experience representing insurance companies and pension funds, including CIGNA Corporation, AXA-Equitable Life Insurance Company and Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc.
  • 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

Bob continues his leadership outside the firm in several professional organizations, including:

  • Recognized in Band 1 (the highest ranking) for both real estate transactional work and zoning / land use work in the well-regarded Chambers USA legal directory
  • Elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers in 1991
  • Member of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association
  • Chaired NAIOP's Public Affairs Committee and represented NAIOP on both the Governor’s Zoning Reform Task Force and recent proposed zoning legislation. 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.
  • Adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School (Advanced Real Estate Transactions) and also has taught at Harvard Law School and Boston College Law School
  • Member of the Urban Land Institute, Boston Advisory Board
  • 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
  • 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
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts

Bob's 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. Bob authors a chapter of MCLE's Massachusetts Zoning Manual and speaks at its annual program.

A past chair of the Lawyers’ Team of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc. (CJP) and a former member of the CJP’s Board of Governors, Bob received the prestigious Community of Excellence Award from CJP in 2008 in recognition of his contributions to both the broader community and the legal profession.