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Robert A. Fishman, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Robert A. Fishman

Partner, Real Estate Department; Chair, Development, Land Use and Permitting Practice Group / Boston

Overview

Robert A. Fishman is a partner in Nutter’s Real Estate Department and chairs the firm’s Development, Land Use and Permitting 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.

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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, MarketStreet at Lynnfield (40R), the Bridges in Andover, IBM campus in Littleton, ArborPoint at Woodland Station in Newton (40B), Forge Park in Franklin and numerous other office, research and development, shopping center, residential and assisted living projects
  • 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 Phoenix Property Company in connection with the development of a mixed-use project on Parcel K owned by Massport in the Seaport District of Boston
  • 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 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:

  • 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
  • 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 representation of the City on other proposed 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 Adobe Systems, Inc. in the acquisition and later sale of a new office headquarters building in Waltham
  • Acquisition and development of the Oracle Corporation campus in Burlington, Massachusetts
  • 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 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 (all in Boston), 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 a Fellow of 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 Boston University Law School (transactional clinic), 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 Board of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Executive Chair of the Advisory Board of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs 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 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.

Experience

Experience

  • Complex development project, including drafting of new zoning and handling the largest bond financing to date in the U.S. for Hebrew Senior Life

    Provided contractual, permitting and financing legal services for NewBridge on the Charles, Hebrew SeniorLife’s 160 acre intergenerational campus in Dedham, Massachusetts, including closing the bond issue of over $450 million.

  • Nutter assists Congregation Mishkan Tefila in sale and relocation of campus

    Represented Congregation Mishkan Tefila (CMT) in two related 2016 transactions: (1) the sale of CMT’s land and buildings in Chestnut Hill to nearby Boston College, and (2) CMT’s relocation to the Brookline campus of Congregation Kehillath Israel (CKI), including the negotiation of a unique, complicated co-location agreement with CKI addressing multiple real estate, operational, and programmatic issues.

  • Acquisition, development and environmental work for Oracle Corporation

    Development of multi-building Oracle Corporation campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, including complex permitting and environmental issues.

  • Acquisition, financing and leasing

    Acquisition, financing and leasing of 160 Federal Street in Boston and Harvard Mills in Wakefield, Massachusetts.

  • Assisted Adobe Systems, Inc. in the acquisition of a new office headquarters building in Waltham

    Assistance with acquisition and permitting, including LEEDS-related issues.

  • Complex sale of municipal redevelopment property; innovative financing of $1.3 billion Quincy Center redevelopment project

    Served as special counsel to the City of Quincy in connection with the negotiation and drafting of a complex Land Disposition Agreement (“LDA”) with Street-Works Development, LLC for its proposed $1.3 billion New Quincy Center redevelopment project.

  • Disposition of real estate

    Representation of YMCA of Greater Boston, Inc. in connection with a complex, 3-party sale of a portion of 316-320 Huntington Avenue to PPC Land Ventures, Inc. and Northeastern University for a new dormitory, including complex easement agreements, conveyancing and land use permitting matters.

  • Contractual and permitting work

    Contractual and permitting work for the Pearson Education/Addison Wesley campus in Reading, Massachusetts, including adoption of 40R zoning and sale of the campus.

  • Permitting and entitlement analysis

    Entitlement analysis in connection with the workout of Legacy Farms (Weston Nurseries) in Hopkinton.

  • Permitting and land use litigation

    Permitting and land use litigation of numerous projects for National Development of New England, including, most recently, the Bridges in Andover.

  • Property acquisition; permitting projects

    General real estate services and permitting of numerous projects for Tufts University at its campuses in Medford/Somerville, and Boston, Massachusetts.

  • The acquisition, disposition, permitting, financing and leasing on multiple projects in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts for National Development of New England, Inc.

    These projects have included MarketStreet at Lynnfield, Bridges at Andover, Station Landing in Medford, Chapter 40B development of Arbor Point at Woodland Station in Newton, Forge Park in Franklin, Fort Point Channel in Boston, MetroNorth Corporate Center in Woburn, Lake Williams Corporate Center in Marlborough, Blueview Corporate Center in Canton, Mansfield Corporate Center, New England Business Center in Andover and various other office, research and development, shopping center and assisted living projects.

  • Malden Mills Complex in Lawrence and Methuen, Massachusetts

    Assisted Lubert-Adler and Versa in their acquisition out of bankruptcy of the Malden Mills property in Lawrence and Methuen, including all title, permitting, and environmental analyses, and subsequent multiple dispositions of real estate assets, including complex title, permitting and subdivision matters.

News & Insights

News

Honors

Honors

  • Chambers and Partners, Leading U.S. Real Estate Attorney, 2003-2017
  • Chambers and Partners, Leading U.S. Zoning/Land Use Attorney, 2006-2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2018
  • Best Lawyers Real Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2016, 2018
  • Best Lawyers Land Use & Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2011 & 2017
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004-2016
  • Super Lawyers Business Edition, 2011-2015
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2009 & 2010
  • 2016 CJP Superstar, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc.
  • Community of Excellence Award, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc.
  • Who's Who Legal: Real Estate, 2009-2014
  • 2016 NAIOP Champion Award
  • NAIOP Public Affairs Award (three times)
  • International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2013 Edition - Real Estate 

Best Lawyers in America 2016 Lawyer of the YearBest Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2017

Education & Admissions

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude

Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Notable Experience

Bob worked on the acquisition, disposition, permitting, financing, and leasing for National Development of New England on such Massachusetts projects as Station Landing in Medford, MarketStreet at Lynnfield (40R), the Bridges in Andover, 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.

Noteworthy

Chambers and Partners, Leading U.S. Real Estate Attorney, 2003-2017

Chambers and Partners, Leading U.S. Zoning/Land Use Attorney, 2006-2017

The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2018

Best Lawyers Real Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2016 & 2018

Best Lawyers Land Use & Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2011 & 2017

2016 NAIOP Champion Award

NAIOP Public Affairs Award (three times)