Real Estate, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo
Print PDF

Real Estate


Nutter has a substantial real estate practice, extending into the most complex transactions and developments.

Our clients
Our clients include owners, operators, lenders, developers, managers, brokers, institutional investors, governmental authorities and quasi-governmental organizations, hospitals and other health care providers, educational institutions, and other not-for-profit entities.

We represent clients before federal, regional, state, and local governmental authorities, boards and agencies (including the Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard Commissions), local zoning boards and planning boards, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

We also represent numerous institutional lenders, including life insurance companies, pension funds, banks, and real estate investment trusts in creditor matters such as financings and loan restructurings. Our experience with these lending institutions also allows us to effectively represent borrowers and property owners in financing matters.

Our practice
Our real estate attorneys represent our clients in all aspects of sophisticated real estate transactions, including:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Entity formation
  • Land use and permitting
  • Conveyancing
  • Real estate financing
  • Leasing and property management
  • Construction contracting
  • Foreclosures, workouts, and restructurings
  • Environmental compliance and regulatory matters

Our projects
Clients depend on Nutter real estate lawyers to:

  • Negotiate brokerage agreements, purchase and sale agreements, and land disposition agreements
  • Arrange sale-leaseback transactions and tax-free exchanges
  • Perform title examinations and procure title insurance coverage
  • Assist in the land control and assembly of parcels of land that allows for optimum developer build-out
  • Creatively negotiate options, first refusal rights, restrictions and easements to meet developer objectives; use industrial/office park covenants and contract zoning where appropriate
  • Form corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, and other entities for the effective ownership and control of real estate
  • Plan projects in light of governmental constraints on development
  • Obtain zoning, wetlands, subdivision, and other governmental approvals
  • Analyze the environmental risks associated with various properties
  • Negotiate insurance policies and environmental agreements such as indemnities covenants not-to-sue, and activity and use limitations
  • Structure and close construction, interim and permanent mortgage loan financings for lenders and borrowers
  • Negotiate and close equity and mezzanine financings through structures such as joint ventures, syndications, and private placements
  • Apply specialized expertise to the development, financing and sale of health care facilities, hotels, and projects for nonprofit institutions
  • Handle multi-state acquisitions, dispositions and financings, including real estate asset pools
  • Represent landlords and tenants in the negotiation and administration of leases for office, retail, industrial, and other properties
  • Counsel owners and managers on building operations
  • Advise owners and developers on negotiating and administering architects', general contractors', and other construction contracts
  • Represent creditors and debtors with non-performing properties, including loan restructuring and workout strategies, bankruptcy reorganization plans, and foreclosures

Our attorneys
Our real estate attorneys are prominent and highly respected members of the legal and real estate communities. They are active leaders and members of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Real Estate Finance Association of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Commercial Real Estate Women Network (CREW), Massachusetts Conveyancers Association, the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and numerous other professional, trade, civic, and charitable organizations.

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Related Beal

    Nutter represented the full service real estate firm Related Beal on a range of complex issues involving Parcel 1B, a development project which includes the first large-scale 100 percent affordable and workforce housing development in downtown Boston in the past 25 years, as well as a 220-room hotel, ground floor retail space, and parking. Work included air rights leasing, title, acquisition, zoning, and environmental matters, as well as state and City of Boston entitlements, real estate tax stabilization, and hotel financing.

  • The Boulevard

    Nutter advised the owner and developer of a downtown Boston property in the financing of a new 12-story residential and commercial condominium project, known as The Boulevard, in the negotiation of senior mortgage financing as well as a preferred equity investment by a national investment management firm. The project is designed to contain 31 market-rate units, five artists’ units, a retail unit, and a garage, and includes elements of a historic Bulfinch building.

  • Delaware North

    Nutter represented Delaware North, one of the largest privately-held global hospitality and food service companies in the world, when it expanded its portfolio of resorts into Massachusetts by acquiring the Sea Crest Beach Hotel on Cape Cod in July, 2016.

  • National Development of New England, Inc.

    Nutter has represented National Development and its affiliates in connection with acquisition, disposition, permitting, financing, leasing and land use litigation matters relating to projects in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, including MarketStreet at Lynnfield, Bridges at Andover, Station Landing in Medford, 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, mixed-use and assisted living projects.

  • Delaware North

    Nutter represented Delaware North in the sale of the Sea Crest Beach Hotel on Cape Cod in January, 2021.

  • WuXi Biologics

    Nutter served as legal counsel to WuXi Biologics, a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, in its purchase of an approximately seven-acre parcel of land at The Reactory, a 46-acre, master-planned biomanufacturing campus in Worcester, MA.

  • Tuscan Village

    Nutter represented its client, Tuscan Village, in connection with a $60 million construction loan for the development of South Village, part of the Tuscan Village project.

  • Joint venture managed by Leggat McCall Properties and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners

    Nutter served as legal advisor to a joint venture managed by Leggat McCall Properties and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in connection with its $140 million financing of 101 South Street, a state-of-the-art office and lab development in Somerville’s Boynton Yards.

  • The Gove Company, Inc.

    Nutter represented The Gove Company, Inc. in its sale of a parking lot on Newbury Street in Boston to L3 Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm. The total value of the transaction was $40 million.

  • Palisade Corporation

    Represented Palisade Corporation, an Ithaca, New York-based provider of risk modeling and decision analysis software, in its recapitalization by Thompson Street Capital Partners (TSCP), a private equity firm based in St. Louis, MO.

  • Represented shorefront owners in litigation concerning easement rights on Cape Cod

    Nutter defended several shorefront owners in litigation concerning access to the waters of Cape Cod Bay. The courts ruled that the original developers did not reserve beach rights for the inland owners and further confirmed that the shorefront owners owned their land out to the mean low water line.

  • PeoplesBancorp, MHC

    Nutter represented PeoplesBancorp, MHC, a Massachusetts mutual holding company, and the bank holding company of PeoplesBank, a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank, both of Holyoke, Massachusetts, in connection with its acquisition of First Suffield Financial, Inc., a Connecticut corporation and the bank holding company of The First National Bank of Suffield, a national bank, both of Suffield, Connecticut. The total value of the transaction was approximately $60 million.

  • Brighton Marine

    Nutter advised Brighton Marine on all aspects of the development of The Residences at Brighton Marine, a $46 million project that created 102 units of affordable housing in Boston with a preference for veterans. Nutter provided counsel on all aspects of the project, including the original strategic planning, the permitting, the formation of the joint venture with WinnCompanies, the ground lease to the joint venture, and the financing.

  • Won appeal overturning a decision of the Department of Environmental Protection

    The Department of Environmental Protection issued a summary decision determining that our client had made changes to their property without properly obtaining a license under the Waterfront Protection Act, Chapter 91. We successfully overturned that decision in a G.L. c. 30A appeal to the Superior Court, winning a remand to the Department for a trial.

  • Won summary judgment motion for one of the first decisions interpreting G.L. c. 40A, § 5

    Our client sought a zoning map amendment for a large development project and a group of neighbors filed a protest petition under G.L. c. 40A, § 5. After the municipality granted the amendment, the neighbors filed an appeal to the Land Court seeking a determination that their protest petition met the statutory criteria that would have required a higher vote threshold for the map change. We prevailed on cross motions for summary judgment and obtained a judgment upholding our client’s zone change.

  • Litigation over the sale of a multi-million dollar property in Chatham

    Nutter recently secured a victory in the Massachusetts Appeals Court in an opinion that upheld the granting of a special motion to dismiss a suit that sought to enforce an alleged contract for the sale of a multi-million dollar water-view property in Chatham. The Appeals Court also ruled that the property owner was entitled to recover its appellate legal fees from the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that the defendants’ failure to countersign the plaintiffs’ written purchase offer breached a promise that had been made by the defendants’ local attorney and real estate broker, and that the defendants became legally obligated to sell the property when the plaintiffs submitted a signed written offer and tendered a deposit check. On appeal, the plaintiffs changed their theory and claimed that an email from the defendants to their real estate broker discussing terms that the defendants wished to see in any deal could be combined with the plaintiffs’ later purchase offer to create a contract and satisfy the writing requirement of the statute of frauds. The Appeals Court rejected the theory, affirmed the lower court decision granting the defendants’ special motion to dismiss the case, and ruled that the plaintiffs would have to pay the defendants’ legal fees on appeal. The key holding was that, even though the unsigned form of the purchase offer came from the defendants’ attorney, it always remained an offer to purchase that the defendants were free to accept or reject, and that it was never an offer to sell. 

  • MNB Bancorp

    Nutter advised MNB Bancorp, the parent company of The Milford National Bank and Trust Company, a national bank, both of Milford, Massachusetts, in its acquisition by Independent Bank Corp. (NASDAQ Global Select Market: INDB). Independent is the parent company of Rockland Trust Company. The total value of the transaction was approximately $54 million.

  • Related Beal

    We represent an affiliate of Related Beal LLC in its redevelopment of a core asset of six existing, historically sensitive buildings in the urban core of the City of Boston to be known as Congress Square, which will result in a total of 530,800 SF of total development containing a mix of office, residential and hotel use. One of the buildings has been nominated for designation as a City of Boston Landmark, which has required intensive efforts with the City and local historic constituents to enable redevelopment.

  • Wood Partners

    We represent Wood Partners, a national multi-family housing developer, in the permitting and development of many multi-family residential developments consisting of over 1,700 units in the Boston area.

  • 1265 Main Street, LLC (formerly Polariod site in Waltham)

    We represent developer/owner 1265 Main Street, LLC on the redevelopment of the former Polaroid Office/RD Campus into a 1,280,000 sq. ft. mixed-use office and retail center, immediately adjacent to Route 128 in Waltham, Massachusetts.

  • Boston Properties

    We represent Boston Properties (BP) in BP’s redevelopment of the existing Hancock Garage and the redevelopment and refurbishment of the adjacent Back Bay train station located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, MA known as the Back Bay/South End Gateway Project. Both of these properties are owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and are the subject of a long term ground and air rights lease to BP. Currently, in addition to substantial upgrades to the Back Bay Station, the project is planned to be a mix of office, residential and retail. As planned, there will be one office tower, two residential towers, with retail and parking on lower floors. The feasibility of permitting and constructing the project in and over active rail, light rail and interstate highway in a historic and dense area of Boston adds an interesting level of complexity. In total, the project could have a combined 1.3 million square feet of office, retail and residential space constructed. Nutter's role in the project was zoning, permitting, air leasing, and ground leasing.

  • The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.

    Nutter represented The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. (BWH) in the completion of the zoning and land use permitting required to enable the redevelopment of a portion of the 2.61 acre former Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) site as a 383,250 square foot state-of-the-art research and clinical facility known as BWH's “Center for Transformative Medicine” (“CTM”), formerly known as the Brigham’s "Building for the Future".  Nutter assisted in the modification of the existing approvals for CTM for an additional story and increase in size of 24,580 square feet to be added mid-construction to assist BWH in responding to changing hospital needs. The construction of CTM has now been completed and is fully occupied.  Nutter continues to assist the client in ongoing permit modifications and permit compliance issues related to this and other properties within the Longwood Medical Area.

  • Affiliate of Charles River Realty and National Development

    Nutter represented an affiliate of Charles River Realty and National Development in connection with its acquisition of 960 Massachusetts Avenue and 100 Newmarket Square in Boston.

  • Connecticut General Life Insurance Company

    Nutter represented Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, as lender, in connection with a $24 million acquisition loan secured by two connected 7-story office buildings in Chicago, Illinois.

  • Cordage Development Associates I, LLC

    Nutter represented Cordage Development Associates I, LLC in obtaining site plan approval from the Town of Plymouth, MA for a phased development under M.G.L. c. 40R containing 303 residential units in four buildings and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

  • Corigin Real Estate Group

    Nutter represented Corigin Real Estate Group, a NY-based real estate investment firm, in connection with a joint venture with Panoramic Interests and the financing of the development of a student housing project in Berkeley, CA.

  • Farmers Business Network

    Nutter represented Farmers Business Network, an entrepreneurial agronomics business, in exploring and structuring lending opportunities, including loans secured by 2017 and 2018 farm products to farmers in Kansas, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

  • Private real estate fund

    Nutter represented a private real estate fund in the formation of a “REIT feeder structure,” consisting of a domestically controlled private real estate investment trust that is a subsidiary of a newly-formed Delaware limited partnership. The structure is intended to accommodate investments by qualified purchasers (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940).

  • Janco Development/Cordage Park

    Nutter represents Janco Development, the owner and developer of a 75 acre waterfront mill complex in Plymouth, MA. The master plan calls for the redevelopment of over 1.5 million square feet of mill buildings and new construction that will overlook Cape Cod Bay. The site will feature a marina with a deep water channel and a 400-foot solid filled pier, 675 residential units and 600,000 square feet of commercial space, in addition to a 300-slip marina. The site hosts the southernmost MBTA train on the South Shore offering rail to Boston and is one of the largest transit-oriented, mixed-use developments in the region. The site was the first and largest smart-growth district under MGL c 40R. Nutter's role in the project is smart growth zoning, permitting, acquisition, disposition, environmental, historic, and leasing.

  • Mark Development

    We represent an affiliate of Mark Development in its redevelopment of a city block in Newton, MA which will result in four- and five-story buildings with a total of 212,000 SF development containing a mix of residential, retail, restaurant, and community space. This is a transit-oriented development located just .01 miles from an MBTA commuter rail station. Approval for the project was obtained in June 2017. Project required the locus to be rezoned and a special permit obtained to allow for density and height. Project required 14 hearings before the Newton City Council. The project approvals were appealed by adjacent neighbors. We recently won this case in the Land Court.

  • Grossman Development Group

    Nutter's client, Grossman Development Group, along with its investment partner and lender, successfully completed the acquisition of the former Spags site along Route 9 in Shrewsbury, MA. The development team has commenced construction of a new mixed use project at the site, known as Lakeway Commons.

  • Phoenix Property Company/Lincoln Property Company

    Nutter represented Lincoln Property Company and Phoenix Property Company in a joint venture with an institutional capital partner in connection with the acquisition of development rights and the permitting and transactional aspects relating to this multi-party mixed-used development. 

    New construction mixed-use development project totaling 499,500 square feet. The project includes a 12-story multi-family apartment building containing approximately 300,000 square feet and 304 first-class rental apartment residences, including 22 on-site affordable units and additional off-site contributions to Boston’s affordable housing stock. Resident amenities include a rooftop pool, Skydeck, gym and wellness studio. The apartment building also contains 22,816 square feet of space that can be used for retail, restaurant and/or office space. The adjacent Hotel Component, located a shared podium, was developed into a 12-story Hyatt Place hotel with 294 rooms. There is a one-level underground parking garage beneath the apartment building and garage that can accommodate up to 450 cars. The mixed-use development is situated on Massport’s “Parcel K” and was constructed pursuant to 3 separate 99-year ground leases entered with Massport.

  • Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT)

    We represent FRIT in the permitting of several new phases of the large, transit-oriented, mixed-use project called Assembly Row in Somerville, MA, including negotiation of a creative approach with the planning board to meet the city’s new inclusionary affordable housing requirements through a combination of on-site units and cash payments over time to a community-based nonprofit organization which purchases and preserves existing affordable housing in established neighborhoods near schools, shopping, and transit.

  • Boston Scientific Corporation

    Nutter provides ongoing representation of Boston Scientific Corporation, as tenant, regarding all leasing matters on a national basis, including two separate long-term leases for approximately 350,000 square feet of research and development, warehouse, and office space in the Valencia Biomedical Park in Santa Clarita, CA.

  • Convention Data Services

    Nutter represented Convention Data Services (CDS), a Cape Cod-based SaaS company that provides event solutions and support services to over 250 tradeshows worldwide, in the development of its corporate headquarters.

  • The First Church of Christ, Scientist

    We represent of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in the disposition via both deed and ground lease of multiple properties in Back Bay, Boston, and advice regarding permitting aspects of significant improvements to the Plaza and other Church-retained property.

  • Hebrew Senior Life (HSL) NewBridge on the Charles, Dedham, Massachusetts

    Nutter drafted new zoning for overlay district, defended the new zoning against judicial challenge, and secured approvals from the local planning board, conservation commission, county commission, water district, and environmental impact statement reviews for HSL’s 160-acre intergenerational campus in Dedham, MA with over one million square feet of space.

  • Represented one of the largest banks in the United States

    Nutter represented one of the largest banks in the United States in warehouse facilities to a dozen of the largest Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA licensed mortgage lenders and low-income housing tax credit syndicators, with total commitments in excess of $2 billion.

  • Oracle Corporation

    Nutter advised in the development of the multibuilding Oracle Corporation campus in Burlington, MA, including complex permitting and environmental issues.

  • Pearson Education/Addison Wesley campus

    Nutter advised on the contractual and permitting work for the Pearson Education/Addison Wesley campus in Reading, MA, including adoption of 40R zoning and the sale of the campus.

  • National Development of New England

    Nutter advised in the permitting and land use litigation of numerous projects for National Development of New England, including the Bridges at Andover.

  • Malden Mills Complex in Lawrence and Methuen, MA

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

  • Build-to-suit leasing

    Nutter negotiated a build-to-suit lease on behalf of a tenant for a new 200,000-square foot, build-to-suit office building and 800-space parking garage.

  • Portfolio leasing and management

    Nutter negotiated leases and provided other portfolio management legal advice on behalf of the landlord of office, industrial, and other commercial properties in an extensive New England portfolio.

  • Privately-held real estate advisory firms and their commingled real estate funds

    On behalf of privately-held real estate advisory firms and their commingled real estate funds, Nutter negotiated purchase and sale agreements and leases for office, industrial, warehouse, residential, and retail properties throughout the United States.

  • Comprehensive advice regarding corporate real estate

    Nutter negotiated purchase and sale agreements, construction contracts, leases, and other agreements in connection with a national corporate real estate portfolio.

  • City of Quincy, MA

    Nutter represented the City of Quincy, MA in the negotiation of a complex land disposition agreement for the proposed New Quincy Center redevelopment project. This project involved a unique financing model for public infrastructure improvements.

  • Sale of multibuilding research and development and office facility contaminated by radiation and other hazardous materials

    Nutter represented a company in the sale of large multibuilding research and development facility contaminated by radiation and other hazardous materials. We advised the client on the remediation of contamination and compliance with all relevant and environmental laws. Nutter negotiated the purchase and sale agreement for facility, including liability release for remaining environmental conditions. We also advised the client on applicable laws relating to potential demolition of components of facility, including impact of historic landmark regulations.

  • Negotiation of large headquarters office lease for corporate tenant

    Nutter negotiated the letter of intent, lease, architect's contract, construction contract, and other related consulting agreements for, and performed due diligence on, an approximately 265,000 square foot headquarters office facility. We also negotiated several lease amendments for expansion space and advised the client on rights of first offer and expansion options.

  • Representation of developer on all aspects of industrial/office park development

    Nutter represented a developer in the acquisition, zoning, permitting, land use, environmental, subdivision, sale, and financing of a 400-acre industrial/office park development in southeastern Massachusetts, including the creation of individual land parcels, permitting of separate uses, leasing to end users, construction financing, and disposition of developed lots.

  • Representation of landlord on downtown Boston and Cambridge, MA office, warehouse, manufacturing, and research and development buildings

    Nutter represented an institutional real estate owner on all aspects of large Boston and Cambridge, MA office, warehouse, manufacturing, and research and development facilities, including negotiation of leases, letters of intent, property management contracts, brokerage agreements, and construction and architect contracts. In addition, we provided advice to the client on zoning, permitting, and environmental matters.

  • National representation of medical device manufacturer in real estate matters

    Nutter represented a medical device manufacturer on a national basis on real estate leasing, acquisition, disposition, financing, permitting, and environmental and other land use related activities, including negotiation of letters of intent, purchase and sale agreements, leases, lease amendments, architects and construction contracts, brokerage agreements, and other consulting arrangements.

  • Representation of real estate investment manager on large enclosed mall and shopping center properties

    Nutter represented the owner on a three million-square foot enclosed mall leased to national anchor and national interior mall tenants. We represented the client on all facets of leasing and property management activities, including letters of intent, leases, lease amendments, subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements, architect's contracts, construction contracts and other consulting arrangements, and advice and representation of the client on zoning, permitting, and environmental matters.

  • Brighton Marine

    Nutter represented Bright Marine in its residential development at 1485 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA. 102 residential rental units located on the Brighton Marine Health Center campus, steps from the MBTA Green Line, containing both affordable housing and workforce housing units, all with a preference for veterans. The project includes a below-grade parking garage containing 47 spaces, and 40 spaces are located at grade. Nutter's role in the project was permitting, joint venture formation, leasing and financing.

  • Edgewood Retirement Community Inc., The Baldwin Senior Living, and Edgewood Senior Solutions Group Inc.

    Nutter represented Edgewood Retirement Community Inc., The Baldwin Senior Living, and Edgewood Senior Solutions Group Inc. in connection with the acquisition of a 15.1 acre property in Londonderry, NH, where it plans to build an all-new, one-of-a-kind senior living community called The Baldwin.

  • Griffith Properties, LLC and DRA Advisors

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Griffith Properties, LLC and DRA Advisors in a joint venture in the acquisition, financing, and permitting for redevelopment of 580 Pleasant Street in Watertown, MA.

  • Mark Development

    Nutter represented Mark Development in its approved mixed-use development at MBTA Riverside Station includes 10 buildings. Plans call for 582 residential units with 102 of those affordable units along with an 11-story, 527,000-sf office tower, plus a 150-room hotel to replace the Hotel Indigo. 65,000 sf of retail space and a "hidden" parking garage with 3,000 spaces. A public park and outdoor amphitheater are in the plans. Nutter's role involved smart growth zoning, permitting, ground leasing, joint venture formation and construction. 

  • Related Beal

    Affiliates of Related Beal purchased a 50% stake in two buildings at the Innovation and Design Center in a deal with Jamestown Properties. The value of the buildings, located in South Boston's emerging Seaport District, is $710,000,000. The 1.4 million square foot buildings are home to various influential companies including Autodesk, Continuum, Elkus Manfredi, MassChallenge, and Reebok. Nutter's role was acquisition and joint venture formation. 

  • The First Church of Christ, Scientist

    Nutter assisted The First Church of Christ, Scientist on diverse real estate matters related to the disposition of non-core assets near its campus in the Back Bay section of Boston.

Case Studies

News & Insights





More >
Back to Page