Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes

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Firm profile for USA 2021

USA

About

This content is provided by Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes.

Chairman and Managing Partner: Jeffrey Bercow

Executive Partner: Melissa Tapanes Llahues

Number of partners: 4, plus 6 non-equity

Number of lawyers: 15

Languages: English, Spanish

Firm Overview: 

Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes is a South Florida boutique law firm specializing in land use, zoning and environmental matters. The firm’s attorneys have expertise in regulations governing real property, land development, construction permitting and business licensing. Its clients are international, domestic and local landowners, developers, institutions, investors and businesses seeking approvals from government boards and agencies at the local, state and federal level. The firm excels at managing complex and politically sensitive legislative and quasi-judicial matters from initial due diligence to construction.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Land Use and Zoning. The firm counsels clients and design professionals in identifying issues, preparing applications, negotiating with stakeholders, processing and presenting applications before local government boards. Recent representations are summarized below.

■ Adler Development Group and 13th Floor Investments formed a joint venture to redevelop the 7.5 acres of land surrounding the Douglas Road Metrorail Station. We represented the JV during the competitive bidding process, in which the JV proposed a multiphased, long term buildout of the property as a vertically integrated mixed-use project, with approximately 50,000 to 75,000 square feet of ground floor retail, a 200-room hotel, approximately 1,750 residential units, and a 300,000 square foot office building. We obtained approval of an application to amend the County’s comprehensive plan to double the allowed residential units for the property and permit construction at greater heights, as well as site plan approval for the project’s first 2 residential towers with approximately 720 units and 25,000 s.f. of commercial space. The firm is currently working on the second phase of project development.

■ The firm represented the developer/owner of the abandoned Westview Golf Course in the infill area of Miami-Dade County. The property is approximately 200 acres in size, and the firm has represented the owner and purchasers on their collective redevelopment efforts. With the firm’s assistance, Panattoni Development Company has developed a significant portion of the south half of the golf course for an 8000,000 square foot logistics and distribution center. The firm also worked with Panattoni on post approval permitting matters, including platting, environmental issues, special taxing districts, stormwater drainage and zoning approval for individual tenants. The firm also represents Lennar Homes on the north half of the former golf course site, including a comprehensive plan amendment application to permit residential development of this property. The County Commission approved the application and the firm is currently working on rezoning and site plan approval to permit development of the property for 750 residential units.

■ JDS Development Group is in a public private partnership with the City of Miami to redevelop 3.4 acres of land, known as Block 85, located within the City’s West Brickell neighborhood and within the Miami-Dade County Rapid Transit Zone Brickell Subzone. We crafted, negotiated and represented JDS in the City Commission approval of a Public Benefit Agreement providing for the acquisition of City-owned land to accommodate a mixed-use development, construction of a new state of art fire station, and transfer of development rights from a City-owned municipal park. We successfully handled a public hearing application before the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for a mixed-use project conceived as a new urban gateway to the Brickell Metropolitan Urban Center and known as “1 Southside Park”, which will bring together market-defining residential (1,175 units), office (200,000 sf), event and wellness spaces (100,000 sf); a world-class hotel with food and beverage outlets (200 keys); City of Miami Fire Station No. 4 (32,000 sf), and a reinvigorated Southside Park with a direct a connection to the Underline’s Brickell Backyard and Brickell Transit Station.

■Urbin LC, is a pioneer in co-living uses on South Florida. Urbin’s concept combined co-living, hotel, office, retail, and restaurant uses. The difficulty with co-living uses is that many local government’s zoning regulations, including the city of Miami Beach, do not permit co-living uses. As a consequence, in advance of filing the typical development review board applications, we had to initiate a legislative process to permit co-living uses. We were able to persuade stakeholders that entertainment uses and residential uses could peacefully co-exist and the City Commission adopted the necessary changes to the City’s zoning regulations to permit co-living uses to allow co-living uses to have the same development incentives as hotel uses. We also obtained approvals from development boards to permit the demolition of a nondescript but historic building to make way for a new building containing a mix of uses including co-living and permit outdoor entertainment.

■ Downtown Retail Associates, LLC / Block 55 Owner, LLC, purchased land from the City of Miami’s Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency to develop the property with a mixed-use, Affordable Housing project. The project is eighteen (18) stories and will include 578 Affordable Housing residential units, and approximately 350,000 square feet square feet of retail, restaurant and other commercial uses. The project will provide much-needed Affordable Housing, employment opportunities, access to transit, and affordable retail options for the surrounding community, along with improvements to an abutting City right of way, known as Sawyer’s Walk, which will be improved as a pedestrian promenade and community gathering space. We assisted with the preparation of a Development Agreement and Purchase and Sale Agreement with the CRA, and obtained site plan approval for the project from the City of Miami.

■ GCNB, LLC sought approval of a land use plan amendment to allow the redevelopment of land from a produce store and in-ground tree nursery into an elderly congregate living facility and medical offices. Although the firm faced significant opposition from the surrounding residents in an estate residential community, we secured favorable recommendations from the County’s professional staff and advisory boards, and approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.

■ Crescent Heights and the Terra Group formed a joint venture to develop the “500 Alton” development located at the southern gateway to Miami Beach. We obtained multiple approvals for a signature 519-foot tall residential tower, commercial uses, a world-class city park, and a new pedestrian bridge linking the public baywalk on South Beach for the first time. The public benefits associated with the 500 Alton development will be transformative for this area of Miami Beach.

Environmental: 

Firm attorneys represent the interests of property owners, commercial enterprises, industrial users, waste management companies and rock quarrying businesses in environmental permitting and compliance, variances and exemptions, wetlands determination and mitigation, brownfields and severable use rights

Clients: 

The firm’s clients include: Adler Development; Aligned Real Estate Investment; Atlantic Civil; Berkowitz Development Group; Cornerstone Group; Crescent Heights; Florida East Coast Properties; Florida International University; Integra International; JMH; JDS Development Group; Ladder Capital; Landmark Companies; Lennar Homes; Leon Medical Centers; Marriott International; Panattoni Development Company; Swerdlow Group; Terra Group; 13th Floor Investments; TriStar Capital; Turnberry Associates; Urbin LC; Whole Foods Market; Woolbright Development.

Firm Contact: 

Contact: Jeffrey Bercow

Tel: 305 377 6220

Email: [email protected]

USA

Ranked Departments

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Florida: South

Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use
Band 1

Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Florida: South

Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use


Jeffrey Bercow
Band 1
Melissa Tapanes Llahues
Band 3
Michael Larkin
Band 3

Top Ranked Lawyers

Band 1
Jeffrey BercowReal Estate: Zoning/Land Use
Band 3
Melissa Tapanes LlahuesReal Estate: Zoning/Land Use
Michael LarkinReal Estate: Zoning/Land Use

Ranked Offices

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

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USA

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