• Geothermal

Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards

Represented Napa Valley luxury wine producer Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards in its acquisition of the Provenance Vineyards real estate in Rutherford, Calif. from Treasury Wine Estates. Far Niente purchased the property as the new home for its Bella Union brand. Farella also advised Far Niente on the concurrent sale of the Provenance brand and inventory to Lodi, Calif.'s Thomas Allen Vineyard & Wines.

MedMen Wins Approval for New San Francisco Cannabis Retail Store

Provided national premium cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc. with land use and permitting advice to win approval to open a new retail store on Union Street in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood.

San Francisco Transbay Parcel F Tower Approved

Represented the joint venture of Hines, Urban Pacific Development, and Goldman Sachs to secure approval for the construction of a 61-story, 800-foot tall mixed-use tower adjacent to the Transbay Terminal on Howard St. known as Transbay Parcel F. It will be the fourth-tallest building and second tallest residential tower in San Francisco. 

3400 Cesar Chavez/555 Bartlett Street, San Francisco

In the face of well-organized opposition, we assisted Seven Hill Properties resist a CEQA appeal to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and obtain entitlements for a mixed-use project in San Francisco's Mission District.

San Francisco Flower Mart Development Project

Represented the master tenant of the San Francisco Flower Mart in renegotiating its agreements with Kilroy Realty Corp., including a long-term master lease to permanently relocate the Flower Mart to 16th and Mississippi Streets in the San Francisco Potrero Hill neighborhood. The firm continues to assist the San Francisco Flower Mart with the redevelopment of the property. Over the past six years, the firm represented the owner of the site in obtaining entitlements for 395 housing units, industrial leasing and design matters.

Grgich Hills Cellars

Obtained a use permit and variance from Napa County to allow this premium winery to convert an existing residence on an adjacent property into a new hospitality center for the existing winery.  The new facilities will accommodate up to 150 visitors per day for private events such as dinners and wine-education programs.

VF Outdoor Corporate Campus, Alameda

Represented the developer of a build-to-suit new corporate campus consisting of four buildings for VF Outdoor, owner of such brands as North Face, in connection with developer entity formation, land purchase, build-to-suit lease with option to purchase, construction agreements and construction financing.

Parcel P and 55 Ninth Street, San Francisco

Representing AvalonBay Communities in obtaining entitlements for two large apartment developments in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley and Mid-Market neighborhoods.

888 Brannan Street, San Francisco

Representing SKS Investments in converting an historic but obsolete industrial and showroom building to a state-of-the art technology office building in San Francisco’s South of Market district. 

Nob Hill Masonic Center, San Francisco

Assisted the Freemasons of California and concert promoter Live Nation in obtaining permits to reposition the historic Masonic Auditorium as a major concert venue, including the successful defense of several lawsuits challenging the approvals.

55 Laguna (UC Extension Site), San Francisco

After obtaining land use entitlements, including general plan amendments, rezoning and conditional use approvals for the 55 Laguna mixed-use development project located at the former University of California Berkeley Extension Campus in San Francisco, we prevailed in the Superior Court and Court of Appeal (unpublished decision) defending client AF Evans Development, Inc. in a CEQA lawsuit challenging the City of San Francisco's approvals for the project (Save the Laguna Street Campus v. City and County of San Francisco, et al.). 55 Laguna provides multifamily apartments, affordable senior units, public spaces, and retail space. The project includes a combination of new construction, the adaptive reuse of three historically significant buildings and the demolition of two others, which was the focus of the litigation.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Represented SFMOMA in obtaining land use approvals for a major expansion of its facilities in the Yerba Buena district of San Francisco, including new galleries to display the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection.  The project included the relocation of a City fire station off-site, acquisition of City property, air rights and right-of-way, and the replacement of two historic resources with the museum addition and new fire station.

333 Harrison Street, San Francisco

For Emerald Fund, Inc., obtained entitlements for a 300+ unit apartment project, fronted by a new public park, in San Francisco's emerging Rincon Hill neighborhood.

AvalonBay Communities/BRIDGE Housing Corporation – Balboa Reservoir Project

Land use and real estate counsel to a partnership of AvalonBay and BRIDGE Housing seeking to purchase a 13-acre vacant reservoir site from the City and County of San Francisco and develop an 1,100 unit mixed-income development, including negotiation of a land disposition agreement, general plan amendments, rezoning and development agreement.

America’s Cup Pavilion, San Francisco

Represented Live Nation in defeating a last-minute appeal of the entertainment permit authorizing Live Nation to present a summer concert series in conjunction with the America’s Cup sailing races in a temporary 9,000-seat pavilion at San Francisco’s Piers 27/29.

Institute on Aging/BRIDGE Housing Corporation

Assisted the Institute on Aging and BRIDGE Housing Corporation in obtaining land use entitlements to demolish the vacant Coronet Theater in San Francisco’s Richmond District and replace it with a mixed-use project containing two floors of health and social services for seniors and low-income senior rental units above.  In the face of intense opposition from some immediate neighbors, we obtained unanimous votes from both the San Francisco Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, and successfully defended the project’s EIR and use permit in San Francisco Superior Court. 

Piers 1½, 3, and 5, San Francisco

Represented San Francisco Waterfront Partners in its acquisition, entitlement, financing, leasing and management of Piers 1½, 3 & 5, an historic waterfront property in San Francisco, California.  The revitalized Piers 1½, 3 and 5 on San Francisco's historic waterfront have been named among the 17 finalists nationwide for the Urban Land Institute's annual 2010 Award for Excellence, which were selected from a list of 170 entries from all over the Americas.

Transbay Parcel F and Block 4 Projects

Counsel to a partnership of Hines, Goldman Sachs and Urban Pacific to entitle a 750-foot tall mixed use tower (office, hotel and residential) that will be the fourth tallest in San Francisco immediately adjacent to the under construction Transbay Terminal and a 550-foot residential tower nearby. 

Grand Hyatt, Union Square, San Francisco

Assisted Hyatt Equities with defending the Grand Hyatt's favorable position in a limited queue of hotel rooms eligible for conversion to condominiums in the face of an appeal by UNITE HERE, the local hotel workers' union.

555 Howard Street and 1125 Market Street

Counsel to Pacific Eagle, a Singapore based investor/developer, in obtaining land use entitlements for two hotel projects in San Francisco. 555 Howard is a 385-foot mixed hotel/residential tower in the Transbay District that will be the first commercial building in San Francisco designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. 

NetApp Sunnyvale Campus Expansion

Representing NetApp, Inc. with land use entitlements, property acquisition and construction agreements related to the expansion of its Sunnyvale, Calif. campus.

1500 Mission Street Project, San Francisco

Counsel to The Related Companies in obtaining environmental clearance, rezoning and land use entitlements for the 1500 Mission Street Project that will couple over 550 units of rental housing with a new office building and permit center to be design/built by Related for the City and County of San Francisco.

800 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco

Obtained entitlements for the subdivision of a large site near Lake Merced in southwestern San Francisco into 121 lots for the construction of 182 single-family homes and duplexes.  After defeating an administrative appeal of the project's mitigated negative declaration, we successfully defended the project approvals in the Superior Court and California Court of Appeal, and successfully defended a separate Superior Court challenge to the City's issuance of a tree removal permit.

1066 Market Street, San Francisco

Counsel to Shorenstein Properties in obtaining land use entitlements for a 305-unit residential project in San Francisco’s Mid-Market/Tenderloin neighborhood, including the drafting and negotiating of an ordinance authorizing a unique off-site affordable housing strategy in order to resolve an appeal of the project’s permit.  

Group I: 950 Market Street

Land use and real estate counsel to Group I in obtaining land use entitlements, including enactment of a special zoning exemption, for construction of a mixed use hotel/residential/retail project in San Francisco Mid-Market/Tenderloin neighborhood and negotiating a hotel services agreement.

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Strand Theater Project

Assisted American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in developing the Strand Theater, a new performing arts facility on Market Street. Tasks have included real estate transactional representation, tax exempt entity formation and qualification, land use entitlements and New Market and Historic tax credits expertise.

8th and Harrison Street and 1000 16th Street, San Francisco

Counsel to Archstone in obtaining land use entitlements for two 400+ unit residential projects in San Francisco’s South of Market and Potrero Hill districts.

Nick Podell Companies

In 2016, we obtained land use entitlements for a controversial residential project in San Francisco’s Mission District at 2000 Bryant Street, dubbed the “Beast on Bryant” by project opponents, including obtaining a unanimous vote at the Board of Supervisors to reject an appeal of the project’s CEQA exemption and large project authorization. We worked extensively with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to fashion a land dedication alternative to satisfy the project’s inclusionary housing obligation and enable MOHCD to build a 100% affordable development on a portion of the project site.

One Rincon Hill, San Francisco

Obtained the land use entitlements for our client Urban West Associates of San Diego to construct two high-rise residential towers atop San Francisco's Rincon Hill, one of 59 stories and the other of 47 stories, totaling 709 condominiums and townhouses. Our representation included negotiating a General Plan amendment and rezoning for the entire Rincon Hill area, obtaining a height limit increase from 200 feet to 550 feet, obtaining permits to demolish a historic structure on the site, negotiating a feasible impact fee package and the formation of a Mello-Roos community facilities district to finance those fees.

655 Folsom – Forton Fund

Provided land use advice for a residential project in San Francisco.

Firm Highlights


How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development Projects

Farella's CJ Higley and Donald Sobelman with guest speakers, Michael Keinath from Ramboll and Tania Sheyner from City and County of San Francisco, discuss "How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development...

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Controversial New Law Opens Door To More Residential Development In California

It has been praised as a long-overdue step to address California’s chronic housing shortage, while others have called it the “worst bill of the year.” But regardless of public opinion, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs...

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Lawdragon Names 7 Farella Partners Among “Leaders in Environmental Law”

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that seven partners were selected to the 2023 Lawdragon Green 500: Leaders in Environmental Law Guide. Selected for inclusion are: Sarah Bell &ndash...

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Planning Commission OKs Bella Union Winery at Former Provenance Facility in Rutherford

Katherine Philippakis was quoted in the Wine Business article, "Planning Commission OKs Bella Union Winery at Former Provenance Facility in Rutherford."  The goal for the “foreseeable future” is for Bella Union to produce 110,000...

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A Year in Review: SB 9 Slow to Gain Traction

A year since the approval of Senate Bill 9 (SB 9), it appears few Californians have taken advantage of the new legislation that aims to streamline small-scale housing development. The bill allows for the...

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State Minimum Fire Safe Regulations Go Into Effect April 1, 2023

The State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has been actively pursuing comprehensive new wildfire protection standards for development in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones and State Responsibility Areas where the State of...

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Ashley Breakfield Elected 2023 President-Elect of CREW SF

Ashely Breakfield Headshot
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Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2023 New Partner Class

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Office-to-Housing Conversion: Legislation – California’s Next Frontier

In an effort to spur the conversion of office-to-housing as one way to revitalize California’s struggling urban downtown areas, Assemblyman (and former San Francisco Supervisor) Matt Haney has introduced AB 1532, dubbed the “Office...

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San Francisco’s Downtown: What Does the Future Hold?

Farella's CJ Higley with guest speakers, Marc Babsin with Emerald Fund, Jim Hakes with Handel Architects, Sujata Srivastava with SPUR, and Anne Taupier with San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, discuss "San...

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