Washington, D.C., June 27, 2017 — Cozen O’Connor welcomes a prominent Zoning, Land Use & Development Group to its Washington, D.C., office. The group is led by Meridith Moldenhauer, who joins as a member, and includes Samantha Mazo, who joins as of counsel, Alyssa Bigley and Eric DeBear, who both join as attorneys, and Stephen Varga, who joins as planning services director.
The new zoning group will expand the firm’s existing transactional commercial real estate practice in D.C., offering a full complement of real estate services to firm clients. This group will assist with all aspects of the development life-cycle; from conducting zoning due diligence prior to purchase, to processing cases for development approvals before the District’s zoning agencies to coordinating and assisting with permitting. The zoning group brings a deep knowledge of the Washington, D.C., market, and has been instrumental in the redevelopment of many of Washington’s most up-and-coming areas including 14th Street, Union Market, and H Street, NE.
“David Tiger and I are thrilled that Meridith and her team are joining us,” said Daniel Hardwick, a member in the Real Estate Practice Group in Washington, D.C. “The combination of a zoning and land use practice with our transactional practice makes us a full-service real estate group and our clients will benefit tremendously.”
“We have found an excellent platform here at Cozen O’Connor to continue strengthening our community and governmental ties, and to expand the firm’s zoning capabilities in the nation’s capital,” said Moldenhauer. “We are looking forward to working with Cozen O’Connor’s D.C. real estate group to provide firm clients additional real estate services.”
Moldenhauer brings a unique perspective on practicing zoning law, having previously served as chair of the District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment — the administrative body that decides zoning cases. She works closely with developers, architects, contractors, property owners and tenants, and counsel clients on creating strategic solutions to cultivate, manage and maximize real estate investments. Moldenhauer has deep roots in Washington, D.C., and brings her knowledge of the region to her practice to provide her clients with business savvy legal insight and useful strategic and risk analysis.
Mazo has more than a decade of zoning experience and has represented institutions, hotels, and other developer clients in entitlement and other real estate related proceedings before the District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment, Zoning Commission, and Historic Preservation Review Board. A third-generation Washingtonian, Mazo advances client’s interests to governmental agencies and community groups in order to achieve viable and comprehensive development outcomes.
Bigley and DeBear also advise clients on zoning and development matters ranging from individual residential properties to large-scale, planned-unit developments. They prepare and oversee all phases of applications for zoning relief and have experience before the District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment, Old Georgetown Board, and Historic Preservation Review Board. Both Bigley and DeBear are engaged in community outreach on behalf of the firm’s clients to further the development application process.
Varga is an urban planner with more than 10 years of experience developing, implementing, and interpreting D.C. planning and zoning policies, regulations, and process. Varga has experience with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation and the District of Columbia Office of Planning. Varga also applies his knowledge of general land planning tenets to other jurisdictions.
The group will be handling the zoning work for Madison Investment’s large-scale development project of the “Martha’s Table” Site on 14th Street. Other clients of this new group include Lock7Development, LLC and Valor Development.
“We are honored to welcome this incredibly well-regarded group, which will further enhance the firm’s ability to represent real estate clients in D.C.,” said Barry Boss, managing partner of Cozen O’Connor’s Washington, D.C., office. “Given the number of businesses affected by zoning and land use, we are confident that this group will be instrumental in continuing our firm’s growth in D.C.”
Cozen O’Connor's Washington D.C., office, located in the vibrant business district of Dupont Circle, is home to more than 60 attorneys providing a full range of legal services, including litigation, intellectual property, regulation, investigations, policy work, and transactions. Its Washington-based attorneys have years of experience representing U.S. and international clients in matters involving Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Utility, Environmental & Energy, Transportation & Logistics, Government Contracts, Intellectual Property, Securities, Internal Investigations & Criminal Defense, Real Estate, Health Law, and State Attorneys General. In 2016, Cozen O’Connor’s revenue increased by 10 percent, and that boost is due in part to the especially active Washington, D.C., market.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970 and ranked among the top 100 law firms in America, Cozen O’Connor has more than 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 26 offices across two continents.