Mitchell B. Menzer is a partner in the Paul Hastings Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Global Real Estate group.
Mr. Menzer represents investors and developers in all aspects of real estate development, including land use and entitlement matters, joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, financing, equity investments, environmental issues and construction contracts. These transactions involve properties ranging from hotels to raw land to residential developments to portfolios of office buildings.
Mr. Menzer has substantial expertise in land use regulation and obtaining entitlements for real estate development projects, including residential development mixed use projects, development agreements, and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. Examples of these projects include representation of:
- Korean Air Lines in the redevelopment of its 896 room hotel located at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. The approvals include a 65-story 1,500,000 square foot office tower, a 45-story hotel/residential tower with 900 hotel rooms and 100 condominium units, 275,000 square feet of hotel amenities, restaurants and retail, and a 1,900 space parking garage as well as a state-of-the-art electronic sign district, transient occupancy tax subvention and 20 year Development Agreement.
- The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in obtaining approvals of zoning code amendments, conditional use permits and an environmental impact report for its new Education and Visitors Center.
- Mack Urban Development in obtaining entitlements for a large scale residential community in the South Park neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The projects involve six separate sites that the developer will entitle for over 1,800 residential units and ground floor retail, restaurants and amenities.
- Greenland US Holding Inc. in securing economic incentives from the City of Los Angeles for Greenland’s new 350 room hotel in downtown Los Angeles that will serve the convention center, businesses and tourist industry.
- Oaktree Capital in obtaining entitlements for a significant residential community in Malibu, California. The project required an environmental impact report, zoning text amendment for a planned development designation, vesting tentative tract map, a local coastal plan amendment and other approvals to comply with the Coastal Act.
- AREA Property Partners in obtaining land use approvals for a one million square foot mixed-use project on a full city block in Hollywood, California, which will include 400,000 square feet of office space, a 125-room hotel, 400 condominium units and approximately 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail. The project also involves the preservation and rehabilitation of a 100,000 square foot office complex designated as a historic monument.
- Carlyle Realty Partners in obtaining land use approvals from the City of Culver City and its Redevelopment Agency for a 400,000 square foot office building to be integrated with an existing hotel to create a mixed-use project. The project involved a shared parking analysis, major traffic improvements and the completion of an environmental impact report. We also successfully defended the lawsuit challenging the project’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, which was brought by project opponents.
- Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles in obtaining approvals for its proposed expansion and modification of operating conditions. This work also includes the completion of an environmental impact report and numerous land use approvals.
- Barlow Respiratory Hospital in connection with its master plan for its Elysian Park campus, including a replacement hospital and a large mixed-use community.
- Madame Tussauds in obtaining approvals for a 40,000 square foot Madame Tussauds attraction in Hollywood, California. This project involved the approval of site plan review and numerous variances as well as a comprehensive sign program featuring electronic signs and supergraphics approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency. The project also involved the adoption of a subsequent negative declaration under CEQA.
- The developer in obtaining approvals for a mixed-use development featuring 36,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and 155 condominium units. This project involved innovative shared parking arrangements and the completion of an environmental impact report.
Mr. Menzer served on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission from 2000 to 2004 and was the President of the Commission 2002 – 2003. During that time, he served on the Mayor’s Development Advisory Group and the Mayor’s Industrial Land Task Force.
In 2014, Mr. Menzer was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 50 Development Lawyers. In 2012, Mr. Menzer was recognized by the Daily Journal in its inaugural list of Top 25 Land Use Leaders. Mr. Menzer was selected as among the top 5% of Southern California real estate attorneys in a research process conducted by Law & Politics magazine.
In 2001-2002, Mr. Menzer served on the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Coordinating Committee, which published “Putting the Pieces Together: State Actions to Encourage Smart Growth Practices in California.”
He is a member of the ULI Los Angeles District Council Executive Committee and its Land Use Leadership Committee. He serves on the board of A Community of Friends and the California Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land. He also serves on committees for the Central City Association. He was member of the CEQA Improvement Advisory Group convened by the Secretary of the California Resources Agency.
Mr. Menzer is the author of numerous articles including “A Guide to California Government Code Section 65915: Density Bonuses and Incentives for Affordable Housing” in the California Real Property Journal (Spring, 2005) and “Housing Southern California: Smart Growth Strategies” in the 2001 SCAG State of the Region Report.
Mr. Menzer is a frequent speaker to both real estate attorneys and other real estate professionals, including the California Continuing Education of the Bar course on Land Use Entitlements.
Mr. Menzer received his B.A. degree in 1978 from Amherst College, with honors. In 1984, he received his J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif. Mr. Menzer clerked for the Honorable Pamela Ann Rymer, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.