Jim M. Abrams

Jim Abrams is of counsel in the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and is a member of the Real Estate Practice Group. Mr. Abrams represents developers and investors with regard to land use entitlement and real estate transactional issues, with particular expertise in land use planning law, including zoning, planning, the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), municipal law, and historic preservation law. His practice focuses on the negotiation of agreements with local governments and redevelopment agencies, the supervision of the preparation of environmental documentation, the processing of entitlements through public hearings and community meetings and other administrative proceedings, as well as legal issues associated with project development and construction.

Mr. Abrams was recently selected as one of The Recorder's 50 "Fast Track" lawyers for the state of California, as well as having been named one of 2011’s Attorneys of the Year for his work on the massive Parkmerced redevelopment project in San Francisco. He was also listed as a "Rising Star" in SuperLawyers for 2013 and 2014.

Mr. Abrams received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley with Highest Honors and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and holds a Master of City Planning Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As both an attorney and an urban planner, Mr. Abrams provides a broad level of expertise in land use law, city planning, transportation and environmental policy, and urban economics.

Representative Projects

Mr. Abrams represents Parkmerced Investors, LLC with regard to its project to comprehensively replan and rezone the 192-acre Parkmerced property, located on the western edge of San Francisco. Mr. Abrams drafted and negotiated a development agreement with the City of San Francisco, which permits the construction of 7,219 new residential units and approximately 200,000 square feet of retail/commercial space over a period of 30 years. The Project also involves the development of a large new park and open spaces, and the realignment of the SFMTA Muni “M” line through the Parkmerced property. The project was approved in June 2011. Mr. Abrams continues to represent Parkmerced in implementation of the project, which involves approvals from CalTrans to construct major new transportation infrastructure.

CityPlace and 901 Market
Mr. Abrams represented Urban Realty Co., Inc. in the development of a 350,000 square foot retail center (“CityPlace”) located on Market Street in San Francisco. The project involves the demolition of three existing buildings and the construction of an underground parking garage below the retail center. Mr. Abrams also represented Urban Realty Co., Inc. in the historic rehabilitation of approximately 210,000 square foot 901 Market Street (the Hale Brothers Department Store), located on the corner of Market Street and 5th Street in San Francisco.

900 Folsom and 260 Fifth
Mr. Abrams is land use counsel to Avant Housing, LLC (a $400 million joint venture partnership of AGI Capital, a San Francisco-based real estate development company, and TMG Partners, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest mixed use property developers, in partnership with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for its $40 million, 194-unit apartment complex at 260 5th Street, as well as its 282-unit project at 900 Folsom Street, both in San Francisco.

Berkeley Iceland
Mr. Abrams is land use counsel to Sports Basement for its proposal to preserve and convert the historic Berkeley Iceland ice rink building (located in Berkeley, California) to a 71,000 square foot retail use. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Abrams had practiced with Farella, Braun, & Martel. Mr. Abrams served as a legal extern in the land use division of San Francisco City Attorney's office. Prior to law school, Mr. Abrams was a city planning consultant with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas in New York City.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Real Estate and 2) Land Use and Development
Law School Stanford Law School, J.D.,2005
Education University of California - Berkeley, B.A.,1998
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association
Most recent firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
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