David J. Petersen

David J. Petersen

Partner

503.802.2054
david.petersen@tonkon.com

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Services & Industries

Education

J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 1998, Order of the Coif, Recipient, Jamison Award: Excellence in Scholarship and Advocacy

B.A., magna cum laude, Syracuse University, 1991

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
State Bar of California
U.S. District Courts, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

David chairs Tonkon Torp’s Real Estate & Land Use Practice Group, focusing his practice on land use and local government law. He has helped bring a wide range of development projects to fruition, including large-scale residential developments, big-box retail stores, educational and office campuses, mixed-use developments and master planned communities, and other industrial and commercial facilities. He has successfully represented clients before a wide range of permitting bodies including the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and many Oregon and California cities and counties.

David has a subspecialty focusing on renewable energy development, having worked with many clients to bring utility-scale wind and solar facilities online in Oregon, California, and elsewhere. David has represented clients before and has served as a hearings officer for the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council. He is a member of the firm’s Energy Law practice group and often writes on land use topics as they relate to renewable energy.

Beyond land use, David has a robust real estate transactional practice, representing owners and developers in a wide range of title, finance, transactional, leasing, and regulatory matters. He has handled the real estate aspects of several complex mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies, including the $1.2 billion sale of 146 senior housing facilities arising out of the bankruptcy of Sunwest, at the time the nation’s largest privately-held senior housing provider. He also regularly counsels developers and owners on the intricacies of Oregon law related to owners’ associations and restrictive covenants.

David’s clients repeatedly praise his direct advice, quickness to grasp key issues, and efficiency in completing work on time and under budget. Clients and decision-makers alike compliment his clear, concise, and forthright explanation of complicated issues and presentation of legal arguments.

Prior to law school, David worked as a criminal investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  After law school, he practiced real estate and land use law in the San Francisco area for five years before joining Tonkon Torp in 2003.

David likes gardening, backpacking, and driving his restored 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite. He serves as a volunteer advocate for foster kids through Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The things he misses most about his hometown of Buffalo, New York are thunderstorms, fireflies, and truly authentic, extra-spicy chicken wings.

Representative Matters

Affordable Housing

Represented client in the purchase of a 33% membership interest in an LLC that owns a low-income multifamily housing development. This transaction was particularly complicated given the regulatory approvals required from both the State of Oregon (in connection with the low-income housing status) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (as the entity had a loan from HUD). This process of seeking approvals, coordinating updated applications, regulatory documents, and loan documents – involving repeated back and forth with the applicable governmental authorities – took over six months.

Sale of Public Park Site and Trail Easement

Represented residential subdivision developer in the sale of a public park site and a trail easement to local parks district. The parties had been unable to agree on a price or reimbursement of development costs, resulting in a complicated and drawn-out arbitration process. Assisted the client in negotiating a final purchase price and other terms to prevent need to complete the arbitration.

Acquisition of Land For Commercial Development

Represented client to negotiate an option to acquire bare land for development as part of a regional commercial center in Lynden, Washington, and to subsequently exercise the option and close on the property. The transaction required amendment of existing CC&Rs and a Development Agreement with the City, as well as negotiation of a complicated consent from an existing anchor tenant.

Acquisition of Property Leased to Restaurant Chain

Represented client in acquisition of commercial property leased to prominent restaurant chain at a premier regional shopping center in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Site Certificate for Oregon Wind Facility

Represented client to obtain a site certificate from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to construct a 500 MW wind energy facility in Morrow and Umatilla Counties. The project faced stiff opposition from Umatilla County, some local landowners and a local anti-wind coalition. The project presented unique issues related to energy transmission, as the available corridors to connect the project to the interstate transmission grid were constrained and presented considerable development challenges. After a five-year process, including a contested case before an administrative hearings officer that was resolved by a successful motion for summary judgment over the opposition of the Department of Energy, the Council issued a site certificate authorizing construction of the facility.

Purchase of Restaurant Development Site in Shopping Center

Represented client in the purchase of the site of a prominent national chain restaurant under construction in Fresno, California. The property was part of an existing shopping center with an extensive and complicated title history. Tonkon Torp handled real estate evaluation, lease review and resolution of title issues on an expedited basis, as the agreement gave buyer less than three weeks to complete all due diligence.

Land Use Approvals for 187-Unit Subdivision

Represented client in obtaining land use approvals for a 187-unit subdivision near Gresham, followed by the simultaneous acquisition of the land and the sale of the land and the land use approvals to a prominent national developer. The transaction required precise coordination of the two transactions and fast resolution of last-minute title issues in the face of a closing deadline that the seller would not agree to extend.

Acquisition of Nonprofit Religious Corporation

Represented nonprofit religious corporation in acquisition of assets of second nonprofit religious corporation, including church property and charter school lease, and refinancing of existing debt.

1031 Exchange For Estate of Deceased Out-of-State Taxpayer

Represented client and his estate in the sale of investment property and the purchase of new investment property in a 1031 tax deferred exchange. The transaction presented unique tax and real estate issues due to the death of the client during the 1031 exchange period. Also, the new property required evaluation of environmental issues due to its former use as a gas station.

Acquisition of Hickory Spring Foam Manufacturing Facility

Represented FXI, Inc., a manufacturer of innovative foam technology headquartered in Media, Pennsylvania, in its acquisition of the Hickory Spring foam manufacturing facility located in NE Portland.

Coronado California Retail Property Sale

Represented a family trust in the sale of a $5.2 million commercial property, including the historic Village Theater, on the main commercial strip of downtown Coronado, California. The transaction involved the acquisition of fee title to a portion of the property ground leased from another trust, and the subsequent sale of the entire property. The transaction also posed complicated environmental issues due to the property's former use as a dry cleaners, but with Tonkon Torp's help the buyer was persuaded not to reduce its offered price due to environmental issues.

New Corporate Headquarters Campus

Represented Yakima Products, Inc. on all aspects of its purchase of an 89,000 square foot office building and 13-acre campus in Lake Oswego, Oregon for its new corporate headquarters. Advised client regarding potential land use and redevelopment issues. Also negotiated a lease termination agreement with Yakima's prior landlord.

Sale of Historic Building

Represented the owner of an entire block of downtown Portland in the sale of the block as part of a 1031 tax-deferred exchange, thereby facilitating two other purchase transactions in Portland and Salem for the client.

Land Use Appeal

Successfully overturned an Oregon county's approval of a rezoning that would retroactively authorize over 20 years of zoning code violations, to the detriment of neighboring property owners.

Public School Solar Rooftops

Represented public utility in the negotiation of license agreements for the installation of solar facilities on several Portland area school buildings.

Family Real Estate Reorganization

Represented prominent landowning family regarding organization and restructuring of extensive real estate holdings in San Diego area following death of family patriarch.

Native American Senior Living Facility

Represented Oregon tribe in the negotiation of a long-term ground lease of tribe property for operation of senior living facility serving tribal members.

Design of Riverwalk

Negotiated option for easement to Metro to design and possibly construct a "Riverwalk" public access route across PGE's hydroelectric facility to a viewing platform at Willamette Falls. The proposed Riverwalk is part of a redevelopment of Oregon City's industrial waterfront. The option from PGE unlocked significant redevelopment funds to Metro from the state of Oregon.

Hotel Purchase, Sale, Financing, and 1031 Exchange

Represented hotel investor in sale of two Seattle area hotels and acquisition of a replacement hotel in a reverse 1031 exchange while simultaneously refinancing secured debt.

Eastern Oregon Wind Projects and Land Use Appeal

Aided developer in obtaining conditional use permit for a 104 megawatt wind energy facility in eastern Oregon, and successfully defended the permit on appeal. Assisted same developer in obtaining permit from Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council for 500MW wind project.

Land Use Permit for Retail Fueling Stations

Successfully represented big box retailer in obtaining changes to City of Beaverton land use code to permit fueling station at site of existing store, and then obtaining conditional use permit for fueling station under revised regulations. Also obtained approval of fueling station at City of Tigard store over appeal by neighboring gas station owner.

Eastern Oregon Wind Projects Acquisition

Represented private equity firm in $200 million acquisition and development of five utility-scale wind projects in Eastern Oregon for sale of power to prominent Idaho utility.

Sale of 90 Acres of Undeveloped Property in Oceanside, CA

Assisted client to complete the sale of 90 acres of undeveloped real property in Oceanside, CA, the last remaining large undeveloped coastal parcel between Camp Pendleton and the Mexican border. The client's family had tried unsuccessfully to sell the property for over 40 years. The current tenant of the property became obligated to purchase the property but instead filed litigation against the seller to delay the sale or create leverage. After foreclosure of the tenant's interests in the property, a third party buyer ultimately purchased the property for about 97% of the tenant's purchase price while also reimbursing the tenant's lender and funding a nuisance settlement with the tenant.

Development of Massachusetts Senior Living Facilities

Represented seniors housing client in the formation of a joint venture with a Massachusetts developer to acquire a partial interest in a real estate sale agreement, and the acquisition of a portion of the property for the development of two assisted living facilities. The real estate transaction involved the subdivision of the property, creation of easements and other rights to the lots not acquired by the client, and the imposition of historical preservation and affordable housing covenants on the property as a condition of development. Also assisted the joint venture to obtain construction financing.

Acquisition of Organic Herb Farm

Herb Pharm is a grower and producer of organic herbs. The company purchased its original farm, still in operation, from the founders of the company.

Represented Auto Dealer in Simultaneous Property Transactions

Represented auto dealer client in the simultaneous purchase of dealership property, sale of vacant land, and amendment of lease to third property. Transaction also involved the resolution of thorny environmental issues affecting the acquired property with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sale of Adjacent Parcels for Vancouver Business Center Expansion

Represented shopping center developer in the sale of three adjacent parcels for retail development as part of the Birtcher Business Center in Vancouver, Washington. The first transaction closed in 2017 with Goodwill Industries of the Columbia-Willamette, which constructed a Goodwill retail outlet store on the site. The second and third transactions closed in 2018 and 2019 with Hurley Development, which is developing the sites as a retail shopping center adjacent to the nearby Goodwill and Walmart anchor stores.

Acquisition of Shopping Center during COVID Crisis

Represented client in the acquisition of a Willamette Valley shopping center in completion of a 1031 exchange. The coronavirus crisis hit during the due diligence period, resulting in a massive drop-off in tenants' businesses and thereby drastically affecting the transaction pro forma. Assisted buyer to implement creative solutions with the seller to save the transaction by sharing the risk of reduced landlord revenues in the short term after closing.

Real Estate Counsel for Eastern Oregon Wind Projects

Represented client as real estate counsel for funding and construction of 16 wind turbines in eastern Oregon. The project included three rounds of funding from lenders and investors which involved negotiation on the real estate provisions of the various financing agreements. Negotiated the acquisition of appropriate easements from various property owners and advised on real estate and interconnection issues with the buyer of electricity produced by the facilities. Final funding involved coordination of multiple levels of affiliated and unaffiliated companies for running various aspects of the facilities. Funding and construction concluded in December, 2020.

Acquisition of Bare Land for Subdivision Development

Represented client in the acquisition of bare land in Gresham, Oregon for development of a 250 lot subdivision, including negotiation of a secured purchase money loan and take-down agreements to sell the future lots to a residential homebuilder.

Sale of Senior Living Businesses & Property with Added COVID-Related Negotiations

Represented two affiliated senior living facilities in the sale of the businesses and underlying real property. This sale involved a payoff of a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan and coordination with the buyer for a replacement HUD loan at closing. In light of reduced occupancy amidst COVID-19, Tonkon Torp assisted the parties in negotiating a purchase price holdback to be released to either buyers or seller over the course of a year based on post-closing occupancy rates.

Represented NW Auto Group in Acquisition of Name Brand Dealerships

Represented prominent Northwest auto group in acquisition of two major name brand dealerships in the I-5 corridor north of Seattle. Transaction included acquisition of franchises, business assets, inventory and real estate. Real estate interests included leases of Indian land thereby implicating complicated title and federal administrative law issues.

Construction Debt Conversion for Solar Energy Facility

Provided local counsel to owner of utility-scale solar energy facility in Southern Oregon to convert construction debt for the facility to an operating term loan.

Seniors Housing Reorganization and Sale

David had primary responsibility for the real estate aspects of the $1.2 billion sale of 146 seniors housing facilities arising out of the collapse and bankruptcy of Sunwest, the nation's largest privately-held seniors housing provider, resulting in sizeable recoveries for Sunwest's creditors and investors. 

California Development Lending

Ongoing representation of Canada-based lender in series of development loans for residential and mixed use commercial development in Southern California.

California Habitat Conservation Plan

Representation of landowner's series of agreements to implement the client's federal and state habitat conservation plans for threatened and endangered species.

Eastern Washington Wind Projects

Provided real estate counsel to the developer in the development and sale of over 1,250 MW of wind energy on over 100 parcels in eastern Washington. The operating projects are now a part of the renewable energy portfolio of a major Washington utility.

Oregon Solar Highway

Counseled major Oregon utility on corporate, tax, finance and real estate issues surrounding three pioneering solar energy projects in the greater Portland area, including the first two installments of the Oregon Solar Highway, which seeks to use highway rights-of-way and rest stops for solar energy generation.

Loan Transaction for California Senior Living Refinancing

Represented client in $18.6 million loan transaction with FNMA to refinance independent living seniors housing facility in Novato, California.

​Costco

Handles Oregon land use matters for Costco, including successful efforts to obtain approval for new Costco warehouses in Roseburg and Central Point, Oregon, and to construct gasoline stations at Costco's existing warehouses in Beaverton and Tigard, Oregon.

​Eastern Oregon Wind Projects

Served as Oregon counsel in the acquisition by a private equity firm of five utility-scale wind projects under development, for sale of electricity to a prominent Idaho utility.

​Portland Area Apartment Development

Represents the developer of a 132-unit apartment project in Happy Valley, a suburb of Portland, on real estate and land use matters.

​Reorganization Financing

Faced with an immovable deadline and less than two weeks to document the transaction, David helped a large grocery store chain obtain $45 million in new financing secured by over 30 owned or leased properties in southern Oregon and northern California. With this financing, the grocer was able to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in record time and keep its stores open in many small and remote communities with few or no other grocery options.

Seniors Housing Secured Financing

Ongoing representation of several national and regional independent and assisted living owners in complex financing transactions, including securitization and defeasance transactions.

​Sunwest

David had primary responsibility for the real estate aspects of the $1.2 billion sale of 146 senior housing facilities to Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, arising out of the collapse and bankruptcy of Sunwest, the nation's largest privately-held senior housing provider. The Sunwest bankruptcy was unprecedented in size, scope, and complexity in the State of Oregon. The real estate sale was a significant factor in obtaining sizeable recoveries for Sunwest's creditors and investors.

Grocery Store Reorganization Financing

Helped a large grocery store chain obtain funds in new financing secured by over 30 owned or leased properties in southern Oregon and northern California.

Oregon Solar Projects

Represented the developer in the development, construction and sale of 7.3 megawatts of solar energy projects in Eastern Oregon, including Oregon's largest operating solar facility, the 5 MW Outback project. 

Sale of Eagle Newspapers Publications to Pamplin Media Group

Represented Eagle Newspapers in the sale of six of its weekly newspapers to Pamplin Media Group. The newspapers involved were the Woodburn Independent, Canby Herald, Newberg Graphic, Wilsonville Spokesman, Molalla Pioneer and Madras Pioneer. Eagle Newspapers is owned by former U.S. congressman Denny Smith. Pamplin Media Group is owned by businessman and philanthropist Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr.

Acquisitions of Operating Assets

Represented The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. in connection with acquisitions of operating assets of Rail Car America, Inc. (RCA), its American Hydraulics division, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Brandon Corp., for $34 million.

Complex Senior Living Transaction

Represented client in transaction to manage and potentially, in the future, acquire existing senior living facilities. The transaction involved complex issues of state licensing and regulatory oversight of facilities that receive state financial assistance.

Senior Living Secured Financing

Ongoing representation of several national and regional independent and assisted living owners in complex financing transactions, including securitization and defeasance transactions.

Obsidian Renewables

2012 was a year of full-scale retreat for most renewable energy developers, both in Oregon and nationwide. Key tax credits and other incentives had expired or were expiring, and low natural gas prices kept demand for renewables low. This did not deter local developer Obsidian Renewables.

2Morrow Energy

Spanish wind energy manufacturer Gamesa and local wind developer Ella Wind LLC joined forces to propose the 2Morrow Wind Energy Project, a 104 megawatt wind farm in Morrow County, Oregon.

EDF Renewable Energy

EDF Renewable Energy, formerly enXco, engaged Tonkon Torp to provide real estate and environmental due diligence support in connection with two renewable energy projects in California (the Catalina Solar and Pacific Wind Projects) and one in Kansas (the Spearville 3 Wind Energy Project).

Tonkon Torp Helps Advance 700-Megawatt Solar Project in San Joaquin Valley

Tonkon Torp’s energy lawyers helped Fresno-based real estate client Maricopa Sun LLC secure development of a significant solar project in central California.

“Local Firm Snags Megadeal: Case Doesn’t Faze Midsize Law Office”

Tonkon Torp is featured in an article
in the April 2011 issue of the ABA Journal. The firm’s work on the Sunwest bankruptcy case is the topic of the story, which discusses our representation of Clyde Hamstreet, the Chief Restructuring Officer for the case. The Sunwest bankruptcy concluded with a $1.2 billion deal, which was the culmination of one of the biggest and most complex bankruptcy cases of its kind ever filed in Oregon.

Untangling the Sunwest Bankruptcy

In August 2010, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors closed a $1.2 billion deal to acquire 134 senior living properties from bankrupt Oregon-based Sunwest Management, formerly the country’s fourth largest (and largest privately-held) senior living operator. Tonkon Torp represented the Chief Restructuring Officer of Sunwest in this deal, which was the culmination of one of the biggest and most complex bankruptcy cases of its kind ever filed in Oregon.

A Thriving Renewable Northwest Energy Economy

Element Power is a global renewable energy company that develops, acquires, builds and operates utility-scale solar and wind power projects. Backed by some of the biggest names in global renewable energy development, it currently has wind and solar projects throughout Europe and a large development pipeline in Europe and Latin America.

Helping IKEA Break Ground in Portland

When home furnishings giant IKEA needed to secure land and obtain necessary approvals for a new location in the Portland Metropolitan area, they turned to Tonkon Torp for help. Tonkon’s real estate attorneys successfully navigated our client through the complex two-year process.

Bringing Affordable Housing to Low-Income Families

When a non-profit group needed help obtaining special building permits to create low-income housing, it turned to Tonkon Torp for help. With the pro-bono assistance of our attorneys nine low-income families in Ashland, Oregon now have a home of their own.

World Headquarters for Banfield, the Pet Hospital&reg

As one of the world’s largest veterinary hospital chains, Banfield Pet Hospital relies on the trusted counsel of Tonkon Torp. When Banfield was looking to build a new world headquarters, it once again turned to Tonkon Torp to handle all the legal matters.

Tonkon Facilitates Sale of Iconic Coronado Theatre

Tonkon Torp represented one of the sellers in the $5.2 million sale of the historic Vintage Village Theatre in Coronado, California. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Helps Human Solutions Secure New Family Shelter Site

Tonkon Torp is proud to have helped Human Solutions navigate a complex financing project to transform a shuttered commercial property into an emergency 24/7 family housing shelter. Find details and more featured cases here.

Diverse Team Aids Greenbrier in Joint Venture

Tonkon Torp acted as Oregon corporate counsel for its long-term client The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. in finalizing a 50/50 joint venture with Watco Companies, L.L.C. The venture combines the two companies’ railcar repair, refurbishment and maintenance businesses into a new organization, GBW Railcar Services, LLC.

Albina Head Start Turns on First Solar-Powered Building with Assist from Tonkon Torp

When Albina Head Start learned it was awarded a Blue Sky Fund grant to install a rooftop solar array on one of its buildings, it turned to its long-time pro bono legal partner, Tonkon Torp. The nonprofit organization knew that it would need legal guidance to ensure that it could meet the terms laid out in the grant’s detailed and binding Memo of Understanding.

Yakima Products Acquires New Headquarters Campus with Help from Tonkon Torp

Tonkon Torp’s real estate and land use team completed a time-sensitive transaction that enabled the fast-growing Yakima Products, Inc., to acquire its new corporate headquarters in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Leads Oregon Grocery Chain Out of Bankruptcy

In one of the quickest and most successful conclusions of a grocery chain bankruptcy proceeding, Tonkon Torp secured court approval of a reorganization plan for C&K Market, Inc., to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy just seven months after filing. Find details and more featured cases here.

Pandemic No Match for Tonkon Torp Real Estate Practice

In March, many pending commercial real estate deals were scuttled by COVID-19. But for one deal that was close to the finish line, Tonkon Torp helped implement a simple but unusual solution to overcome the uncertainty caused by rapid market disruption and complete a multi-million dollar deal led by Real Estate & Land Use Practice Group Chair David Petersen.

Tonkon Torp Obtains First-of-its-Kind Site Certificate for Oregon Wind Facility

After obtaining land rights for a 500 megawatt wind energy facility, Tonkon Torp helped Wheatridge file and process the first wind energy project presented to the Siting Council without a specific transmission corridor identified. Find details and more featured cases here.

“Burn To Learn” Training Clears the Way for Residential Development

Attorneys David Petersen, Ted Herzog, and Duncan Delano recently provided the legal horsepower for a new, seven-lot rural residential development to be known as Trillium Estates on Chehalem Mountain. The property originally included one structure, which was slated for removal prior to development of the new parcels. Rather than the mundane bulldozing of the house, the client allowed the Newberg Fire Department to burn it down in a “burn to learn” training exercise.

Solar Project Sale Shines Light on Tonkon Team

Tonkon Torp represented our long-standing client, Obsidian Renewables, in sale of the Black Cap Solar II project to PSEG Solar Source, a New Jersey-based utility. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Crosses the Finish Line with a Fast Moving Real Estate Transaction

Tonkon Torp completed a sophisticated, fast-moving real estate transaction for a client that involved a time-sensitive obligation to purchase, a shaky tenant, and pending litigation. The transaction was led by partner David Petersen, who chairs the firm’s Real Estate & Land Use Practice Group.

Tonkon Torp Guides Unique Renewable Energy Project Through Key Phases

Tonkon Torp has worked on the project at key stages throughout its lifespan. Led by David Petersen, the firm first helped the original developer obtain land rights and evaluate title issues. In 2013, the developer and Tonkon Torp began a four-year process to secure the project’s site certificate from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council.

Community Involvement & Activities

Community Services, Inc.
Board of Trustees, Member
Board of Trustees, Former Chairperson

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Multnomah, Washington & Columbia Counties
Volunteer CASA


Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association

The Best Lawyers in America

2013-2022, Energy Law
2013-2022, Land Use & Zoning
2013-2022, Real Estate Law

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Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers

2020-2022, Real Estate

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Chambers USA 2022 Ranks 28 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Chambers USA has recognized 28 Tonkon Torp attorneys in eight practice areas in its Chambers USA 2022 Guide.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 53 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2022 List

Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022

Chambers USA 2021 Ranks 23 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Chambers USA has recognized 23 Tonkon Torp attorneys in seven practice areas in its Chambers USA 2021 guide.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2021 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021. A majority of attorneys have been named to the peer-review list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five years.

Tonkon Torp Holds Pandemic Primer Webinar for Oregon Cannabis Businesses

Tonkon Torp hosted a webinar to help guide cannabis businesses through the unique challenges that the cannabis industry faces due to COVID-19. The panel featured attorneys Danica Hibpshman, Jessica Morgan, Ferdie Ruplin, and David Petersen. Alex Tinker, chair of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group, moderated the webinar.

All News Items

Commercial Real Estate in the Age of Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a whirlwind of changes to how business is done in Oregon and across the country, and commercial real estate is no different. Enough time has passed, however, that a pattern of prominent issues has begun to emerge.

Important Deadlines Loom for Landlords Under Portland Residential Renter Protection Ordinance

For a very limited time, residential landlords can rescind some pending Notices of Termination and Notices of Rent Increases that would otherwise trigger Relocation Assistance under Portland’s new Renter Protection Ordinance. The Portland City Council passed Ordinance No. 188219 on February 2, 2017 requiring residential landlords to pay “Relocation Assistance” to residential tenants when the landlord decides not to renew an expiring fixed term rental agreement or terminates a month-to-month rental agreement for reasons other than “for cause.”

New Legal Developments in California’s Booming Renewable Energy Market

Renewable energy advocates have many reasons to cheer recent legal developments in California. First, Governor Jerry Brown signed a quartet of renewable energy-related bills into law. Second, the California Public Utilities Commission recently established a target for the state’s investor owned utilities to develop 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020, with installations complete by 2024.

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Significant Land Use Decision Benefiting Developers

In a 5-4 decision last month in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the U.S. Supreme Court made a new contribution to constitutional land use law that could significantly impact the balance of power between developers and local governments.

Faster Permitting for Infrastructure Projects May Be On Tap in Pacific Northwest

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the states of Oregon and Washington have signed a declaration creating the Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure (PNRI) team. The PNRI team will work to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects in those states when both state and federal agencies have review responsibility.

All Alerts Items

Portland Living Building to Stand for 500 Years

By David J. Petersen – Portland innovators PAE Engineers and ZGF Architects recently combined forces with several other joint venture partners to show that living buildings are commercially feasible.

Portland Reinstates Building Energy Benchmarking for 2022

By David J. Petersen – In 2015, the City of Portland approved a policy requiring commercial buildings 20,000 square feet or larger to track energy performance information using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and to report that information to the City annually.

Why Is the Industrial Leasing Market White Hot?

By David J. Petersen – According to national broker and research firm CBRE, e-commerce businesses led the nation in leasing new industrial space in 2020. This is understandable given that we were all stuck at home during quarantine. In 2021, however, e-commerce’s share of new industrial leasing dropped to third at 10.7% of all deals.

Challenges Old and New Buffet Commercial Real Estate

By David J. Petersen – As the two-year pandemic finally begins to fade into the background (at least for now), commercial real estate continues to adapt to market challenges, both old and new. Inflation is an old challenge that took quite an extended vacation, but it’s back with a vengeance (as discussed in my recent blog post).

Commercial Real Estate During a Period of Inflation

By David J. Petersen – In 2021, the Consumer Price Index jumped 7%, the largest yearly increase since 1982.

All Ear to the Ground Blog Items

Publications & Presentations

David is the founder of, and a regular contributor to, Tonkon Torp’s Ear to the Ground blog, which provides timely commentary on issues that affect the commercial real estate and development communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Commercial Real Estate During a Period of Inflation,” Ear to the Ground Blog, February 2022

In Oregon, e-Notarization is Here to Stay,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2021

Oregon’s Latest Residential Eviction Relief Bill Hopefully Will Be the Last,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2021

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Altered Commercial Leasing Forever,” Ear to the Ground Blog, May 2021

Rent Assistance Lottery for Oregon Commercial Tenants Opens March 8,” Ear to the Ground Blog, March 2021

Oregon Establishes Fund to Help Homeowners Pay Their Mortgages,” Ear to the Ground Blog, November 2020

Last Coal-Fired Power Plant in Oregon Shuts Its Doors Forever,” Ear to the Ground Blog, October 2020

Oregon Eviction Ban Extended for Residential But Not Commercial Tenants,” Ear to the Ground Blog, October 2020

Real Estate Adapts to the New COVID Normal,” Ear to the Ground Blog, August 2020

Three Overlooked Ways to Reduce Development Costs,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2020

Oregon Clarifies State Jurisdiction Over Solar Energy Projects,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2020

Oregon Adopts Temporary E-Notarization Law,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2020

Oregon Legislature Extends Eviction Moratorium to September 30,” Ear to the Ground Blog, June 2020

“Commercial Leases and COVID-19: Agreements Are Still Feasible,” DJC Oregon, June 2020

Panelist, “A Pandemic Primer for Cannabis Businesses – Unique Challenges for a Unique Industry,” April 2020

COVID-19 Crisis Renews Interest in e-Notarization,” Ear to the Ground Blog, April 2020

The Lowdown on Commercial Leases in Oregon,” Ear to the Ground Blog, February 2020

Is Portland Really Requiring Private Developers to Provide Campsites for the Homeless?” Ear to the Ground Blog, January 2020

Things to Think About for Commercial Cannabis Leases in Oregon,” Ear to the Ground Blog, January 2020

The Building Blocks of Real Estate Development – Planning and Zoning,” Ear to the Ground Blog, November 2019

“Things to Think About for Commercial Cannabis Leases in Oregon,” Portland Business Journal, September 2019

There Really Is Enough Sunshine to Go Around, People,” Ear to the Ground Blog, July 2019

Federal Tax Law Drafting Error Punishes Commercial Dveloperes,” Ear to the Ground Blog, June 2019

New Life for an Old Courthouse,” Ear to the Ground Blog, June 2019

“USA Regional Real Estate Guide – Oregon,” Chambers and Partners, May 2019

Despite Rumors that it often Rains, Oregon Really Is a Solar Paradise,”  Ear to the Ground Blog, April 2019

“Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) – Prospects and Risks,” Business of Portland podcast, Pamplin Media Group, October 2018

“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Selected Real Estate Impacts,” June 2018

“Family Shelter – From Vice to Nice: A Case Study,” February 2016

“Requiring Utilities to Buy Solar Power Under PURPA,” Solar Now! University, June 2014

“Title Insurance and Survey Review: What You Need to Know” and “Step-by-Step Through the Purchase Contract,” Handling Real Estate Transactions with Confidence, National Business Institute, December 2013