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Kevin J. Coakley

Chair, Real Estate and Land Use

Overview

As a senior member and Co-chair of the Real Estate and Land Use practice, Kevin Coakley represents developers on major real estate projects throughout New Jersey. During a career that has spanned 40 years, he has advised on some of the state’s most significant real estate transactions, including those involving development, zoning, permitting, condemnation, wetlands and tidelands matters.

Kevin has a deep knowledge of government agencies overseeing development in New Jersey. With extensive experience in environmental matters as well, he has advised on numerous New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) land use permit matters. He has been counsel of record in approximately 60 published decisions, most involving governmental matters.

As a litigator, Kevin has significant experience is cases involving Fifth Amendment takings claims. He was counsel to the successful plaintiff in the landmark inverse condemnation case of Loveladies Harbor v. United States, 28 F3d 11721 (Fed. Cir. 1994). He is also particularly skilled in the use of litigation to challenge adverse rulings in development projects from regulators, including municipal bodies and state agencies.

In 2009 and 2012, Kevin completed litigation on behalf of Centex Homes and Toll Brothers that upset state regulations denying refunds to developers who paid for utility extensions in non-smart growth areas. Thousands of projects will receive refunds based on the decision in the matter of the Board's Main Extension Rules, N.J.A.C. 14:3-8.1 et seq., 426 N.J. Super. 538 (App. Div. 2012).

In 2006, he settled two class action Commerce Clause lawsuits on behalf of out-of-state members of the trucking industry against the State of New Jersey, resulting in $8.25 million being refunded by the State to trucking companies that had been forced to pay unconstitutional fees. As a result, Kevin was successful in removing a long-standing state tax against trucking companies and permanently enjoining the State from imposing flat, unapportioned fees on the trucking industry.

Kevin serves as a Trustee and Board Member for New Jersey Alliance for Action. He is a member of the Land Use Committee of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA). In 2008, Kevin was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation of New Jersey. He is a former member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee for the Tax Court and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Blue Shield Plan of New Jersey, as well as former chairman of the Lawyers Advertising Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Experience

Representative Experience

  • Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater, New Jersey): The project, commenced in the late 1980s, now includes over 2 million square feet of mall, office, and hotel space. The project is a long-term redevelopment project carried out in cooperation with the municipality. Kevin has represented the project since its inception.
  • Secaucus Junction (Secaucus, New Jersey): On September 6, 2003, the Governor of New Jersey dedicated the new $600 million rail station at Secaucus, Hudson County. Kevin Coakley and Patrick McAuley of Connell Foley represented the private developer who donated the land for the station and retained development rights to build 3.6 million square feet of retail, office and hotel space in and above the station. The station is the largest new rail station opened in the United States since 1900. A new interchange of the New Jersey Turnpike has been constructed next to the station. The project was a long-term cooperative effort with public agencies to create a project having unique transportation advantages.
  • In the Matter of Centex Homes, LLC: In 2009, Kevin represented Centex Homes, LLC in successfully appealing a New Jersey Board of Public Utilities order denying Centex’s petition for an order directing public utilities to pay for or contribute to the cost of utility extensions to a residential development. The Board of Public Utilities denied Centex’s petition pursuant to the Board’s Main Extension Regulations, which prohibit utilities from paying for or contributing to the cost of utility extensions to areas classified as “not designated for growth” under the regulations. The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the Board of Public Utilities’ order and ruled that the Board exceeded its statutory authority in prohibiting utilities from paying for or contributing to the cost of utility extensions to areas not designated for growth.
  • Prudential Arena: Represented one of three property owners who exchanged numerous properties to advance the Newark Arena Redevelopment Area leading to the construction of “The Rock,” which opened in 2008
  • In 2012-2014, assisted Goya Foods as its real estate development counsel in the construction of its 600,000 square foot headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • In 2012-2014, represented Prudential Financial Inc. in numerous matters, including appellate litigation successfully defending a $210 million tax credit, related to its new office tower in Newark, New Jersey
  • Current land use counsel for the Seton Hall - Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine scheduled to open in 2018

Activities

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, Board of Trustees, New Jersey Alliance for Action
  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association

Presentations

  • Moderator, “Case Study: Prudential Vacating the Gateway Office Complex and its Impact on Newark CRE Discussion Overview,” Newark CRE Summit (July 2015)
  • Panelist, Panel Discussion: Rebuilding Jersey Shore Businesses One business At A Time (April 2013)

News & Insights

News

Blog Posts

Honors

  • Chambers USA, New Jersey Real Estate Law (2009-2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America (1999-2017)
    • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
    • Real Estate Litigation
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law - Newark (2013)
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers (2005-2006, 2008-2017)
  • New Jersey's Top Rated Lawyers, Inside Jersey magazine (2012)



    Best Lawyers Award Badge




    Best Lawyers Award Badge

Clerkships

  • Law secretary, Honorable John W. Fritz, New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division (1972-1973)

Education

Rutgers University School of Law (J.D., 1972; Member, Law Review)

St. Vincent College (B.A., 1968)

Admissions

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