Real Estate & Conservation

Nonprofits encounter a variety of legal issues when they seek to expand, improve or safeguard their land holdings. Clients call on our attorneys to help them with the acquisition and conservation of land holdings.

Nonprofit corporations of all types and sizes seek our help with:

  • Purchasing, selling, or conserving real estate
  • Reviewing and negotiating leases
  • Developing and implementing complex financing structures
  • Preparing and representing nonprofits on property tax exemptions
  • Advising on payments in lieu of tax (PILOTs)
  • Negotiating with local governments about rezoning
  • Permitting and land use planning
  • Dispute resolution, litigation and appeals

For more information about how Hemenway & Barnes can help with real estate issues, click here.

Representative Experience

  • Worked with a nonprofit artist organization on their purchase of an industrial building in the Fort Point section of Boston. We also assisted the organization with obtaining zoning relief and forming a condominium and an artist limited-equity cooperative, which we continue to represent.
  • Represented a South Shore nonprofit in connection with the construction of an addition to its Marshfield facility, which was funded in part through federal economic stimulus funds.
  • Obtained permitting for a new headquarters facility in Boston for a nonprofit organization.
  • Navigated real estate matters, including new developments in wind, solar and transmission projects, for a nonprofit energy company. We have served as general counsel to this organization for more than a decade.
  • Provided counsel to nonprofit organizations about permitting for construction projects and operations in Boston.
  • Drafted legislation that created a nonprofit support organization that enabled a state college to acquire a former industrial site and convert it to additional campus property. We then went on to represent the newly formed entity in acquiring the property.
  • Obtained favorable judgment from the Supreme Judicial Court granting a college permission to sell land conveyed in trust under the doctrines of reasonable deviation and cy prés.
  • Represented a religious organization in a successful challenge to the city’s attempt to tax real estate used for religious purposes, providing definitive guidance on the scope of the tax exemption for “houses of religious worship,” in Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette v. Bd. of Assessors of Attleboro, 476 Mass. 690 (2017).
  • Successfully navigated a Newton synagogue through the permitting process involving application of the Dover Amendment and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) protections.
  • Successfully represented McLean Hospital before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Overturning the Massachusetts Land Court’s decision, the SJC ruled in favor of McLean Hospital and clarified the education use exemption under the Dover Amendment. The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln, 483 Mass. 215 (2019).

Team Spotlights

Teresa A. Belmonte

Teresa A. Belmonte advises closely held businesses, nonprofits, and individuals on business and real estate law matters.

News & Resources

The Pandemic's Impact on Landlord and Tenant Relations: 3 Takeaways from the Webinar
More than six months after the start of the pandemic, the Boston commercial leasing market is still adjusting to the “new normal.”
Firm News
SJC Rules on Educational Exemption Under the Dover Amendment in The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln
Overturning the Massachusetts Land Court’s decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in favor of McLean Hospital in The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln.
New England Real Estate Journal Article, “SJC decides scope of religious exemption for property tax,” by Ryan P. McManus
In a significant decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently held that, for the purposes of determining property tax, a house of religious worship is more than just a chapel used for religious services.
How can we help?
Contact a member of our Nonprofit team today.
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