Economic Development Law

Norris McLaughlin knows that a key component of the lifeblood of every community is economic development.  Without economic development and the strong tax base that comes with it, a community is destined to stagnate, or worse, regress.  Norris McLaughlin also knows that without proper planning, input, and guidance from the right team of professionals, the best-proposed economic development projects can quickly go astray.

Who We Are

As one of eastern Pennsylvania’s most prominent law firms, Norris McLaughlin has been in the forefront of economic development projects for more than two decades. The economic development attorneys in Norris McLaughlin’s Allentown office offer a wide array of economic development-related services, including legal assistance and guidance with the formation of transaction structures, the identification and evaluation of financing and other funding options, and the development of implementation strategies.

Our economic development attorneys have vast experience working with state, county, and local officials and private developers on some of the most transformative projects in eastern Pennsylvania, which have had a profound economic impact and made the region more attractive to corporations, businesses, and developers.

Also, our economic development attorneys are members of Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, Urban Land Institute, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.  

What We Do

Our economic development services include:

  • Representation on Real Estate and Title Matters
  • Land Development, Use, and Zoning
  • Public and Private Loans and Grants including Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank and Business in Our Sites Loans
  • Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) Projects in Allentown
  • City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) Projects in Bethlehem.
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Projects
  • Creation of Public-Private Partnerships (P3)
  • Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Projects
  • Brownfield Redevelopment and Environmental Services
  • Adoption of Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) Ordinance
  • Special Purpose Legal Entity Formation and Tax Analysis
  • EB-5 Projects 
  • State and Federal Advocacy on Special Projects
  • Complex Contract Negotiation and Drafting

Who We Help

Because the economic development of a city, borough, or township must include a variety of professionals and other stakeholders, our clients include private companies, 501(с)(3) non-profit companies, developers, and municipal governments and authorities.  

As legal counsel, we have advised lenders seeking to leverage the benefits of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) in Allentown, and the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) in Bethlehem. 

As special counsel, we served Easton’s Redevelopment Authority regarding the Silk Mill Complex and the City of Easton regarding the redevelopment of the former Stewart Silk Mill (Black Diamond site). 

We have served as environmental counsel to Sands Casino and currently serve as environmental counsel to Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, the developer of the Waterfront Project, a brownfield redevelopment along the Lehigh River in the City of Allentown, and Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative.

Our firm has handled numerous tax-exempt financings for public authorities that issue conduit debt for the benefit of both public and private entities including Morningstar Senior Living, Lafayette College, Moravian College, Lehigh University, St. Luke’s Hospital, Cetronia Ambulance Corps, and the Da Vinci Science Center.  

Most recently, we served as lead counsel on the Northampton County P3 Bridge Renewal Project, the first-of-its-kind project in Pennsylvania.

Our representative Solicitorships include:

  • Easton Parking Authority
  • Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Project Successes

The following are some of the successful economic development projects in which Norris McLaughlin has played a major role:

  • Easton Intermodal and City Hall Project (located on 3rd Street) 
  • West Hills Business Center I-78 and PA 863 (TIF)
  • Hamilton Crossings -Lower Macungie Township (TIF)
  • City Center development financing – downtown Allentown (Allentown)
  • Chrin/Tatamy Interchange- Route 33 (TIF)
  • Bethlehem Steel Plant – Brownfield Remediation including Bethlehem Technology Centers
  • William Penn Highway and 25th Highway Improvements (TIF)
  • Social Still – Bethlehem 
  • LERTA Ordinance – 850 acres – Upper Mount Bethel Township
  • Simon Silk Mill (SILK) in Easton, PA 
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Economic Development Law Blog


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