Alejandro J. Arias

Alejandro Arias headshot


Alejandro J. Arias is a real estate attorney in Holland & Knight's Miami office, where he focuses his practice on land use and zoning matters. Mr. Arias is well versed on creating multifaceted strategies for project approvals that include working with development teams (owners, architects, engineers and contractors), meeting with key constituencies (whether in support or opposition), interacting with government officials and staff, preparing public outreach messaging and lobbying elected officials. He routinely appears before city and county commissions, local zoning boards and specialized boards (architects' boards and environmental quality control boards) with requests for land use changes, rezonings, site plan approvals, variances, wetlands and environmental compliance requests, and contracting matters.

Mr. Arias regularly represents national homebuilders, local and international developers, affordable housing developers, multinational engineering and construction companies, major utility companies and government agencies. Throughout his career, he has obtained a multitude of development entitlement approvals for a number of diverse projects, including multifamily housing, master-planned residential subdivisions, retail and commercial uses, live/work developments, student housing complexes and more.

Among his representative matters, Mr. Arias advised:

  • a South Florida developer in connection with the procurement of development entitlements and successful adaptive reuse of a shuttered hotel into a mixed-use project encompassing 251 multifamily units, 5,500 square feet of retail use and a 2,036-square-foot commercial outparcel
  • a globally recognized flight academy in connection with a conditional use permit for a flight simulation training center encompassing 20 flight simulators with capacity for up to 60 pilots
  • a local developer in connection with the entitlement process for a senior housing complex consisting of 244 apartment units, for seniors making up to 60 percent of area median income
  • a school for developmentally disabled children, on a pro bono basis, in connection with the procurement of the required development entitlements for an expansion to their existing campus
  • a South Florida developer in connection with the procurement of development entitlements for a 886-unit student housing development and secured $228 million in Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) bond financing
  • a national builder in connection with a rezoning, site plan and variance approvals for a 1,086-bed student housing facility in Sweetwater, Florida
  • a national homebuilder in connection with the procurement of rezoning and site plan approvals for a master-planned 1,300-unit residential subdivision encompassing single-family homes, townhomes, villas and multifamily units in Hialeah, Florida
  • a national homebuilder in connection with Development of Regional Impact (DRI) modifications and site plan, subdivision and variance approvals for a master-planned development encompassing 770 residential units
  • a national homebuilder in connection with a site plan modification and approval for a master-planned 214-unit townhome development in Homestead, Florida
  • a local developer in connection with a land use amendment, rezoning and site plan approval entitlements for two respective shopping centers in Doral, Florida
  • a prominent car dealer in connection with the rezoning and site plan approval of a more than 48,000- square-foot automotive dealership
  • a multinational retail developer with the procurement of land use, rezoning and site plan approvals for a shopping center encompassing more than 250,000 square feet of commercial uses
  • a group of international developers in connection with the modification and phased development structuring of a master development agreement for a mixed-use project encompassing 1,548 dwelling units, 300,000 square feet of commercial uses and 75,000 square feet of office uses

Mr. Arias has a particular interest in both the legal and business elements of the real estate development process. While earning his LL.M. in Real Property Development at the University of Miami School of Law, he gained in-depth experience interning with two major homebuilders, and a multinational law firm. As part of the LL.M. degree curriculum, Mr. Arias scrutinized legal and transactional issues, including land acquisition, finance, regulation, tax law, construction law, environmental law, land use and zoning, and residential and commercial development.

While in law school, Mr. Arias served as a judicial intern with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, working for the Honorable Adalberto Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Media Coverage

Representative Experience


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, Certificate, Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investment
  • University of Miami School of Law, LL.M., Real Property Development Program
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Florida International University, B.A., magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • Holland & Knight Associate Liaison Committee, Miami Real Estate Practice Group
  • The Florida Bar, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division
  • The Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
  • Belen Alumni Association of Jesuit Schools from Cuba and Miami
  • Belen Jesuit Preparatory School Alumni Lawyers Section
  • Nicklaus Children's Hospital Young Ambassador
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, Board of Directors
Honors & Awards
  • On the Rise (Large Firm) Honoree, Florida Legal Awards, Daily Business Review, 2024
  • Up & Comer, South Florida Business & Wealth, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Real Estate Law, 2024
  • Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2022, 2023
  • Lawyers in Real Estate Awards, Connect CRE, 2022
  • 5 Under 35, Florida International University Young Alumni Network, 2022
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) Leadership Institute, Class of 2020
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award, The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, 2009
  • University of Miami School of Law, Dean's List, 2009
  • University of Miami School of Law, Dean's Merit Scholarship, 2009-2012
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Speaking Engagements