Overview

Andrew J. Starrels is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Los Angeles office and a member of the firm's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group. Mr. Starrels focuses his transactional practice on issues surrounding the development and operation of real estate. His practice includes entitlements, zoning analyses and securing land use approvals for all manner of development projects, in addition to the documentation and closing of acquisition, disposition, finance and leasing transactions, as well as questions related to property operations, compliance and permitting issues. His clients include developers and property owners on an institutional as well as individual scale, and lenders, investors and agents.

Mr. Starrels has spent three decades navigating the transactional and regulatory challenges pertinent to real estate development and investment from the perspectives of private practice as well as in-house and business roles. He served as the general counsel of a prominent Southern California real estate development company, as well as the principal of his own law firm and real estate consulting company, in addition to national real estate investment companies and law firms. Mr. Starrels has overseen the development and entitlement of multifamily, mixed-use and office developments, and directed property and asset management functions nationwide. He has supervised evaluative and diligence assessments of individual assets, development platforms, property portfolios and real estate-related management and operating companies, including hospitality and transportation assets and several professional sports franchises. His experience includes site evaluation, feasibility analysis, due diligence, repositioning and renovation plans, loan structuring, construction management and supervision, development and operations.

Experience

  • Represented the owner/developer of Palazzo Westwood Village, a mixed-use community consisting of 350 ultra-luxury apartment homes and 50,000 square feet of retail space in Westwood Village in Los Angeles. The developer acquired the site, prevailed through a protracted entitlements process and realized upon an innovative development plan that included retention of a historically significant building incorporated into the development; principal retail tenants include Trader Joe's and Rite Aid
  • Handled the merger between a target company, one of the largest privately held multifamily real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the U.S., and an acquiring publicly traded REIT in a transaction valued at more than $2 billion; the transaction also provided for the creation of a new platform for the target's former development business, as well as a $125 million consulting agreement between the new venture and the target company for the repositioning and redevelopment of older properties owned by the REIT
  • Supervised in-house team of lawyers, planners and development professionals responsible for the design and development of housing and mixed-use projects located in several Southern California municipalities and valued in excess of $1.5 billion
  • Represented the developer of Movietown Plaza in West Hollywood, Calif., during design, development and entitlement of a mixed-use development containing 277 residential units, 77 senior housing units and 32,000 square feet of retail space
  • Represented the developer of Vineyard Townhomes and The Residences at Vineyard/Ventura, a residential planned development containing 344 for-sale residences consisting of cluster and single-family homes and townhouses

  • Conducted acquisition and development transactions for several public REITs
  • Handled oversight, client management and supervision of commercial loan origination documentation for a California-based thrift and loan institution's nationwide platform of commercial lending, coordinating loan documentation and processing among several regional offices, internal and legal compliance, and transaction formulation and structuring; responsible for origination of $1 billion to $2 billion in secured lending investments

Credentials

Education
  • Cornell Law School, J.D.
  • Cornell University, M.R.P.
  • University of California, Berkeley, A.B., Urban and Economic Geography
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
Memberships
  • Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board 
  • Westwood Village Business Improvement District, Board Member, 2008-2014
  • Village School, Pacific Palisades, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, 2003-2013
  • Cornell International Law Journal, Note and Comment Editor
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, Government Relations, 2019

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News