Joseph E. Coomes, Jr. is of counsel in the Municipal Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP. Prior to joining the firm in 2010, he was of counsel with McDonough Holland & Allen in Sacramento.
Mr. Coomes’ practice concentrates on redevelopment, land use and planning law, including military base closure and reuse. He represents a number of public agencies and major developers in complex land use matters and negotiation of development agreements. Mr. Coomes has successfully negotiated some of the largest and most difficult urban mixed-use redevelopment projects in California, including San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens and downtown San Jose’s Silicon Valley Financial Center.
In l997, Mr. Coomes represented the owners of Arco Arena and the Sacramento Kings NBA team in a successful public refinancing of the private debt on the arena and the team which enabled the Kings to remain in Sacramento. Along with colleague Ed Quinn, who represented a major developer, he helped negotiate and structure a tax-exempt financing of a downtown convention center hotel in Sacramento.
In the area of military base closures and reuse, Mr. Coomes has represented the City of Novato and its redevelopment agency since the mid-1980s in the successful residential redevelopment of Hamilton Field in Marin County. He also has been engaged in reuse planning for Treasure Island in San Francisco and Castle Air Force Base in Merced. In 2005, two major redevelopment projects at Fort Ord that he negotiated for private developers in the City of Marina and the County of Monterey were approved.
Mr. Coomes is a frequent lecturer before state, national and international organizations on the subjects of urban development and land use planning. In the last several years, he has been invited to London, Tokyo and Beijing to speak and confer on urban development issues. In 1985 he was invited to create and teach a graduate course on redevelopment and planning law at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during a sabbatical from the firm.
Mr. Coomes has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Redevelopment Association (2008), the Samuel J. Cullers Outstanding Achievement Award from Lambda Alpha International’s Sacramento Chapter (2007), and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America for land use and zoning law (2007-2011). He has also been recognized with the Fame Award from Commercial Real Estate Women (2000), was named Lawyer of the Year by the Sacramento County Bar Association (1996), Sacramentan of the Year by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (1990), and received the Distinguished Counsel Award from the Housing and Development Law Institute (1987).