CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Grillo's Pickles

If you haven't been to the Grillo's Pickles website, you should. There, you'll find the fantastic story of how this company began. We've copied part of it here to save you a click.

Grillo's Pickles began with a pickle cart, just a small wooden stand in downtown Boston, where Travis Grillo and his friends would sell two spears for one dollar. Travis would make the pickles by night using his family's 100-year old recipe - one he'd memorized from making pickles every summer as a kid. In the morning, Travis would bike to the Boston Common and set up the cart with his buddies. They'd hang out all day, urging people to try the simple Grillo family pickle. It was a small business but Travis worked hard for it. He made more pickles, biked more miles, and slept less hours than he ever had before.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        ABC's of Land Development

        Developing land or repurposing existing structures can be profitable. It can also be frustrating, confusing and expensive.  Before undertaking any development project, the developer must assemble a strong “team” of professionals.  Usually, the team is comprised of:

        • Site engineer
        • Traffic engineer
        • Architect
        • Land Use Attorney
        • Wetlands expert/engineer
        • Depending upon unique circumstances, other specialties may be hired.

        Team members must work cooperatively and collaboratively with the developer and each other.  Communication is crucial to completely understand the project and the regulatory challenges the project will face.  Teamwork results in an efficient presentation of the project, and the procurement of permits and approvals needed to begin construction.  Team members seamlessly dovetail their work product into well thought-out plans and narratives.  This, in turn, assists the boards, commissions and regulatory authorities in understanding the subtleties as well as the grand concepts of the project.   Further, it demonstrates that the developer understands the many regulations, laws and by-laws that may affect the project.  The desired image of professionalism and preparedness is created which engenders confidence in the quality and thoroughness of the plans and project presentation.  The result is a more efficient permitting process.

        Okay, the team is assembled.  What next?  First, meet (telephone will do) with all team members.  Outline the project (i.e. purpose, number of buildings, location of the land, etc.) and the status of the land or building that is to be developed.   Is the land already in the developer’s portfolio?  If so, proceed to the next step.  Is the land under a letter of intent or purchase and sale agreement?  If it is under a letter of intent, then use the team to help craft the operative terms of the purchase and sale agreement.  You will want enough time to perform due diligence and then allow more time for permitting. Avoid standard form residential agreements.  The agreement must be correct at the outset.  It is your foundation.  Your land use attorney is indispensable in this endeavor.   If it is already under a purchase and sale agreement, then get organized and commence due diligence! Time is not your ally.

        Second, during due diligence, have the title to the land researched.  It is recommended that a certification letter and title insurance commitment be obtained from a title attorney (who can also act as your land use attorney).  A survey is also suggested.  An American Land Title Association survey is best since it is the most comprehensive, can be used as a basis for the development plans, and will probably be needed to issue a title policy anyway. During due diligence, environmental issues should also be explored as well as further research on the permits and approvals needed to accomplish the project. 

        Third, due diligence proves that the property is suitable for your development project.  Move on to permitting.  Your team is crucial to organize and implement this phase of the project. Each community has different protocols and procedures.  A thorough review of the local by-laws and regulations is required.  Although not necessarily the same in each community, the following are the traditional steps for permitting:

        • Preparation of preliminary plans for informal presentation to a review committee.
        • If work is proposed in a buffer zone or resource area, flag wetlands.
        • Determine the sequencing of which applications to file (usually discuss this at informal meeting).
        • Participate at informal review.
        • Prepare detailed plans appropriate to the board or commission from whom relief is sought (usually after incorporating comments from informal review).
        • Determine adjoining properties to the project and decide whether to have informal meetings with those property owners.
        • Review all submittals with the team and if all is in order, file the appropriate applications and supporting materials with the pre-determined regulatory board, commission or agency.
        • Present to the appropriate board, commission or regulatory agency with detailed memorandum of findings and law.
        • After vote, if relief is obtained, wait until the appeals period has run and record the decision if it grants the requested relief.
        • If the requested relief is denied or conditioned such that development is impaired, decided whether to appeal.

        Fourth, once all permits have been obtained and recorded, file for building permits and begin work.

        A successful development project is brought in on time and within budget.  Your team enhances the probability of success in a timely manner.  Let us know how we can help you.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of our Land Use & Environmental team for additional information about our firm, lawyers, or services.