Joel S. Freedman


  • Joel S. Freedman
  • Phone: +1 857 488 4213
    Fax: +1 857 401 3061

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  • Duane Morris LLP
    100 High Street, Suite 2400
    Boston, MA 02110-1724
Joel S. Freedman practices in the areas of real estate development, leasing, construction, financing, zoning and conservation law.

Originally trained as an architect, Mr. Freedman is a Registered Architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and brings substantial knowledge of the design and construction process to his real estate law practice.

Mr. Freedman is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and received a professional architecture degree from Cornell University.

Representative Matters

  • Represented the Goldfield Corporation (a provider of electrical construction and maintenance services in the energy infrastructure industry) in the real estate components of its $7.25 million acquisition of C and C Power Line, Inc. (a full service, union electrical contractor).
  • Complex acquisition and development of a five-star luxury hotel, apartment, condominium and retail facility in Boston as part of an existing urban multi-use development built over a freeway. The acquisition has been structured as a purchase, with separate construction obligations for each of the parties, and with a multiparty cross-easement agreement to tie in the project with the surrounding development.
  • Counsel in the development of a two-phase multifamily condominium development in Brookline, Massachusetts, including site assemblage and acquisition, zoning approvals, condominium documents, environmental issues and construction contracts, as well as obtaining both acquisition, construction and mezzanine financing for the project.
  • Counsel to seller in the sale of a three-building office complex in suburban Boston for $60 million in an auction-style sale.
  • Counsel to a health, swimming and tennis club and summer camp on property in Concord, Mass., in a complex series of real estate transactions totaling approximately $15 million. The original camp site was no longer adequate, and the client sought to relocate to a larger, undeveloped site elsewhere in Concord. Relocation was structured as a tax-free like-kind exchange, with the company selling its existing site to a residential developer and purchased the new site from a pension fund, which was redeveloped for its new facility.
  • Counsel to a wealthy individual dedicated to the preservation of land in his hometown in Massachusetts in the protection and conservation of nearly 200 acres of significant natural areas. We were retained to assist the client in purchasing a large woodland parcel that had been slated for development as senior housing, working through various efforts to buy out the developer, and ultimately taking title at a foreclosure sale. We also assisted the client in acquiring another property containing farmland and woods by settling claims with a prior developer, acquiring title, putting in place a permanent conservation restriction and donating most of the land the town, while selling the existing farmhouse. These transactions were precedent-setting in the community and led to the revitalization of the town's land trust.
  • Representation of the founder of a real estate and development company in a $16 million buyout of his longtime partners in the business. The transaction was structured as a leveraged buyout, with the company borrowing funds in a blanket loan against the company's real estate interests, and using the funds to buy out the partners.
  • Representation of architectural firm in its move into international markets, including restructuring its ownership entity, preparing contract forms and negotiating contracts, master planning and landscape planning services for large developments in China and Saudi Arabia.
  • Counsel to owner of a multi-building office complex in Concord, Mass., in a $26 million disposition matter. The sale was structured as a merger into a publicly traded REIT, which acquired the properties by merging our client's corporation into the REIT in exchange for stock in the REIT.
  • Counsel to a real estate company that owns an historic building in the center of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. A major tenant wished to expand its commercial business space. We negotiated and executed a new lease to accommodate the expansion and created a mechanism to permit the expansion to occur while the store continued in full operation, and while major structural alterations to the building were being performed.
  • Counsel to specialized finance company in the restructuring of a construction loan made by the client for the conversion of a factory into senior housing. The borrower was in default and without sufficient funds to complete the project or pay off the client. Restructuring was arranged, providing additional funds from another lending source and permitting the creation of a condominium and further protections and security for the client.


  • Massachusetts


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1983
  • Cornell University, B.Arch., 1978


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 1999-present
  • Burns & Levinson LLP, Boston, Massachusetts
    - Partner, 1990-1999
    - Associate, 1983-1989
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco, California, Washington, D.C
    -Architect, 1979-80; 1981-1982

Professional Activities

  • Boston Bar Association
  • Real Estate Bar Association
  • Registered Architect, Massachusetts, 1984

Honors and Awards

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Zoning Board of Appeals, Lincoln, Massachusetts
    - Board Member 2005 to present
  • Friends of Modern Architecture, Inc.
    - Board Member and Treasurer 2004 to present
  • The New Dance Complex, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
    - Past Vice President and Director
  • Valley Pond Corporation, Lincoln, Massachusetts
    - Past Clerk and Director