Braeden E. Lord

Associate Chicago
Contact Info


Braeden is an associate in Taft’s Real Estate practice group in Chicago. He advises real estate developers, corporations, non-profits, small businesses, and local governments on a wide range of topics including zoning, licensing, permitting, local taxation, statutory interpretation, and real property acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, and financing.

Braeden guides private sector clients pursuing multifamily, commercial, mixed-use, utility, industrial, transportation, cannabis, data center, telecommunications, stadium/venue, and affordable housing developments through land use approval processes involving zoning changes, special uses, variations, planned developments, historic preservation permits, design review, and tax and other economic incentives.

Prior to joining Taft, Braeden was an associate with a boutique land use, local government, and real estate law firm in Chicago, where he counseled local governments on wide range of topics including zoning, licensing, governance, policy, and statutory compliance. Braeden also has experience representing both commercial and residential tenants and property owners as a licensed real estate broker.

Braeden earned his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School and his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Boston College. During law school, Braeden served as President of the land use and real estate law club, represented affordable housing developers as part of the Law School’s housing transactional clinic, and worked as a legal intern with developer Related Midwest.

All Service Areas


  • University of Chicago Law School (2021)

    with honors

  • Boston College (2015)

    B.A. Economics, Political Science


  • State - Illinois

Notable Matters

  • Assisted with obtaining special use approval for an approximately 10,000 square foot cannabis infusing facility in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
  • Represented developer obtaining zoning map amendment, planned development, and subdivision approvals for a mixed-use development in suburban Chicagoland consisting of 494 residential units, 25,000 square feet of retail, and a 5,000-square-foot cannabis dispensary.
  • Representation of affordable housing operator to obtain special use approval for a 72-bed homeless shelter and community center in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
  • Prepared an ordinance amending a special zoning district in suburban Chicagoland in connection with the development of an NFL football stadium.
  • Prepared a $1.3 million TIF redevelopment agreement for the renovation of a 100,000-square-foot shopping center.
  • Prepared a development agreement and ordinances granting zoning change, planned development, and subdivision approvals for a 22-unit multifamily development in suburban Chicagoland.
  • Represented a developer seeking a zoning map amendment for a 40-unit mixed-use development with approximately 5,000 square feet of retail in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
  • Prepared an ordinance creating a special food & beverage tax district in suburban Chicagoland.
  • Represented an industrial developer in a lawsuit to determine the rights of the City of Joliet to approve the construction of a $1.5 billion industrial park pursuant to certain intergovernmental, lease, and economic incentive arrangements.
  • Represented suburban municipalities in the preparation and negotiation of lease and license agreements governing the location and operation of 5G wireless facilities.
  • Represented a multinational real estate developer in the $5 million acquisition of a brownfield site in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago.

Speeches and Publications

  • Moderator, “Playing Ball with City Hall,” Real Estate Investment Association Breakfast Meeting, March 13, 2024.
  • Panelist, “Zoning for the Culture Wars,” American Planning Association Illinois Chapter State Conference, September 13, 2023.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association


  • Illinois Real Estate Investment Association (REIA)

    Emerging Leaders Committee

  • Retail Brokers Network


Community Involvement

  • Law Center for Better Housing

    Young Professionals Board