Karl advises developers, land owners, and governmental entities regarding complex real estate financing and development projects. In particular, Karl focuses on public-private partnerships, land use and zoning approvals, tax increment financing, tax-exempt financing, economic development incentives, joint ventures, and wireless facility leasing and zoning issues. Karl helps clients with legal structuring, financial structuring, political strategy, and negotiation and documentation of agreements. Karl regularly represents clients with matters that require negotiations with, appearances before, and approval by public bodies. Drawing on years of experience in local government, politics, association management, and as outside counsel to units of local government, Karl navigates legal, political, and bureaucratic processes to obtain financing and land use approvals.
Karl is a member of Taft’s Public Finance & Economic Development, Real Estate, Land Use, and Local Government groups.
Public Private Partnerships
Karl has worked on some of the most significant public-private partnerships in the State of Illinois. He advises clients regarding legal and financial structures and negotiates complex documents related to all aspects of public-private partnerships, including tax-exempt financing, ground lease and air rights interests, financial interests, development and use rights, and construction. Karl also advises clients regarding “workouts” of financially-distressed public-private partnership facilities.
Land Use and Zoning
Karl draws on prior experience as outside counsel to municipalities to assist developers and landowners in obtaining land use and zoning approvals. He also represents clients in disputes with municipalities regarding land use and zoning issues. Unlike many land use and zoning lawyers, Karl has vast experience representing clients in municipalities throughout the State of Illinois, from Chicago to its suburbs, from Rockford to Rock Island, from DeKalb to Decatur, and scores of other municipalities around the State.
Karl’s experience includes planned developments, subdivisions, special use permits, zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, variations, and annexations. It also includes a wide variety of land uses and industries, including industrial, multi-family, mixed use, retail, health care, hospitality, telecommunications, cannabis, energy, and data center uses.
Tax Increment Financing and Economic Development Incentives
Karl represents developers, landowners, and units of local government with respect to tax increment financing, tax incentives, special service areas, and other economic development financing tools and incentives.
Regarding tax increment financing, Karl has represented developers and land owners in connection with “pay as you go” financings, tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds and notes, certificates of participation, the re-marketing of developer-held tax increment financing notes, and tax-efficient strategies for the receipt of tax increment financing.
Karl has also advised municipalities regarding the establishment of tax increment financing districts the restructuring of distressed tax increment financing districts.
Karl has served as bond counsel, issuer’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, disclosure counsel, and counsel to beneficial users of public-private-partnership facilities financed by tax-exempt bonds. He has experience with tax-exempt and taxable general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, tax increment financing bonds, certificates of participation, bond anticipation notes, tax anticipation notes, and other forms of municipal securities. Karl has also counseled issuers regarding post-issuance compliance with United States securities and tax laws.
Wireless Leasing and Zoning
Karl represents owners of wireless telecommunication infrastructure and wireless telecommunication carriers in connection with wireless facility leasing and the land use and zoning approvals necessary for the construction and installation of wireless infrastructure and facilities.
Background and Education
Before law school, Karl worked for nine years in local government, politics, and association management. As chief of staff for a New York City council member, Karl was responsible for the council member’s legislative, fiscal, intergovernmental, political, and constituent affairs. Karl also served as special assistant to the president of the American Bar Association.
Karl received his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Northwestern University. He earned his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law, where he also received Senior Research Honors.
Honoree, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Real Estate: Zoning and Land Use (2021 – present)
Honoree, Best Lawyers® “Ones to Watch” (2021 – present)
Honoree, Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Government Finance
(2021 – 2022)
All Service Areas
- Northwestern University School of Law (2012)
magna cum laude
- Northwestern University (2000)
- State - Illinois
- University of Illinois at Chicago student housing project.
- University of Illinois at Chicago ambulatory surgery center project.
- Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority air rights project north of McCormick Place.
- Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority truck marshalling yards project south of McCormick Place.
- Northeastern Illinois University student housing project.
Land Use and Zoning
- Planned unit development approval for 55-unit townhome development in municipality in DuPage County, Illinois.
- Planned unit development approval for mixed-use development consisting of 250 units of residential housing and ground-floor retail in municipality in Cook and Lake Counties, Illinois.
- Special use approval for cannabis dispensary in municipality in Jo Daviess County, Illinois.
- Defeat of attempted forcible annexation of client property located in Cook County, Illinois.
Tax Increment Financing
- Acquisition of “pay as you go” tax increment financing for national affordable housing developer for a project located in Rock Island County, Illinois.
- Acquisition of “pay as you go” tax increment financing from municipality and pledge of note as security for Public Finance Authority tax-exempt bond financing on behalf of developer for an industrial project located in Kane County, Illinois.
- Acquisition of tax increment financing and economic development income tax revenue bonds on behalf of municipality in Howard County, Indiana.
- Establishment of new tax increment financing districts on behalf of municipalities located in Cook, Lake, and Kane Counties in Illinois.
- Restructuring of distressed tax increment financing districts on behalf of municipalities in Cook County, Illinois.
- General obligation advance refunding bonds issued by suburban municipality in Kane County, Illinois (issuer’s counsel).
- General obligation refunding bonds and general obligation limited tax debt certificates issued by suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois (disclosure counsel).
- General obligation bonds and taxable general obligation bonds (Alternative Revenue Source) issued by suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois (underwriter’s counsel).
- Ad valorem property tax first mortgage bonds and financing leases for various school building corporations and school corporations in Indiana (issuer’s counsel).
- Interest rate conversion and exchange of environmental refunding revenue bonds and pollution control revenue refunding bonds issued by State of Indiana and Boone County, Kentucky (counsel for qualified entity receiving bond proceeds).
Speeches and Publications
- Panelist, “Roundtable on Commercial Real Estate: A Return to the Workplace,” Crain’s Chicago Business, Sept. 20, 2021.
- Moderator, “COVID-19’s Effect on P3 Finances and Potential Workouts,” P3 Higher Education Summit, Oct. 28, 2020.
- Panelist, “A Walk Around the Block: Sourcing Solid Zones and Property,” Opportunity Zone Expo, Chicago, Illinois. Aug. 12, 2019.
- Panelist, “Higher Education Panel,” Bridge Group regional meeting, Houston, Texas. Presented regard public private partnerships for the design, financing, construction, and operation of student housing. May 3, 2019.
- Panelist and speaker, Illinois Community College Chief Financial Officers conference, Starved Rock Conference Center, Starved Rock, Illinois. Presented regarding the potential for public-private partnerships to build college facilities as an alternative to traditional procurement and financing structures used by Illinois community colleges. Part of a panel about alternative project delivery methods. May 1, 2019.
- Speaker, “Law of Real Estate: Tax Increment Financing,” Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Kellogg School of Management, Nov. 28, 2018.
- Effect of COVID-19 on Governmental Approvals Made at Public Meetings and Public Hearings in Illinois, March 20, 2020.
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education