Iris Escarra specializes in land use, zoning and procurement law, and has been certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in city, county and local government law.
Iris represents land owners and developers in every phase of a property's development and operation. In the early planning phase of a development project, Iris is experienced with due diligence regarding the property's development potential. Next, Iris assists her clients in obtaining any and all local and state entitlements necessary for new construction, the redevelopment of existing properties, the introduction of new uses or the preservation of existing uses.
The local government approvals Iris secures for her clients include: platting, waiver, warrants, major use special permits, special exceptions, variances, special area plans, modifications to ordinances, historic preservation approval, DRI approvals, marina approvals, rezoning and comprehensive plan amendments. Once development occurs, Iris continues to serve her clients by resolving complex code enforcement matters that may arise.
The various projects Iris is proud to have served in the foregoing capacity include residential, hotel, retail, commercial and mixed-uses, and institutional uses such as affordable housing, educational facilities, medical buildings, places of worship and museums.
Iris also advises clients during the local government's procurement process, including the due diligence, submittal, award and bid protest, as may become necessary. After a government contract has been awarded, Iris assists clients with regulatory compliance in accordance with the award agreement. In addition, Iris represents clients in the adoption of regulatory ordinances for outdoor advertising displays.
Iris is a former Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami. During her tenure there, she served as legal counsel to several departments. Iris was principally responsible for opining on all real estate issues including platting, right-of-way closures, covenants, easements and specific title issues. Iris is seen as an expert in subdivision regulations and has been asked to speak on several occasions regarding platting and subdivision in Florida.
Areas of Concentration
•Land use representation
•Real estate transactions
•City, county and local government law
Awards & Recognition
•Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers Government Relations Law Firm of the Year, 2014
•Ranked, Tier 1 - Government Relations, Miami Metropolitan Area
•Team Member, The Legal 500 United States, Top Tier Firm in Real Estate, 2014
•Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2009-2014
•Listed, South Florida Legal Guide, 2008-2014
•Listed, Top Lawyers in South Florida, 2012-2014
•Listed, Top Up and Comers, 2008-2012
•Member, Winning Team, Chambers USA Award for Excellence, Real Estate, 2013
•Team Member, a Law360 Real Estate Practice Group of the Year, 2013
•Recipient, Star Award, CREW-Miami, 2010
•Selected, Real Estate Florida, 40 Under 40, 2009
Articles, Publications, & Lectures
• Quoted, Downtown Art Museum a Huge Leap, Miami Today, December 26, 2013
•Quoted, Mercy Plans to Double Size, Rework Outpatient Facilities, Daily Business Review, November 24, 2010
•Mentioned, Construction Permit Approved for the New Miami Art Museum, The South Florida Business Journal, November 5, 2009
•Quoted, Edgewater Commercial Complex Closer to Approval, The Miami Herald, July 18, 2008
•Quoted, Easing Through, The SunPost, June 28, 2006
• Speaker, Florida Plat and Subdivision Laws and Regulations, Lorman Educational Services Seminar, September 2010
•Speaker, Land Use Tour Seminar, International Municipal Lawyers Conference, 2009
•Speaker and Moderator, Plat and Subdivision Law in Florida, Hyatt Regency, Miami, FL, June 25, 2008