Sara Schnorr: Lawyer with Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Sara Schnorr

Boston,  MA  U.S.A.

Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Real Estate
  • Affordable Housing
  • Technology
  • Media & Telecommunications
  • Debt Finance & Capital Markets
  • Acquisitions and Dispositions
  • Development/Permitting
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Leasing
  • Construction Contracts
  • Telecommunications
  • Life Sciences
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Debt Finance
  • Government and Public Sector
University Harvard University, A.B., cum laude, 1970; Wesleyan University, M.A.T., 1972
Law SchoolUniversity of Virginia, J.D., 1979
Admitted1979, Massachusetts
BornPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1948

Sara Schnorr, a partner with the firm, focuses her practice on complex real estate acquisition, development, land use, and financing matters, particularly for clients in the affordable housing, life sciences, and telecommunications industries. Sara is a member of the firm's Pro Bono and Legal Opinion Review Committees and a member of the Boston Office's Diversity Committee.

•Represented Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Association, Inc a tenant-controlled nonprofit that acquired an existing 775-unit affordable housing project with a 1, 300-space subsurface parking facility developed under MGL Chapter 121A (that acquisition involved a complex cash merger transaction, $18, 000, 000 in LIHTC equity, $48, 600, 000 mortgage financing from MassHousing insured under HUD's Risk-Sharing Program, and $10, 000, 000 in mortgage financing from Brookline Bank. Other work for Roxbury Tenants of Harvard has included a complex three-party land swap involving property encumbered by a HUD-insured mortgage and other acquisitions.

•Represented Mitchell Properties in connection with its negotiation and acquisition of a long-term lease from the Town of Watertown to convert and redevelop the former Coolidge Elementary School into mixed-income 55+ rental housing. That project involved first, second and third mortgage financing from MassHousing in the aggregate amount of $7, 700, 000, shared third mortgage financing in the aggregate amount of $1, 500, 000 from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) under its Housing Stabilization Fund and its Affordable Housing Trust Fund programs, a $390, 000 HOME Investments Partnership Program loan from the Town, approximately $6, 645, 000 in federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity and federal and state historic tax credit equity and the difficult settlement of a neighbor's challenge of the project's zoning relief.

•Outside general counsel to Boston Community Capital, a private nonprofit, tax-exempt financial intermediary that provides mortgage financing for affordable housing projects, equity for businesses that create jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged in low-income communities, and new markets tax credit equity.

•Outside general counsel to the Massachusetts Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), a tax-exempt quasi-public organization that finances community development projects and affordable housing initiatives in low-income communities throughout Massachusetts, and CEDAC's affiliate The Children's Investment Fund, which provides capital funds for child care facilities.

•Outside general counsel to Casa Esperanza, Inc. and its affiliate Nueva Vida, Inc. in connection with the development, acquisition, permitting and financing of their clinical and residential facilities for Spanish speakers who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.

•Represented Amgen Inc. in connection with its acquisition, permitting, development, and leasing of the state-of-the-art 300, 000-square-foot Amgen Center bioscience building at Kendall Square in Cambridge.

•Represented Genzyme Corporation, particularly in its acquisition and leasing of office, R&D and laboratory space. Negotiated Genzyme's long-term ground lease from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and managed the other real estate legal services, for the development of Genzyme's biotechnology manufacturing facility at Allston Landing in Boston and negotiated the build-to-suit lease for Genzyme's new Kendall Square, Cambridge green building headquarters.

•Represented Immune Disease Institute, Inc. (IDI) in negotiating a novel lease- sublease back transaction for the ultimate sale of its old facilities and negotiating IDI's state of art life sciences research space in the Center For Life Sciences Boston I building in Boston's Longwood Medical Area.

•Represented AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. as it has sought zoning approvals for its network of wireless telecommunications facilities in the Greater Boston area. That work has involved appearing before approximately 50 hostile zoning and planning boards, as well as negotiating with municipalities to amend their zoning bylaws to accommodate the wireless industry.

•Extensive commercial leasing experience, such as representing firm clients in substantial lease transactions, such as negotiating single-user build-to-suit leases on behalf of tenants; complex sale-leaseback transactions; developing form leases for, and renting up of approximately 1, 000, 000 square feet of retail shopping centers for Factory Merchants Malls; and handling lease negotiations and general landlord-tenant matters for both owners and tenants, including the owners of 84 State Street, One Milk Street and the Park Square Building.

Besides Edwards Wildman

Since 2000 Sara has been a board member of the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation, a specially chartered non-profit corporation charged with creating and preserving affordable housing in the Town of Wellesley, MA, where she has developed extensive experience in sponsoring and participating in projects involving DHCD's Local Initiative Program, Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permits (both friendly and adverse), the disposition of municipal property to private developers for affordable housing and historic preservation purposes, drafting and helping the Town implement inclusionary zoning bylaws, and development agreements with private developers of commercial projects. She has also spent time on the Town's Community Preservation Committee and the Town's Advisory (Finance) Committee on which she served as Chair in 1994.

Sara was Adjunct Professor of Land Finance at Boston College Law School in 1986 and 1987.

Sara is a former road runner who completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC 9 years in a row.

Prior to attending law school, Sara spent two years in graduate school and then taught High School English and German in Kingston, Massachusetts and North Haven, Connecticut for four years.

Sara is a native of Pittsburgh PA.


Fulbright fellow, Munich, Germany (1970-71)

Editor in Chief, 1979 Virginia Journal of International Law

Sara has been listed as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2006 and from 2008 through 2012.

Sara is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is their highest peer recognition.


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Office Information

Sara Schnorr

111 Huntington Avenue
BostonMA 02199-7613


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