Steve is a shareholder and member of the firm’s Real Estate, Redevelopment, and Renewable Energy practice groups. Steve regularly represents developers, investors, landowners, and other business interests in connection with complex real estate, land use, and redevelopment matters. Across all aspects of his practice, Steve strives to find practical, cost-effective, and efficient solutions to complex development, permitting, and financing challenges.
Steve has acted as redevelopment counsel for some of the largest and most impactful redevelopment projects in the state across the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors. For the past several years, Steve has acted as redevelopment, transactional, and financing counsel for the developer of a major, $100+ million redevelopment project in Union Township, NJ, which includes over 300 residential units, 30,000 s.f. of commercial space, a parking deck, and various off-site improvements. Steve is serving as redevelopment counsel to the developer of a 4,000,000 s.f. (total) industrial redevelopment project in Old Bridge, NJ – a project that requires a complex redevelopment agreement and financial agreement with the Township. Steve is also serving as redevelopment, transactional, and land use counsel to the developer of a major commercial redevelopment project in Oceanport, NJ, located on the former Fort Monmouth Army Base, that consists of several hundred thousand s.f. of commercial, retail, and office space.
Aside from his traditional redevelopment and land use practice, Steve regularly counsels developers of renewable energy facilities across all aspects of development – from site acquisition, to approvals, to project disposition. Among his successful projects are three of the largest solar arrays ever developed on former USEPA “Superfund” sites. The first, the Mount Olive Solar Farm, is a 26.5 MW dc facility that is the largest solar facility ever developed on a landfill in the United States. Steve acted as redevelopment and transactional counsel for the developer in a project that was particularly complex as it involved negotiations with USEPA, a tax lien foreclosure, a structured liability and cost-sharing agreement with NJDEP, and redevelopment and off-site infrastructure agreements with Mount Olive Township. The Mount Olive project won the award for Innovative Project of the Year from the New Jersey League of Municipalities in 2021 and was the site of Governor Murphy’s signing of Executive Order No. 274, which established even more aggressive greenhouse reduction goals for the State of New Jersey. Additionally, Steve represented the developer of a solar facility at the former Ciba-Geigy (now BASF) property in Toms River, NJ. That facility, a 30 MW dc solar array, is the largest facility ever developed on a former USEPA Superfund Site. Finally, Steve represented the redeveloper of the BFI Landfill in South Brunswick, NJ (one of the first sites ever placed on the USEPA’s “Superfund” National Priorities List). Steve participated in all aspects of the transaction, which included site control, regulatory approvals, environmental matters, outside agency land use approvals, Township approvals, and asset sale. The end result is a 13+ MW grid-scale solar facility where Governor Murphy chose to sign his new renewable energy legislation in 2018.
In the renewable energy space, Steve regularly counsels developers of renewable and other energy facilities on all aspects of transactional real estate, land use, and redevelopment. Steve, with his clients, have transacted well over 100 MW of completed solar facilities in the state. In the energy space, Steve has experience with land acquisition, leasing, regulatory filings, EDC agreements, EPC agreements, power purchase agreements, land use matters, redevelopment, asset transactions, and other transactional matters.
Steve also acts as redevelopment counsel for many developers of traditional residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development projects. Steve regularly appears before municipal planning and zoning boards, across the state, in connection with site plan, subdivision, and variance applications. He has a particular expertise in redevelopment matters, including redevelopment area designations, long- and short-term tax exemptions, state incentive programs, and related financial agreements, redevelopment agreements, cross-access easements, and other matters. Steve is also special redevelopment counsel for the Town of Belvidere, Warren County, NJ and the Township of Franklin, Warren County, NJ. Steve’s representative redevelopment matters include a proposed 16-story, 500+ unit residential apartment building in Ridgefield Park, NJ; a proposed 880,000 s.f. warehouse facility with railway access in Sparta, NJ; and the proposed 200+ unit adaptive reuse of a former warehouse building in Passaic, NJ.
Steve regularly counsels clients in all aspects of transactional real estate matters and land use matters. Steve has extensive experience in real estate purchases and sales, where he is able to draw on his unique development and land use experience to better assist his clients on either side of the deal. Steve often represents developers and business owners in connection with real estate financing, including acquisition and construction loans and refinancings. Steve maintains a broad-based real estate, land use, and redevelopment practice. He puts his clients first and works diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients.
- Real Estate
- Land Use & Development Law
- Renewable Energy
- Energy, Climate Change and Public Utilities
- Member, Emerging Leaders Council of the Rutgers Center for Real Estate
- Board of Directors, Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey
- Board of Directors, Shepherds of Youth Charitable Trust
- Economic Development Committee, Monmouth-Ocean Development Council
- Member, NJ State Bar Association – Land Use Section and Young Lawyers Division
- Member, NJ State Builders Association
- Member, Shore Builders Association of NJ
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2010
- Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, J.D., cum laude (2010)
- Villanova University, B.A. (2007)
- Voted a 2018 Monmouth County Top Lawyer,* Monmouth Health & Life, November 2018
- Selected by Super Lawyers as a New Jersey Rising Star®,* 2014-2021
- Outside general counsel for major developer of utility-scale solar arrays in NJ, including pipeline of over 40 sites and 500+ MW dc of arrays.
- Land use counsel for multiple national developers of assisted living sites across several sites throughout NJ.
- Land use counsel for major national Washington, DC based developer of residential properties across multiple sites in NJ.
- Land use counsel for developer of net-metered solar arrays across multiple sites throughout the state.
- Transactional and redevelopment counsel for developer of 250+ unit residential project in Hackettstown, NJ.
- Transactional counsel for developer of 400,000+ s.f. industrial development in Hamilton, NJ.
- Land use and transactional counsel for developer of 240+ unit residential development in Pohatcong, NJ.
- Land use counsel for developer of 100 unit age-restricted residential project in Howell, NJ
- Land use counsel for developer of 1,000,000 s.f. warehouse facility in Sparta, NJ
- Redevelopment counsel for residential developer of contaminated property in Frenchtown, NJ (including long-term tax exemption).
- Redevelopment counsel for developer of 100 unit residential project in Plainfield, NJ (including long-term tax exemption).
- Redevelopment and land use counsel for developer of 400+ MW natural gas power plant in Holland Township, Hunterdon County, NJ.
- Redevelopment and land use counsel for developer of 700,000+ s.f. warehouse facility in Pemberton, NJ.
- Land use counsel for developer of warehouse facility in South Brunswick, NJ.
- Redevelopment, land use, and transactional counsel for designated redeveloper of former landfill site in Ridgefield Park, NJ proposed to be redeveloped with 16-story, mixed-use high-rise residential and commercial development.
- Redevelopment and transactional counsel for 300+ unit multi-phase redevelopment project in downtown Union Township
- Land use and transactional counsel for developer of up to 30 MW solar facility on former Ciba-Geigy “Superfund” property in Toms River, NJ.
- Redevelopment and land use counsel for designated redeveloper of “Allison Hall” parcel in Fort Monmouth.
- Redevelopment and land use counsel for developer of various mixed-use residential and commercial projects in Long Branch, NJ and Asbury Park, NJ.
- Redevelopment and land use counsel for developer of contaminated site in Princeton, NJ with residential development project.
- Land use and redevelopment counsel for designated redeveloper of contaminated property in Somerville, NJ to be developed with a 179-unit market-rate multi-family residential development.
- Land use counsel for designated redeveloper of proposed mixed use residential/marina facility in Waretown, NJ.
- Land use and transactional counsel for developer of 200+ unit residential development in Stafford Township, NJ.
- Transactional and land use counsel for various developers at former Fort Monmouth property in Monmouth County, NJ; obtained site plan approval for Building 2525, negotiated construction contract for CommVault headquarters building in Tinton Falls, negotiated purchase and sale and redevelopment agreements for various properties in Fort Monmouth.
- Redevelopment counsel for developer of 400,000+ s.f. of commercial space in mixed-use redevelopment project in Middletown, NJ.
- Redevelopment counsel for developer of commercial warehouse facility in Irvington, NJ, including negotiation of redevelopment agreement and long-term tax exemption.
- Land use counsel for designated redeveloper of 500-unit, multi-phase mixed-use redevelopment project in Aberdeen Township.
- Special redevelopment counsel to Township of Franklin and Town of Belvidere, Warren County, NJ.
- Land use and redevelopment counsel for REO division of local community bank.
- Local counsel for out-of-state acquirer of 100,000+ s.f. office complex in Trenton, NJ.
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2022 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- $130K in Attorneys Fees: Howell Township Settles After Council Accused of Usurping Planning Board's Role
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2021 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Giordano Law Firm Creates Energy, Climate Change and Public Utilities Practice
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2018 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Attorneys Selected as 2017 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla Names Four New Shareholders
- If approved, what would the proposed Open-Space Preservation Amendment do for NJ?
- Eight months after the enactment of the 2012 Solar Act (L. 2012, c. 24), what do we know about NJ's solar industry?
- Michael A. Bruno & Steven P. Gouin Author Legal Q&A on Solar Energy in NJ
- No Adequate Remedy at Law: The Devil's in the Adequacy
- "Appellate Division Confirms Illegality of Maintenance "Contributions" that Exceed the 15% Cap Permitted by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53(a)(2)," New Jersey Redevelopment Blog August 27, 2014
- "Will Governor Christie Extend The Moratorium on Non-Residential Development Fees?" New Jersey Redevelopment Blog, July 29, 2014
- "Attention Tenants! Grow-NJ Tax Credits Without Prevailing Wage," NJ Redevelopment Law Blog, July 11, 2014
- "GH&C Attorneys Prevail On Continuing Jurisdiction Of Zoning Board Of Adjustment," June 23, 2014
- "Legal Q&A," New Jersey Tech News, August 2013
- "High Court Overturns Abolition Of COAH," New Jersey Redevelopment Blog, July 10, 2013
- "NJ Senate Passes Open-Space Preservation Amendment," New Jersey Redevelopment Blog, June 26, 2013
- "FEMA Releases New Base Flood Elevation Maps," New Jersey Redevelopment Blog, June 19, 2013
- "Legal Q&A," New Jersey Tech News, April 2013
- "With Many Hurricane Sandy Victims Still Unable to Secure Temporary Housing, Will New Jersey's Age-Restricted Communities Offer Up Vacant Units?," New Jersey Redevelopment Blog, January 15, 2013
- "Handicapped Access: What is an Association's Obligation?," Community Trends, July 2011
- "Lien on Me?," Community Trends, June 2011
- "Protecting the Business Purchaser," New Jersey Law Journal, April 2011
- "It's About Time! (of Application)," OnSite, CBRA-NJ Newsletter, April 2011
- "Renovating New Jersey's Construction Lien Law," Law360.com, January 2011
- "Beyond Solar: New Jersey's Commitment to Alternative Energy,"ACC-FOCUS, January 2011
- "$130K in Attorney Fees: Howell Township Settles After Council Accused of Usurping Planning Board's Role," New Jersey Law Journal, March 14, 2022
- "Board Grants Approval for Office-Warehouse on Sobechko Road," centraljersey.com, July 9, 2019
- "Rutgers Announces 2018 Center for Real Estate Board Members," NJ Biz, September 24, 2018
- "Howell Planners Approve 100 Apartments," Centraljersey.com, March 16, 2017
- Speaker, "Land Use and Environmental Due Diligence in Land Acquisition and Financing," Atlantic Builders Convention, April 12, 2018
- "The Growing Trends in Mixed-Use Developments," 2017 Atlantic Builders Convention, April 6, 2017
- "Growing Trends in Mixed-Use Development," NJBA/Atlantic Builders Conference, March 30, 2016
- "What Mayors Need to Know - Dazed on the Dais," 2015 League of Municipalities Conference, November 18, 2015
- "Mandatory Training Seminar for New Board Members," New Jersey Planning Officials, September 21, 2013
- "Municipal Land Use Law Update - Experienced/Advanced Program," New Jersey Planning Officials, April 13, 2013