Mr. Wasserman joined Kane, Ballmer & Berkman in 1982, and was a principal of the Firm for 22 years, during which time he was recognized as a leader in the field of public-private real estate transactions. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Chief Operating Officer of The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), and returned to the Firm in 2011. In addition to CRA/LA, he has represented many cities, redevelopment agencies and other public agencies throughout California, as well as non-profit and for-profit housing developers. Among his public agency clients have been the redevelopment agencies and/or other departments of the cities of San Diego, Glendale, Orange, Redondo Beach, Oxnard, Ontario, Palmdale, Santa Clara, Carlsbad and Vista.
His practice has included a broad range of public-private real property transactions, including affordable housing, market-rate housing, commercial office development, hotels, shopping centers, and mixed-use projects, such as the multi-phased Liberty Station project in San Diego, which involved the reuse and redevelopment of the Naval Training Center military base. In connection with these transactions, Mr. Wasserman negotiated and drafted complex documentation, including Disposition and Development Agreements, Loan Agreements, Owner Participation Agreements, Ground Leases, Exclusive Negotiation Agreements, Development Agreements and related real estate and financing documents. He has also worked with the housing staffs in a number of cities to help develop, implement and document affordable homeownership second mortgage loan programs. He has also represented private developers in connection with the negotiation of complex options and ground leases for market rate housing in Ventura Harbor and Marina del Rey.
As principal attorney for public agencies in scores of transactions, Mr. Wasserman assisted many communities to accomplish their local objectives through the creative use of state and federal programs. For example, he was instrumental in helping to structure some of the first public-private transactions involving the use of New Market Tax Credits in California, in projects in Glendale, Pasadena and San Diego. He also represented the City of Carlsbad in establishing an Infrastructure Financing District and drafting the Development Agreement for Legoland California.
As Chief Operating Officer of CRA/LA for four years, he oversaw the implementation of hundreds of development projects and other work activities in 32 redevelopment project areas. He also established procedures to ensure compliance with legal requirements, and to monitor and report on redevelopment activities in a way that made it easier for CRA/LA to communicate its achievements to stakeholders.
Prior to joining the Firm in 1982, Mr. Wasserman served as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Honors Program for Law Graduates (1975-76), as a litigator for the U.S. Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA – now the Federal Transit Administration) and as the UMTA regional counsel in New York. He is a graduate of UCLA Law School (J.D.) and the University of Connecticut (B.A. with honors).
Considered an expert in the fields of public-private real estate transactions and affordable housing, Mr. Wasserman has been a frequent speaker and panelist for the California Redevelopment Association, League of Cities and Los Angeles County Bar Association programs. He has also been a guest lecturer at UCLA and the University of Southern California.
In addition to his law practice, Mr. Wasserman serves on the Board of Directors of Lamp Community, Inc., a leading provider of permanent supportive housing to homeless men and women with severe mental illnesses on Los Angeles’s skid row.