Maria Elliott is chair of the firm's Real Estate, Municipal and Environmental group and is co-chair of the firm's Construction group. Her practice focuses on both real estate and construction transactions, including the purchase and sale of real estate, commercial leases, including office, shopping center, warehouse and cell tower leases, residential leases, zoning and land development, construction contracts, formation of entities for real estate ownership, business and real estate financing, condominium and planned communities, property assessment appeals, real estate tax exemption requests, and various agricultural real estate matters, including Clean and Green (Act 319), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and agricultural preservation easements. Maria also counsels higher education clients on campus security matters.
Maria takes the time to understand her clients’ business so she can design legal and business solutions to best meet their needs. She also works closely with international clients to help them better understand real estate and construction matters, especially if there may be any language barriers or differences in business and legal practices. Maria is conversational in Italian and has some working knowledge of Spanish. Maria represents businesses of all types and sizes across a wide range of industries, including:
Real Estate Law
Maria counsels international, national, regional and local businesses on a variety of real estate, zoning, and land development matters. Much of her work involves complex commercial and residential projects, including, hospitals, colleges, water and sewer treatment plants, shopping centers, nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and condominium and planned communities (commercial, residential, mixed use, and site condos).
Her experience in these types of matters include the purchase and sale of commercial properties, including shopping centers, warehouses, offices, manufacturing facilities, apartment complexes, and vacant land for development. She collaborates with her clients through every step of the matter:
Maria has successfully negotiated leases for all types of commercial and residential properties, including college campuses, medical office buildings, health campuses, professional office buildings, retail and shopping centers, cell towers, apartment buildings, banks, farms, parking lots, and industrial, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings.
Maria’s construction law practice involves issues arising during all phases of the construction process, including drafting and negotiating construction contracts, providing advice on claims avoidance, and handling bond claims. She also counsels clients on various alternative dispute resolutions for construction matters, including mediation, arbitration and litigation.
She regularly addresses general construction matters involving liquidated damages, change orders, performance and payment bonds, termination of contracts, and mechanics’ liens waivers and releases. She has extensive experience with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) construction contracts, including creating standard changes for clients working on multiple construction projects. Maria is familair with the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, having assisted clients with ensuring their construction contracts meet the requirements of the act. She advises clients on the amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law and how the changes affect their construction projects. She is also knowlegable with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code and the International Building Codes.
Examples of her real estate and construction experience include:
Higher Education Law
Besides assisting colleges and universities with construction and real estate matters, Maria focuses also on matters related to campus security issues. She has prepared petitions for the appointment of police officers for certain qualified educational institutions. She also assists these clients with the preparation and review of their standard operating procedures for safety and security matters and memorandum of understanding with local police departments.