Maria is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. She counsels international, national, regional and local businesses and individuals on complex real estate and construction transactions. She takes the time to understand her clients’ business so she can design legal and business solutions to best meet their needs.
Real Estate Law
Much of her real estate work involves commercial, residential and mixed use projects, including hospitals, banks, colleges, water and sewer treatment plants, apartment buildings, shopping centers, nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). She prepares documentation for developers for a variety of condominium and planned communities (commercial, residential, mixed use and site condos) and has also represented homeowner’s associations.
She collaborates with her clients through every step of the real estate matter, including:
- negotiating and preparing sales agreements
- assisting clients with due diligence
- obtaining any zoning and land development approvals
- obtaining liquor license approvals
- forming entities for real estate ownership
- reviewing title commitments and resolving any title matters
- reviewing and negotiating loan documents from banks and state agencies
- closing the deal by preparing settlement documents and attending settlement
- paying attention to any post-closing matters, such as tax assessment appeals or in the case of non-profits and educational institutions, tax exemption appeals
Maria has successfully negotiated leases and related documents 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, hotels, and industrial, manufacturing and warehouse buildings. She represents both landlords and tenants on a regular basis.
She also gets involved in various agricultural real estate matters for clients, including Clean and Green (Act 319), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and agricultural preservation easements.
Maria’s construction law practice involves issues 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 familiar 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 familiar with amendment to the Mechanic’s Lien Law to address the Pennsylvania Construction Notices Directory, which was implemented in 2017 for construction projects over $1.5 million. She is also knowledgeable with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code and the International Building Code. In 2020, Maria was named a Fellow at the Construction Lawyers Society of America, joining the invitation-only international honorary association composed of preeminent lawyers specializing in construction law and related fields.
Examples of her real estate and construction experience include:
- Successfully handled the purchase of a $5 million corporate headquarters site for a food manufacturer including the preparation of condominium documents in connection with Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) financing and handling a Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF) loan for equipment financing.
- Was instrumental in the purchase and partial lease-back of a $10 million industrial building along with obtaining successful zoning approval for a special exception to allow the client to manufacture its recycled rubber surface and flooring products at the site.
- Created condominium documents for a hospital pavilion, a shopping center, a studio complex, an industrial/business site condo and a mixed use urban building condo.
- Obtained successful zoning approvals for a sewer authority to install a pumping station and sewer lines in existing residential development and worked on sewer line easement agreements.
- Negotiated a warehouse lease for an international manufacturer of fishing equipment and construction documents for the tenant fit-out as well as resolving a change order dispute for the client.
Maria regularly presents on real estate and construction matters. She has given presentations before Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. – Keystone Chapter, Building Industry Association of Lancaster County and the Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Council of the Lancaster County Association of Realtors. In addition, she has taught continuing legal education classes for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Lancaster Bar Association. She is conversational in Italian and speaks Spanish.
Maria has three active kids and lives in Lititz. She sings as a cantor at St. James Catholic Church in Lititz and can be found doing karaoke now and then. She loves theatre and has performed in musicals and comedies when she was younger. Now, she can often be found playing pickleball at the Lititz recCenter.
- Construction Lawyers Society of America
- Associated Builders and Contractors Keystone Chapter
- Building Industry Association of Lancaster County
- St. Thomas More Society
- Lancaster Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- “What Residential Builders Need to Know About Construction and Land Development”, Building Industry Association of Lancaster County Morning Mingle (Sept. 2022)
- “Exploring and Negotiating Key Clauses in Construction Contracts”, ABC Keystone’s Fall Regional Construction Wake-up Call Series (Fall 2022)
- “Doing Business with Coronavirus: Managing Tenant Relationships and Protecting Landlord Interests”, CCIM Webinar (May 2020)
- “Condos in the City”, Wake up with Barley: A Morning on Real Estate (June 2019)
- Moderator: “Structuring & Financing Real Estate Deals”, Barley Snyder LendiCon (March 2019)
- “Managing & Protecting Your Online Reputation”, ABC Keystone Seminar (October 2018)
- “Ever-Changing Challenges of Construction & Development in PA”, Wake up with Barley: A Morning on Real Estate (June 2018)
- Featured speaker, Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s “The Year in Review for the General Practitioner 2017” (December 2017)
- “Planning and Sales Considerations for Condominiums and Planned Communities”, Wake up with Barley: A Morning on Real Estate (September 2017)
- “Construction Risk Management: From Contract to Completion”, Wake up with Barley: A Morning on Real Estate (September 2017)
- “Understanding the Construction Process – From Inception to Completion”, ABC Keystone Seminar (April 2017)
- “Current Trends in Commercial Lending”, Lendicon 2017 (March 2017)
- Right to Repair Act, BIA Morning Mingle (April, 2016)
- Symposium on New Federal Closing Requirements, TRID – Making It Work For You (May 2015)
- “Leasehold Mortgages”, Barley Snyder LendiCon Seminar (March 2015)
- “Buying, Leasing and Owning: What is Best for Your Business?”, Barley Snyder Business Seminar, (October 2014)
- “Facing Land Development and Construction Issues”, Barley Snyder LendiCon Seminar, (November 2012)
- Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence List (2022)