When Lara Page strolls around downtown Minneapolis, she can see the fruits of her labor in the city’s rapidly changing skyline. As a transactional lawyer at Stinson Leonard Street, she has represented lenders in connection with over a half billion dollars-worth of construction projects across the country, including the much-ballyhooed transformation of the historic Pillsbury A Mill on the Minneapolis riverfront into high-end artist housing.
“We go to every groundbreaking and every grand opening. That’s the coolest thing — to watch them turn the dirt for the first time and then come back 18 months later and see the Pillsbury sign lit up,” says Page.
The Lincoln, Nebraska, native got her J.D. from Hofstra and spent two years at a New York City firm working on mergers and acquisitions before relocating to Minnesota in 2011 with her husband.
As lenders’ counsel, Page says her services are typically needed for complex projects “with a ton of different funding sources” and other obstacles. The redevelopments of the Pillsbury A Mill and the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul, for instance, tapped affordable housing tax credits and historic preservation credits; they also involved numerous public and private stakeholders.
“We take pride in the fact that we work well with others. That’s the part I like the most. You get to see all these people come together,” says Page.
Outside the office, Page volunteers on the board of Eureka Recycling, a nonprofit devoted to zero waste goal, and serves on the board of the Cowles Council, which oversees the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in downtown Minneapolis and provides free dance instruction to kids across the state.