In the 1970s, the groundbreaking State of Minnesota v. Reserve Mining Co., an epic environmental case, gave the Environmental Protecting Agency new powers to regulate pollution. Hanft Fride’s client, the mining company, which began in 1956, stayed open pursuant to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals order.
The firm still finds itself central to construction and development in the Duluth area, according to Jenny Carey, its president and a real estate attorney. Carey says that residential, mixed use and business development is active and important to the community.
One project has been the revitalization of the Silver Bay Business Park on Highway 61. It is zoned for multiple uses and includes a center with various amenities. which will bring more than 50 units of single-family homes and townhouse rentals, more than 100 commercial storage units and event and wellness centers. Carey points out that the site even provides tenants a place to store their boats, a deal-maker in the lake area.
Another significant project for the firm is the redevelopment of Essentia Health medical facilities. The important medical provider to the area is planning to elevate building quality and enlarge its space, Carey said.
The $21 million project includes replacement for St. Mary’s Medical Center and clinic space as well as renovation of existing buildings on its downtown Duluth campus.
The firm representing Essentia and Silver Bay, among other clients, “has a sophisticated enough practice that clients don’t have to go the cities for legal services,” Carey said.
Hanft Fride is bringing some new lawyers into the firm but Carey agrees with other attorneys who worry about attracting lawyers who want to live and practice outstate.
When the economic crisis hit in 2008, the market quit making houses and also quit making real estate lawyers, Carey said. “We have to play catch-up. It will take time to correct itself.”