Steve’s practice focuses on business planning, transactions and finance; commercial real estate transactions, leasing and finance; land-use and environmental permitting; and government relations, advocacy and public policy. As a founder of Horenstein Law Group, Steve brings clients a serious depth of experience and proficiency to the services he provides to the firm’s clients. Steve proudly takes on some of the most complex and difficult projects in the region.
Steve represents a broad range of clients including companies doing business in the Northwest, Nationally and Internationally with great ideas and a bright future. In the commercial real estate area, Steve has represented numerous local, national and international private businesses, commercial real estate developers, and public-sector clients in transactions, leasing and financing.
Steve offers expertise in land use and environmental permitting, property development issues, and Growth Management Act planning and compliance, as well as in development and environmental permitting. Additionally, Steve has extensive experience in government relations, public policy and advocacy. He has represented a number of business, commercial real estate and Native American tribal clients on a broad range of legislative and public policy issues before a variety of local, state, and federal elected officials and agencies. He has successfully drafted and advocated for the passage of legislation in a variety of areas, including economic development, transportation, land use planning, environmental, sales tax reform, solid waste management, and healthcare.
“Over the years we have had an excellent working relationship with Steve Horenstein. When it came time to sell our property, we encountered several challenges. We were very fortunate to have Steve and his team working with us on this project. With their experience and expertise we were able to close the sale of the property.”
Steve has a reputation for making things happen. His clients have described him as “strategic, knowledgeable, responsive, detailed, connected and collaborative.” As one client said, “Working with Steve isn’t just about the legal nuts and bolts. He has a business perspective that helps us analyze the entire deal. He always sees the larger picture.” Whether it’s orchestrating a transaction or managing a client centric law firm, Steve is focused on identifying and achieving successful client outcomes, by leveraging expertise, experience, and technology, and by working in close partnership with his clients.
Steve loves jazz music and even plays it a little. He is a soccer fan and has a great time traveling with his family.
Planning, Transactions, and Finance
Representative experience includes:
Outside Counsel — Serves as outside general counsel for many closely held businesses including health care providers, engineering firms, various manufacturing companies, fitness companies, and professional service firms.
Business Planning and Formation — Represents clients in the planning and formation stages of their businesses including family business planning, structuring for future growth and new owners, tax planning and executive employment matters.
Mergers and Acquisitions — Represents clients in all types of transactions including Asset Sale Transactions, Stock Purchase Transactions, Reorganizations Mergers, and Asset Combination.
Transactions and other services in areas that include:
- Software and Technology Companies
- Manufacturing companies
- Internet Service Providers
- Senior Living facilities
- Physician practices
- Dental Practices
- Fitness facilities
- Engineering firms
- Commercial Real estate developers
Commercial Real Estate
Transactions, Finance, Land Use, and Environmental
Major Retail Centers — Representing a number of clients in land acquisition for land use permits and sales for both private and public vested clients of major regional retail centers.
Aluminum Facility Sale — Handling the sale of a large aluminum production facility for a private owner client to a public Port.
Religious Institutions — Providing legal services to several churches and two synagogues for leasing issues, site acquisition, land use approvals, environmental approvals and transportation issues for worship, community and school facilities.
Opinion Counsel — Serving as Washington opinion counsel for national client refinancing $150 million in debt secured by property around the United States.
Lender Financing — Represent financial institutions and private lenders in financing multifamily, condominium and commercial development projects.
Borrower Financing — Act as borrower’s counsel for financing business purchase transactions and commercial real estate development construction, including mezzanine and permanent loans.
Commercial Leasing — Providing legal services to lessors and lessees of office buildings, manufacturing facilities, restaurants, ports, medical facilities and others.
Mixed-Use Project — Provide financing, commercial real estate, and land use representation in siting a four-tower mixed-use project in downtown Vancouver, Washington, including two buildings with office, retail, and residential and two apartment/condominium buildings with an 860 space underground parking garage.
Land Use Representation — provide legal and government relations consulting services to many clients in obtaining comprehensive plan amendments, zone changes, site plan approval, binding site plans, subdivisions, short subdivisions variances and other permits.
Environmental Permitting — Achieved environmental permitting for numerous development projects under a number of local, state and federal regulations including Washington State Environmental Policy Act, National Environmental Policy Act, NPDES, storm water regulations, wastewater regulations, wetlands and habitat law and regulation, and others.
Development Agreements — Drafting, negotiating and guiding through public hearings numerous development agreements, covenants, and other contracts to facilitate private and public development projects for purposes of vesting land use regulations, acquiring traffic capacity, funding infrastructure improvements and other development matters.
Mixed-Use Light Industrial/Commercial Center — Representing client in what is now a 450-acre light industrial/office/retail center including land acquisition, negotiating and documenting a significant development agreement that set forth the percentage uses for the project, vesting and transportation capacity. Support efforts to obtain site plan approval and conditional use permits.
Safeway/Costco/Albertson’s/Winco/Fred Meyer/Kohl’s/Target Shopping Centers — Represent various developers on obtaining land use and environmental permits and traffic capacity for a number of large retail anchored shopping centers.
Warehouse Club — Obtaining development approvals for a retail warehouse club including site plan approval, zoning determination, wetlands permitting and transportation management solutions.
Office Building Development — Providing legal services for land acquisition and land use for four office buildings for different developers in downtown Vancouver. These buildings each include a parking garage constructed and sold to the City of Vancouver.
Public Schools — Engaged in property acquisition and achieved land use approvals for siting numerous public lands with K – 12 school facilities including obtaining site plan approval, transportation concurrency and environmental permits.
Transit Facilities — Providing representation to two transit agencies in property acquisition and facility siting/land use permits for park and rides, transit centers and a mixed use vertical transit facility including retail space.
Hospital/Medical Center — Providing land acquisition services for parcel aggregation and land use services to a major regional health care provider for expansion of a hospital facility.
Subdivisions — Representing numerous developers in obtaining preliminary subdivision and final subdivision approval including environmental compliance and transportation issues for numerous residential subdivisions in Southwest Washington.
Government Relations and Public Policy
Representative Experience includes:
Legislation — Negotiating, drafting and advocating for the passage of legislation in the Washington State Legislature and United States Congress in areas including Heath Care, Education. Land Use/Growth Management Planning and Transportation.
Indian Tribes — Representing a federally recognized Indian Tribe with a Reservation in Washington in connection with its development of a 368,000 square foot resort and casino. Results achieved include: negotiating intergovernmental agreements for infrastructure services; negotiating and documenting permits and agreements with state and federal highway authorities for the construction of an urban interchange on Interstate 5 by the Tribe; acquisition of rights-of-way; negotiation and documentation of an intergovernmental agreement for the Tribe to fund and construct a major sewer line to serve surrounding development; and defending administrative proceedings over tribal rights vis a vis local law.
Providing advice to an Olympic Peninsula Tribe on project financing.
Engaging a local jurisdiction for an Eastern Washington Tribe to address infrastructure issues.
Washington Port — Assisting a Washington Port in planning for and permitting a light industrial business park on 200 acres including negotiations with jurisdictional city for infrastructure services and drafting a Development Agreement.
Transit Agency — Providing ongoing government relations and strategic advice to Executive Director of transit agency regarding interactions and relationship with local state and federal governments in areas including funding, transit facility development, light rail extension, bi-state transit service and interactions with elected officials.
Landfills — Negotiating closure and post-closure permits and consent decrees for 3 major landfills in Washington State including managing environmental review and closure plan development and participation before government agencies to obtain permit approvals and funding.
Consortium of School Districts — Representing a consortium of school districts in developing growth management planning policies for school siting in Clark County and its Cities and creation of a school impact fee formula used by all Clark County School Districts.
Regulatory Proceedings — Representing clients before the following agencies:
- Numerous City and County Councils and Special Districts
- Solid Waste Collection rate setting matters before the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission
- Licensing matters before the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
- Land use appeals before the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board
- Permitting before the Washington State Department of Ecology
- Permitting before the Department of Natural Resources
- Permitting before the Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Lewis & Clark Law School (formerly Northwestern School of Law), J.D.
- University of Washington, B.A., Political Science
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
- Frequent speaker for continuing legal education and other seminars in the areas of commercial real estate, land use, and business law
- Speaker before the Clark County Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the Responsible Growth Forum, the Idaho Bar Association, the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association, Law Seminars International, the Washington State Regional Planning Course, Clark College, and Washington State University
- Article contributor for the Vancouver Business Journal and the Portland Business Journal
- Instructor for the graduate fellow program at Lewis & Clark Law School
- Clark County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
Steve is a Martindale-Hubbell® Client review Rated Lawyer of AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0*.
*AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
Steve is passionate about the Southwest Washington region and the Vancouver community. Below are a few of the community aspects he was or is currently involved in:
- Columbia River Economic Development Council, Founder, past Chair, and current Board Member
- Washington State University Vancouver Advisory Council, Chair and Adjunct Professor teaching upper division Public Affairs Majors
- Columbia River Crossing, Project Sponsors Council, Co-chair
- The Historic Trust, Board Chair, Finance Committee Chair, Executive Committee member
- Southwest Washington Center for the Arts, Board Member
- First Independent Bank, Board Member
- Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Former Chair and Board Member
- Responsible Growth Forum, Former Chair and Board Member
- Identity Clark County, Founder and Former Board Member
- Leadership Clark County, Founder