Maria Elliott is a partner in the Real Estate and Construction groups. Her practice focuses on both real estate and construction transactions including the purchase and sale of real estate, commercial and residential leasing, zoning and land development, construction contracts and disputes, formation of entities for real estate ownership, business and real estate financing, condominium and planned communities, property assessment appeals and real estate tax exemption requests, and various agricultural real estate matters, including Clean and Green (Act 319) matters 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:
- manufacturing and industrial companies
- hospitals, medical and behavioral healthcare facilities and continuing care retirement communities
- municipal authorities
- colleges and universities
- auto dealerships
- developers, architects, contractors and property managers
- homeowners associations
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.
Her experience in these types of matters include the purchase and sale of commercial properties, including warehouse, office, industrial and apartment buildings, and vacant land for development. She collaborates with her clients through every step of the matter:
- negotiating and preparing sales agreements
- assisting clients with due diligence
- 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
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, 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 is familiar with, and has worked with, the recent 2007 AIA construction contracts, including creating standard changes to the construction documents for clients working on multiple construction projects. Maria is knowledgeable about the recent Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, having assisted clients with ensuring their construction contracts meet the requirements of the act. She also advises clients on the amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law and how the changes affect their construction projects.
Examples of her real estate and construction experience include:
- successfully handled the purchase of a $5,000,000 corporate headquarters site for a food manufacturer including the preparation of condominium documents in connection with PIDA financing and handling a MELF loan for equipment financing.
- was instrumental in the purchase and partial lease-back of $10,000,000 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.
- obtained successful zoning approvals for a sewer authority to install a pumping station and sewer lines in existing residential development and working 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.
- obtained real estate tax exemptions for non-profits and educational institutions.
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.
- Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif
- Miami University of Ohio, Masters, Scientific & Technical Communication
- Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., Chemistry
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra; Board and Auction Committee member
Associated Builders and Contractors Keystone Chapter; Education Committee member
Lancaster Italian Cultural Society member
Building Industry Association of Lancaster County; Regional Associates Committee member
Warwick School District; Former member of the Finance and Legal Committee
- Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership; former board member and Executive Committee member
- St. James Catholic Church; Cantor and former Parish Pastoral Council member
- Hospice of Lancaster County; founding member, former member of Women's Giving Circle
- Lancaster Lions Club; former member
- U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Lancaster Bar Association
- St. Thomas More Society