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Matthew J. KieferMatthew J. Kiefer

(617) 574-6597
Fax: (617) 574-7597

400 Atlantic Avenue
Boston MA
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Kiefer, Matthew J




University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1982

Boston University, B.A., 1976

Harvard University, 1995-1996, Loeb Fellow


Real estate development and land use law is at the core of Matthew Kiefer's practice.  He has a particular focus on advancing complex urban projects through the process of obtaining site control and approvals from public agencies.  These include market-oriented and affordable housing projects, commercial and mixed-use developments, and facilities and master plans for health care, educational, cultural and other non-profit institutions. Matthew, a Director, also coordinates the firm’s Green Business practice.  Chambers USA recognizes Matthew as "a preeminent force in development and land use work, having substantial experience representing developers in large public projects."  They continue, "he is outstanding at moving deals forward in a very quiet but highly intelligent and creative manner."

Matthew has taught in the urban planning programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at MIT, and has written and spoken extensively on real estate and land use law and policy.  He is active in historic preservation, public open space and land use planning, design and policy.  Additionally, Matthew writes book reviews on land use planning, design and development for ArchitectureBoston, Harvard Design Magazine, Urban Land and other publications. 

Representative Experience

  • Urban mixed-use developments, including the 6.3-million-square-foot development of Seaport Square on 23 acres in the South Boston Innovation District; 40 Trinity Place, a hotel and residential tower in the Back Bay; and 80 East Berkeley, a retail and tech office building in the South End.
  • Institutional master plan approvals for major Boston hospitals and universities, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Northeastern University, Harvard University and Berklee College of Music.
  • Proposed air rights projects on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston and over the Massachusetts Turnpike.
  • Market-rate and mixed-income residential projects in South Boston, East Boston, Jamaica Plain and Brighton.
  • Facilities for cultural institutions, including additions to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum and new homes for the Boston Society of Architects, Historic Boston Incorporated, and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.
  • Adaptive re-use of historic buildings, including FP3, Channel Center, and 319 A Street in the Fort Point Channel district of Boston.
  • Historic restorations in the Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill, including the Burrage Mansion, Zero Marlborough Street, Marais and 25 Beacon Street.
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Regulatory Reform: City of Boston Inclusionary Development Policy Mayor's Working Group; MEPA Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee; Chapter 91 Facilities of Public Accommodation Task Force; NAIOP Article 80 Task Force
  • Planning, Design and Policy: Chair, Boston Municipal Research Bureau; Advisory Board and Management Committee, ULI Boston; Vice President, Loeb Fellowship Alumni Council; Contributing Editor, ArchitectureBoston magazine; Board of Directors, Boston Society of Architects, 2007-2013;
  • Historic Preservation: Co-Chair, Historic Boston Incorporated Council of Advisors; Member, Truro Historical Commission
  • Higher Education: Corporator, Wheelock College; Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Guest Lecturer, MIT Center for Real Estate, Harvard Advanced Management Development Program
Awards and Recognition
  • Best Lawyers in America, Boston Land Use and Zoning "Lawyer of the Year," 2016
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Elected Fellow, 2012
  • Martindale Hubbell Peer-Review Rated AV Preeminent TM
  • Martindale HubbellTM Top Rated Lawyer in 'Land Use And Zoning,' 2013
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2016
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2015
  • "America's Leading Business Lawyers," Chambers USA 2005-2015
  • Volunteer of the Year, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, 2011
Speaking Engagements
Press Releases
num: 73
publicationsArticles: "The Upside of Gentrification," Harvard Design Magazine
publicationsArticles: "Removing the Barriers to Entry," Boston Business Journal
publicationsArticles: "States Restrict Eminent Domain," Urban Land
publicationsArticles: "The Social Functions of NIMBYism," Harvard Design Magazine
publicationsArticles: "Reacting to Kelo: State Reacts to U.S. Supreme Court's Decision by Restricting Eminent Domain," Shopping Center Business
publicationsArticles: "UPDATE: The Kelo Decision," Real Estate Business Online
publicationsArticles: "For Boston, the Lessons from Venice," The Boston Globe
publicationsArticles: "Measured by Design:  BSA Chief Treads More Softly In His New Role," Boston Business Journal
publicationsArticles: Book Review: "Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City," ArchitectureBoston
publicationsArticles: "Public Planning and Private Initiative: The South Boston Waterfront," Urban Planning Today
publicationsArticles: Book Review: "Code of The City," Harvard Design Magazine
publicationsArticles: "Toward a Net-Zero Carbon Planet: A Policy Proposal," University of Colorado Law Review
clientAdvisories: Will New Green Building Codes Supplant LEED Rating?
publicationsArticles: "Defending Boston From the Sea," The Boston Globe
clientAdvisories: Massachusetts Extends Project Approvals for Two Years
publicationsArticles: "Institutional Growth Continues in Central Boston," Urban Land Magazine
clientAdvisories: Boston’s PILOT Task Force Releases Report and Recommendations
clientAdvisories: Ten-Year Plan to Reduce Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Emissions Affects Real Estate
clientAdvisories: President Obama Proposes New Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Building Improvements
publicationsArticles: "Smooth Sailing," Boston Business Journal
publicationsArticles: "Student Life is Good," Bisnow Boston
publicationsArticles: Raise a Roof, Raise Funds
publicationsArticles: Emerald Necklace Conservancy's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
publicationsArticles: Book Review: "Perverse Cities: Hidden Subsidies, Wonky Policy and Urban Sprawl," Harvard Design Magazine
publicationsArticles: "Climate Change and Real Estate Development: Regulatory Experimentation in the Face of Uncertainty," in The Legal Impact of Climate Change, Thompson Reuters/Aspatore
publicationsArticles: Book Review: "Building a New Boston: Politics and Urban Renewal, 1950-1970," ArchitectureBoston
clientAdvisories: MassDEP Proposes Significant Reforms
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Director, Matthew Kiefer, Recognized by the American College of Real Estate Lawyers
pressReleases: Chambers USA Ranks Goulston & Storrs in Multiple Practice Areas
publicationsArticles: "Putting History to Work in Boston's Neighborhoods," Banker & Tradesman
clientAdvisories: Project Approvals Get Longer Shelf Life in Massachusetts
clientAdvisories: New Stimulus for Real Estate Development
pressReleases: 36 Goulston & Storrs Attorneys Named to 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers ®
publicationsArticles: "Development Plan Pits North End Residents vs. Officials," Boston Globe
clientAdvisories: Boston Moves a Step Closer to Building Labeling
publicationsArticles: Guest Blogger:  “On the Value of Patience,” Historic Boston Incorporated
publicationsArticles: Book Review: “Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston,” ArchitectureBoston
clientAdvisories: Peace on the PILOT Front?
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Director Matthew Kiefer Elected Vice-Chair of Boston Municipal Research Bureau
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Nets 33 Lawyers, 7 Practice Areas in 2013 Chambers USA Rankings
clientAdvisories: Massachusetts Lawmakers Tackle Zoning Reform
clientAdvisories: U.S. Supreme Court’s Koontz Decision Favors Developers in Land Use Permit Negotiations
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Nabs 34 Lawyers, 2 “Lawyer of the Year” Recognitions in 2014 Best Lawyers® Rankings
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Captures 47 Spots on the 2013 Massachusetts Super Lawyers List; 14 on the 2013 Massachusetts Rising Stars List
publicationsArticles: “Which Boston Mayoral Hopeful Will Best Manage the City’s Growth?,” Boston Globe Opinion, September 17, 2013 (with Samuel R. Tyler)
publicationsArticles: Book Review:  “Sweet and Salt:  Water and the Dutch,” ArchitectureBoston
publicationsArticles: Book Review:  “Design After Decline:  How America Rebuilds Shrinking Cities,” ArchitectureBoston
clientAdvisories: US DOE Promotes Zero-Net-Energy Commercial Buildings
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Launches Climate Change Resilience Task Force
clientAdvisories: Boston Regulatory Initiatives Address Climate Change
clientAdvisories: Flood Insurance Reforms Offer Little to Commercial Property Owners; FEMA Accepting Comments on Scope of NFIP Study
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Director Matthew Kiefer Begins Term as Chair of Boston Municipal Research Bureau
clientAdvisories: Special Committee Convened to Develop MEPA Climate Change Adaptation Policy
clientAdvisories: Comment Periods Begin for Boston’s Newly Mapped Flood Hazard Areas
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Expands Practice Recognition in 2014 Chambers USA Rankings
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Director Matthew Kiefer Begins Term as Co-Chair of Boston Municipal Research Bureau
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs’ Richard Zielinski Named 2015 Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Legal Malpractice Law and Michael Robinson Named “Lawyer of the Year” in Real Estate
clientAdvisories: ULI Releases Report on Risks of Urban Flooding
clientAdvisories: Walsh Administration Releases Eagerly-Awaited Housing Plan
pressReleases: Goulston & Storrs Survey Explores Real Estate Industry’s Mixed Reaction on Climate Threats
clientAdvisories: MEPA Releases Draft Policy on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency
clientAdvisories: BRA/EDIC Details Response to Audit
pressReleases: 2015 Chambers USA Guide Recognizes Nine Market-Leading Goulston & Storrs Practices and 31 Leading Individual Lawyers
clientAdvisories: Proposed Extensions for Boston's Expiring Urban Renewal Plans
publicationsArticles: What we should be asking about Boston’s Olympics bid
pressReleases: Boston Land Use and Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year" Matthew J. Kiefer Among 42 Goulston & Storrs Lawyers Recognized by Best Lawyers for 2016
pressReleases: 50 Goulston & Storrs Attorneys Named 2015 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
publicationsArticles: Book Review: "Does Restoration Trump Risk?"
clientAdvisories: Mayor Walsh Updates Boston's Affordable Housing Policy
clientAdvisories: New Flood Hazard Maps Released for Boston
clientAdvisories: MassDEP Proposes Revisions to Facilities of Public Accommodation Regulations
clientAdvisories: Boston City Council Approves Urban Renewal Plan Extensions
pressReleases: UPDATE: 2016 Chambers USA and New High Net Worth Guides Recognize Ten Market-Leading Goulston & Storrs Practices and 34 Leading Individual Lawyers
»View All
June 2016
UPDATE: 2016 Chambers USA and New High Net Worth Guides Recognize Ten Market-Leading Goulston & Storrs Practices and 34 Leading Individual Lawyers
October 2015
50 Goulston & Storrs Attorneys Named 2015 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
August 2015
Boston Land Use and Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year" Matthew J. Kiefer Among 42 Goulston & Storrs Lawyers Recognized by Best Lawyers for 2016
May 2015
2015 Chambers USA Guide Recognizes Nine Market-Leading Goulston & Storrs Practices and 31 Leading Individual Lawyers
November 2014
Goulston & Storrs Survey Explores Real Estate Industry’s Mixed Reaction on Climate Threats
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