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Mark A. Tobin

For over three decades, Mark A. Tobin has devoted his legal career exclusively to the protection of constitutional property rights and the representation of property and business owners in eminent domain. Mark's wide-ranging experience extends statewide as well as nationally, involving a vast array of property types, including shopping centers, gas station/convenience stores, restaurants, developments, hotels and resorts, health care facilities, industrial and office complexes, apartment buildings, manufacturing facilities, and many more.

A Florida native and graduate of the University of Miami Business School and Law School, Mark grew up in a family with a multi-generational real estate investment and development business, enabling him to gain practical real estate experience and develop a national network of industry contacts. Mark utilizes these assets in the strategies he employs to protect his clients’ property rights.

Concentrations

  • Eminent domain
  • Constitutional property rights protection
  • Real Estate litigation
  • Land Use disputes
  • Matters involving property valuation

Capabilities

Experience

  • Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton: Represented an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, LP in defense against the taking of the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton for the expansion airport runway. Vigorously fought Broward County with the former National Director of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and discovered that county was seeking to take more property than it needed. While defending against the taking, Tobin secured an early settlement. The county’s initial offer was $40,000,000 and Final Judgement was entered for $62,000,000, plus additional non-monetary concessions worth in excess of $10,000,000, thereby avoiding the time, costs, and energy inherent in substantial litigation.°
  • Life Saving Medical Device Distribution Facility: Represented a national medical supply distributor, specializing in the time-sensitive distribution of life-saving devices. FDOT proposed a taking that had significant potential impacts, including impairment of the site's sole access point, potentially devastating the real estate and business operations. Mark quickly assembled a team and redesigned plans, and through extensive negotiations eliminated the threat, increased compensation, and secured approvals from various governmental entities. Initial Offer: $2,632,500 / Final Settlement: $4,200,000 (plus an agreement for FDOT to handle certain construction costs).°
  • Soroa Orchids: Represented a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States with nothing and built a thriving exotic orchid business, Soroa Orchids. The Department of Transportation widened Krome Avenue and eliminated critical retail customer front parking. Tobin found a way to redesign the site and provide nearby customer parking, thereby saving the business. Initial Offer: $6,000 / Final Settlement: $294,000.
  • International Aircraft Tire Manufacturing and Distribution Facility: Tobin represented an international aircraft tire manufacturer when DOT took a substantial portion of its industrial aircraft tire production facility. The taking would not permit continued operation on site. Client needed to avoid business interruption. Tobin secured the ability to remain in rent-free possession of the existing facility, as well as sufficient funds up front allowing the client to construct a new facility and transfer operations without interruption to its business. Initial Offer: $3,800,000 / $10,500,000.”
  • Retail Shopping Center Representation: Mark regularly represents owners with shopping centers of all sizes and locations. These takings typically involve serious issues including parking loss, access impairment, signage, visibility, drainage, etc. From pre-roadway design to court work if necessary, Mark identifies and pursues strategies designed to minimize impact and secure maximum compensation.°
  • Homebuilders: Represented top homebuilders and developers in the nation to address issues that arise when government delays approvals based on inappropriate conditions, or takes portions of their developments. In handling these matters Mark has secured increases in compensation, narrowed or eliminated exactions, as well as increased density, and secured credits for impact fees, transferable development rights, variances, and other valuable concessions. °
  • Gas Stations and Convenience Stores: For over 30 years Mark has focused on representing national and local gas station/convenience store property owners and business operators affected by takings. Mark regularly secures modifications to the government's plans which are critical to avoiding impact or enhancing the site/business. These include median openings and access concessions, driveways, taking reductions, signage enhancements, equipment changes, government approvals, and other items valuable to the client. °
  • Owners Impacted by Miami International Airport Expansion: Represented more than half the owners whose property was taken by expansion of MIA for the Miami Intermodal Center, securing increases over the government's initial offers and helping the owners relocate.°
  • Representation of Hotel Taken by Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency: Mark represented the European owners of a vacant oceanfront hotel. The Miami Beach property was in disrepair and the owners were in the process of renovating the property to bring it back to its original splendor, when the Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency instituted eminent domain proceedings to secure a convention center hotel, thwarting the new owner's plans. Through fighting and shedding light on the questionable public purpose, the matter ended in a settlement of $8,750,000, multiple times the amount of the owner’s recent purchase price.°
  • Real Estate Developers Property Taken for Library: Representation of real estate company in defense of a taking sought by the government to construct a new library as part of a cultural campus. Representation included negotiation of monetary and non-monetary benefits, including zoning and parking concessions. Initial Offer: $450,000 Final Settlement: $1,500,000.°
  • Creative Strategy Saves Family Business: Represented the owner of the Gourmet Diner on Biscayne Boulevard in the defense of the FDOT’s total taking of the site. FDOT sought to take the entire property and pay no business damages, which threatened to wipe out this family's sole source of income. By concurrently pursuing a creative strategy that resulted in a trade of excess land from takings across the street and government payment for the expense of transporting a vintage diner from the northeast United States and placing it at the new site; the family business was saved.°
  • Bird Sanctuary: Represented a Florida wildlife preservation organization in connection with protecting its bird sanctuary when the FDOT took a portion of the property for a Krome Avenue intersection improvement, bringing the new road and traffic closer to the sanctuary. Mark and the preservationists worked closely together with a professional arborist to ensure that the sanctuary's tranquility was unaffected by the taking and construction of the more proximate road.°
  • Government’s Taking Stopped: School Board’s proposed taking of over seven acres with a building of over 200,000 square feet for a school, against the owner’s will. Mark aggressively litigated and stopped the taking. The owner sold the property a few years later for redevelopment with a high-density, river-front project at a price which was multiple times higher than the School Board’s offer.°

°The above representations were handled by Mark. Tobin prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Managing Partner/Partner, (Former Eminent Domain Firm) Brigham Moore Gaylord Schuster Merlin & Tobin, P.A., 1988-2011

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Florida Trend, “Legal Elite,” 2004 and 2020
  • Finalist, Daily Business Review, “Most Effective Lawyers – Real Estate,” 2013
  • Finalist, Daily Business Review, “Most Effective Lawyers – Real Estate,” 2006
  • Listed, Super LawyersMagazine, “Florida Super Lawyers,” 2007
  • Selected, South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyers – Real Estate: Eminent Domain, Condemnation, Property Rights,” 2003-2010, 2012, and 2014-2018
  • Recommended, The Legal 500, “Real Estate,”2012
  • Member, The Florida Bar
    • Admitted to US District Court for Southern District of Florida
    • Member, Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee
    • Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member, University of Miami School of Architecture, Master of Real Estate Development and Urbanism (MRED+U) Advisory Board
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Dade County Bar Association
  • Member, International Council of Shopping Centers
    • Former Member, Florida Programming Committee
    • Former Member, Government Affairs Committee
  • Member, Florida Petroleum Marketing Association
  • Member, Commercial, Industrial Association of South Florida (CIASF)

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law
  • B.B.A., cum laude, University of Miami
Admissions
  • Florida