Client Focus

Real Estate Development
Land Use and Government Entitlements
Real Estate Portfolios and Funds
Environmental Approvals, including NEPA and CEQA
Due Diligence for Investors and Lenders
Conservation Easements and Land Trusts
Eminent Domain

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia


  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1973
  • B.S., summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, 1970
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science, 1969
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Geoffrey C. Etnire


Geoff Etnire helps clients create and vest added value to real estate through the acquisition of government approvals, the creative reuse of properties, and the repositioning of portfolios. The regulatory overlay on real estate is substantial and growing every year. Geoff regularly advises and represents developers, landowners, investors, and lenders in the development, acquisition, and sale of real estate throughout the United States, particularly in those matters where government entitlements and approvals are required for infrastructure, economic development, zoning, changes in use, and environmental clearances.

Clients retain Geoff for projects and disputes because of his ability to get to the finish line while eliminating or minimizing future complications, disputes, and litigation.

Significant Matters

  • Representation of major newspaper companies during the last five years in the disposition of assets and portfolios in 30 states.
  • Repositioning and disposition of real estate over a 25-year period for a publicly traded international mining and building materials company.
  • Negotiations on behalf of a publicly traded company with regard to the development of an NFL stadium on the client's long-term leasehold.
  • Negotiation and implementation of conservation easements and other preservation measures, including the formation of land trusts.
  • Structured an agreement among six developers to share the infrastructure development for 300 houses on 700 acres.
  • Acquisition, development, management, and disposition of properties and portfolios on behalf of major real estate funds, including the resolution of brownfield issues.
  • Performance of due diligence for major acquisitions and loans.
  • Acquisition of government approvals, including General P CEQA Certifications, and Development Agreements for projects throughout California, including the South Livermore Valley Area Plan and the Vineyard Avenue Corridor Plan.
  • Expediting of applications for development within the California Coastal Zone and defense of Coastal Commission enforcement actions.


Geoff served on the boards of directors of four publicly traded real estate investment trusts. He also served as chairman of the board of the Bank of Pleasanton and on the executive committee of the board of directors of Mission Valley Bancorp, prior to its purchase by U.S. Bank. In addition, Geoff has served on the boards of directors of many nonprofit organizations and played an active role in chambers of commerce.