• Entitlements
  • Fee Development
  • Development Management
  • Project Management
  • Program Management
  • Renovation
  • Acquisition & Disposition
  • Due Diligence
  • Asset Management


Agency & Jurisdictional Success

Michael Morris - in various capacities as developer, owner's representative, consultant or employee - has successfully: 

  • Settled two eminent domain lawsuits with MWD involving three miles of temporary and permanent right-of -way for Perris Valley Pipeline (96” waterline) at maximum price with favorable conditions for property owners.  Previously, successfully eliminated project’s main arterial street from alignment option by MWD and proposed freeway adjacent APZ-impacted open space, detention basin, and future drainage channel and sewer alignments for ultimately chosen multi-use utility corridor alignment. 
  • Created 1000-acre business park lot by lot sewer discharge & timing projection report agreed to by local water and sewer agency leading to MOU that allowed construction of temporary sewer lift station and occupancy by two large 700K GPD total sewer discharge users leading to sale of 100 acres at market high and creation of facilities for nearly 1200 jobs, prior to long term master-plan upgrades of downstream sewer line and treatment plant expansion.  In 2009, retained as Owner’s Representative by same Agency to manage build-out of Agency’s new headquarters building. 
  • Led the acquisition of a cost effective off-site detention basin site in Fontana after an adjacent downstream owner’s engineer discovered discrepancies in the hydrology and hydraulic calculations utilized in the City’s drainage Master Plan.  This solution allowed on-site detention basins to be avoided on both large retail and residential project and large industrial park project, facilitating maximum development potential; and offsite Master Plan storm drain construction to proceed as scheduled. 
  • Negotiated with CCAEJ and drafted MOU while balancing strong political pressure to resolve a CEQA lawsuit over an EIR approval, that while limiting the location and total acreage of logistics warehouses, favorably negotiated the definition as being greater than 500K SF with specific building and site characteristics, resulting in the project’s approval and commencement of construction, and no monetary payment to either CCAEJ or their attorney. This specific settlement language allowed development of 489K SF warehouse facility in the non-logistics acreage.
  • Created the outline of MOU settlement of a threatened legal challenge by the County of Riverside of the City of Fontana EIR for a large public-private redevelopment project by designating truck route signage and enforcement requirements as a mitigation measure allowing project and CEQA approvals to proceed. 
  • Negotiated on-site mitigation and flexible implementation timing within proposed detention basins to mitigate wetlands and riparian impacts with USF&W, US Army Corps, RWQCB, and State F&G to allow issuance of 401/404 regulatory permits and CEQA review of EIR to proceed for large masterplanned project in Riverside County. Negotiated with multiple other agencies/entities such as FAA, DoD, Caltrans, WRCOG, EMWD, WMWD, SCE, SCG, Verizon, DoVA, BNSF, AQMD, DTSC, RCTC, ALUC, JPA, USPS, MSHCP, CBD, County and surrounding municipalities for various project related approvals.
  • Representing plaintiff, settled litigation prior to trial with multiple adverse parties and their insurance companies over an undiscovered ancient landslide, failing retaining wall, and cracking parking lot of occupied 2-office building property, while leading the successful design and remediation of the issues with deep soldier piles, tiebacks, and architectural wall treatment.  Successfully developed and implemented strategy to obtain approval from City and Caltrans in complicated encroachment permit process and resolved issues with San Diego County MTDB incorporating design into multiple concepts for adjacent proposed Park-N-Ride site.  Resulting $20 million repair allowed sale of the completed, stabilized office property at maximum profit to owner several years later.
  • Obtained retroactive approvals and license for operation of Airport Park-N-Ride facility from LAWA, obtained entitlements for new Class “A” 5-story office building from City and ALUC, and demolition and abatement permits for 12-story office building from FAA, AQMD, RWQCB, and City. 
  • Strategized and worked with project’s engineer to create sewer mainline capacity study and made compelling case for previous property owner’s entitlement via previous use of such existing capacity with City and Orange County Sanitation District allowing negotiation and lease execution with garment dye tenant requiring 500K GPD discharge. 
  • Researched and documented the Offsite Riparian Habitat Restoration (subsequently destroyed by El Nino storms in 1994-95) in Aliso Creek in Aliso & Wood Canyons Park by Mission Viejo Company in mid-1980’s which served as a Global Mitigation Settlement for multiple development sites in south Orange County.  This resulted in allowing that restoration to account for the majority of the negotiated mitigation for the Project’s still-undeveloped wetlands area and ephemeral stream replacement with USF&W, US Army Corps, and State F&G, allowing grading for the construction of four-level parking structure and two Class A, 4-story office buildings to proceed.
  • Negotiated with the Orange County Sanitation District to pay future proposed reduced sewer connection/impact fee for two planned industrial buildings resulting in a savings of $83K.  Documented previous demolition permits by property seller and “tangible and intangible benefits” clause in PSA to successfully negotiate with School District a reduction in School Fees owed on five industrial buildings, resulting in savings of over $100K. 
  • Strategized in the immediate aftermath of the Northridge earthquake, as investor’s 3-story office building (which was not EQ insured) was red tagged by County building inspectors as the waterline in the street had been severed, eliminating fire sprinkler pressure, and a top floor fire sprinkler line separated causing extensive water damage to the several floors beneath.  Proactively hired water truck to pressurize the fire suppression system during working hours, brought in water coolers for drinking, and temporary water tank & pump for toilets; then successfully negotiated with inspectors to remove red tag and allow occupancy by tenants, including a County branch office, minimizing the loss of rental income and tenants.  Utilized EQ fire sprinkler leakage rider to property insurance policy claim to fund many of the interior repairs and conducted off hours ultrasonic steel weld inspections to assess structural integrity of building. 
  • Worked with property seller in Chula Vista to acquire adjacent, offsite triangular-shaped property to complete a rectangular site for a warehouse building including LAFCO annexation and street vacation. Convinced project engineer and City Engineering Department staff to allow existing public storm drain in vacated street to be converted to private maintenance and remain under the proposed building to drain the truck court, saving nearly $100K for removal and relocation. 
  • Developed 10 grading and street alignment studies and economic pro-formas included in project EIR focused on impact to existing Heritage Oak trees in County of Los Angeles, which led to approval of EIR and construction of 100-lot hillside subdivision, as well as saving and incorporating of most of the larger oaks into the final design. 
  • Negotiated the design and implementation of riparian/wetlands replacement habitat within Las Virgenes Creek with the County of Los Angeles and US Army Corps of Engineers, in one of the early Clean Water Act navigable waters enforcement actions in Southern California triggered by an environmental activist.  This allowed apartment developer client to proceed with grading and channel improvements for a 600-unit project with minimal loss of time in a tight schedule due to bond financing and winter construction deadline constraints.
  • Plan checked and managed approvals of landmark public-private sale and development of eyesore Flood Control District-owned drainage detention basin into upscale-gated residential project surrounding artificial lake with detention capability and public inundation easement in the City of Los Angeles.  Coordinated approvals with FEMA, RWQCB, and City.