Jay is a nationally recognized legal expert in innovative finance and regulatory strategies for urban redevelopment and public infrastructure projects. He practices in the areas of Land Use and Project Development, Municipal Law and Public Finance. Jay represents project developers and governments seeking to solve complex land use, real estate development, urban redevelopment, and infrastructure issues.
- Keeping a major stadium project on track
- Public-Private Partnership Key to Quitchupah Creek Road Project
- Transit-Oriented Mixed-Use Development Underway in Twin Cities Metro
- Minnesota wins with new Vikings stadium
- Innovative funding for Mall of America expansion
- Public-private redevelopment in Wayzata, Minnesota
- Coralville, Iowa, completes mixed use development through public-private partnership
Jay has helped build billions of dollars worth of projects that create vibrant communities and have the infrastructure needed to make the projects successful. His representative legal skills include:
- Development Agreements
- Representation of clients before executive, legislative, regional, and municipal governments
- Public-private partnerships, including construction and operations agreements
- Municipal comprehensive planning, zoning and boundary adjustments
- Public finance, municipal budgeting and economic development programs (including TIF and tax abatement)
- Housing and Redevelopment Authorities
- Cooperative agreements between governmental units
- Municipal corporation governance, including public hearing and open meeting requirements and procedures
- Government contracting and public procurement, both competitive and negotiated
- Ethical practices requirements of public officials
- Legislative bill drafting
He began his legal career in the Public Finance practice group, serving as bond counsel, issuer’s counsel and underwriter’s counsel in state, municipal and industrial development bond financings.
Jay is the former Chief Administrative Officer of the Metropolitan Council, the regional agency in charge of community development, land use planning, transit, open space and wastewater treatment for the seven-county Twin Cities, Minnesota metropolitan area. As regional administrator, he oversaw a $530 million annual budget and 3,700 employees. Jay was the Council’s general counsel prior to being named regional administrator. While at the Council, he worked on comprehensive land use planning programs throughout the Twin Cities region and was instrumental in the development of the region’s first light rail line.
Jay was an elected member of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly for 10 years, serving in both the House and the Senate.
Recent representative projects include:
- General Counsel to the public authority that developed and owns the the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium -- home of the Minnesota Vikings.
- General Counsel to public agency that owns and operates Minnesota’s first light rail line.
- Redevelopment counsel to City of Edina, Minnesota on $500 million mixed-use urban redevelopment project.
- Redevelopment counsel to City of Wayzata, Minnesota on $200 million downtown redevelopment project.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
- "Canada & U.S. 'Buy American' Agreement Signed," Dorsey & Whitney E-Update Co-Author, February 2010
- “Using Stimulus Funds to Jumpstart Stalled Development Projects,” Dorsey & Whitney E-Update Co-Author, July 2009
- Jay has been a frequent speaker throughout the Twin Cities area and nationally on topics including tax increment financing, public-private partnerships, land use law and planning, "Smart Growth" initiatives, transportation policy, and regional governance.
- Speaker, Takings Conference 2017: The 20th Annual Conference on Litigating Taking Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations, October 6, 2017.
- Panelist, Public-Private Partnership Summit, Roseville, Minnesota, May 24, 2017.
- Speaker, Using Public Private Partnerships (P3s) for Facilities and Infrastructure Development, Dorsey & Whitney's Annual Des Moines Symposium, October 27, 2016.
- Speaker, “Leveraging Public Investment: Economic Impact of U.S. Bank Stadium on Downtown East Redevelopment,” Construction Law Section of Minnesota Bar’s Symposium, June 22, 2016.
- Speaker, P3 Hub Midwest Conference, June 1-2, 2016.
- Speaker, Public-Private Partnership Conference (P3C) & Expo, March 7-9, 2016.
- Speaker, “Buy & Large: Tour of the Vikings Preview Center,” What’s Trending in Public Finance, Ehlers Minnesota Public Finance Seminar, February 4, 2016.
- “The Art of Negotiation,” Minnesota Chapter of American Planning Association, October 2014.
- Speaker, “Urban Redevelopment – The Big Picture,” MSBA Construction Law Symposium, June 13, 2014.
- "Using Tax Increment in Affordable Housing Projects," Minnesota Affordable Housing Conference, May 2014.
- Panelist, Financing, Developing & Constructing Public Infrastructure in the Bakken, April 16, 2014.
- "Financing Your Project: Infrastructure Development Tools and Innovation," Financing, Developing & Constructing Public Infrastructure in the Bakken, Bismarck, North Dakota, April 2014.
- Speaker, “The Art of Negotiation– How to Get Your Stubborn Cow in the Corral For Showtime,” Ehlers Minnesota Public Finance Seminar, February 7, 2014.
- Panelist, “Regional Governance: The Big Picture,” League of Minnesota Cities/Metro Cities, November 2013.
- "Building Minnesota through PPPs: The New Vikings/Multi-Purpose Stadium and Rochester’s Destination Medical Center Initiative," Dorsey & Whitney's Corporate Counsel Symposium, October 2013.
- “Land Use 101: Entitlements,” Urban Land Institute – Minnesota Chapter, October 2013.
- "Regional Government: Model for the 21st Century?" Sensible Land Use Coalition, May 2013.
- "Parks: The Foundation of Regional Livability," Lambda Alpha International, January 2012.
- Panelist, "Navigating the New Normal for Future Development," Urban Land Institute - Minnesota Chapter, January 2012.
- Panelist, "ULI in Action on Transportation and Infrastructure: A Catalyst for Sustainable and Competitive Regions," Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting & Urban Land Expo, Los Angeles, October 2011.
- "Reinvesting in the Region: An Action Plan to Make it Easier to Do Better," Compact Development in the Suburbs: Solving Infrastructure and Financing Challenges, Urban Land Institute, October 2011.
- Facilitator, "Funding and Financing: Municipal Bonds, Tax Increment Financing, and Value Capture," Compact Development in the Suburbs: Solving Infrastructure and Financing Challenges, Urban Land Institute, October 2011.
- Panelist, "Public-Private Partnerships," Transportation Research Conference, University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies, May 2011.
- "Regionalism and Encouraging Great Regional Cooperation," National League of Cities, July 2010.
- "Public-Private Partnerships in High-Speed Rail Development," Webinar, May 2010.
- "Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation: Determining a Fit for Minnesota?" ULI Minnesota, April 2010.
- Moderator, "Metropolitan Highway System Investment Study Policymaker Workshop," a joint effort of the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, January 2010.
- "Managing Risks under the P3 Model: What Needs to Happen to Attract Private Capital?" Construction Super Conference, San Francisco, December 2009.
- "Creative Alternative Sources of Financing in Today's Market: Government Money, Private Equity, Non-Traditional Sources and Seller Financing," Real Estate Institute, November 2009.
- "Next Steps for Regionalism: What Fits the Twin Cities Greater Metro Area?" Regional Policy Conference, September 2009.
- "Connecting People, Jobs & Communities," Regional Business Organization Conference, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, September 2009.
- "Regionalism: The Role of the Metropolitan Council," Atlanta Leadership Visit, Atlanta Regional Commission, May 2009.
- "Getting Local Land Use Approvals," University of St. Thomas Real Estate Leadership Forum, February 2009.
- "Zoning and Land Use," Real Estate Law Conference, September 2008.
- "Not Just a Walk in the Park: What You Need to Know About Current Issues Concerning Parkland Dedication and Fees," Real Estate Institute, November 2007.
- "Taxable and Tax Exempt TIF Revenue Bonds," Ehlers & Associates Public Finance Seminar, February 2007.
- "Development Agreements: Practical Tips for Greenfields, Brownfields and Greyfields," Minnesota Association of City Attorneys Educational Conference, February 2006.
- "Understanding Land Use and Other Concepts in Mixed Development," Lorman Education Services Seminar on Urban Development and Redevelopment in Minnesota, August 2005.
- "TIF Financing Issues," Ehlers & Associates Public Finance Seminar, February 2005.
- "Mixed Up About Mixed Use? Understanding Land Use and Other Concepts in Mixed Use Development," Real Estate Institute, November 2004.
- "Alternative Revenue Sources and Financial Planning," Ehlers & Associates Public Finance Seminar, February 2005.
- "Transportation & the Twin Cities Economy: A Business Community Discussion," January 2004.
- "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Developing Town Centers and Urban Villages," Minnesota Chapter of American Planning Association, October 2004.
- "The Role of the Metropolitan Council: Development in the 7 County Region," Real Estate Institute, November 2003.
- "The Metropolitan Council: Minnesota's Comprehensive, Compelling and Controversial Model for Metropolitan Land Planning," International Municipal Lawyers’ Association Conference, October 2003.
- "Law and the Policy of Suburban Sprawl," American Constitution Society, October 2003.
- "Comparing Minnesota & Washington Growth Management Acts," Inter City Leadership Visit, September 2003.
- "LRT and the Environment," Hennepin County Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee, October 2001.
- "Growing Smart to Preserve Natural Resources," Metro Environment Breakfast Series, June 2001.
- "Growing Smarter in the Twin Cities," Minneapolis Kiwanis Club, April 2001.
- "Building Communities that Work," Women’s Transportation Seminar, January 2001.
- "Environmentally Responsible Transportation," Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, October 2000.
Industries & Practices
- Construction & Design
- Development & Infrastructure
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
- Project Development & Finance
- Public Finance
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Real Estate & Land Use
Professional & Civic
- Chair, The Urban Land Institute's Infrastructure Advisory Group (2011-2013)
- Co-chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Initiative sponsored by ULI-Minnesota and the Regional Council of Mayors
- Member, National Conference of State Legislatures, Project on Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- The Minnesota Bar Association
- The Hennepin County Bar Association
- The North Dakota Bar Association
- Lambda Alpha International (an honorary land economics society)
- Board Member, Tubman (Family Services)
- Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
- Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” (Band 1) by Chambers USA (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use), 2005-2020
- Named Best Lawyers Minneapolis Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year, 2015
- Selected by peers for Best Lawyers in America©, 2006-2021
- MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2012 and 2017-2019