John F. Lushis Jr., a Member of the firm and Co-Chair of the Economic Development Law Practice, focuses his practice on real estate, commercial transaction law, and environmental law.
John provides counsel on many types of transactions, including leases, acquisitions and divestitures, tax-exempt and conventional financings, brownfields redevelopment, and an array of commercial agreements. He has worked on multi-million-dollar loans and major tax-exempt financings for businesses and non-profits, including Cetronia Ambulance Corps, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, and St. Luke’s Hospital. John has also been involved in tax increment financing projects, including Hamilton Crossings Retail Complex and West Hills Business Center. He serves as solicitor for Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority, and previously was solicitor to Northampton County New Jobs Corp, Northampton County General Purpose Authority, and Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corp.
With the growth of green energy projects in the United States, John has become involved in solar leases. One aspect of this involvement is his representation of property owners interested in leasing their property to entities that desire to construct solar panel facilities or “solar panel farms” on the property.
In late 2015, John became involved in “P3” projects (public-private partnerships), and is a lead architect of a first-of-its-kind P3 project in Pennsylvania. This project, which includes a novel financing structure, will allow Northampton County to replace or rehabilitate numerous bridges at substantial savings of cost and time compared to traditional methods. The project has become a model for other P3 projects and has received statewide and national attention. As an outgrowth of the project, John assisted in drafting legislation signed by Gov. Wolf in October 2017 to allow counties having a certain population, such as Northampton County, to construct a new jail using a P3 transaction structure.
As one of the firm’s corporate environmental counsel, John focuses on soil and groundwater issues and other environmental issues for various businesses.
John is registered to practice in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and his knowledge of intellectual property is a valuable resource for clients who have projects and transactions in this area.
John has represented prominent entities including Always Bagels, BB&T, Health Network Labs, Lehigh University, LifePath, Melting Pot Restaurants, and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
For over 22 years, John was in-house counsel for Bethlehem Steel, where he was co-lead counsel on the sale of assets to the International Steel Group for $1.5 billion to companies owned by Wilbur Ross, the United States Secretary of Commerce. While at Bethlehem Steel, John was heavily involved with brownfield redevelopment of the corporation’s Bethlehem property, and directed the development and implementation of strategies to manage substantial assets and liabilities associated with more than 75 of Bethlehem Steel’s facilities and properties in Pennsylvania, across the U.S., and internationally. During his career, he has been involved in transactions and financings totaling billions of dollars.