Bruce Baker co-leads the firm’s Campus Infrastructure & Community Development team. He focuses on the construction aspects of real estate development and financing projects.
What do you focus on?
Design, development and construction contracts
I represent owners, developers and lenders in connection with the structuring and negotiation of EPC, design/build, design and construction contracts for complex projects in all asset classes, ranging from commercial and institutional buildings to sports stadiums, toll roads and airport terminals as well as power plants and process manufacturing facilities. Most of the clients I represent are in the higher education, power generation and food/beverage manufacturing industries. In addition to structuring and negotiating design and construction agreements, I represent clients in negotiating development and joint venture agreements, contract interpretation and claims consulting and performance security matters.
Campus Infrastructure & Community Development
How can colleges and universities partner with their surrounding communities to build facilities that support the economic health of the area? What ways can academic institutions leverage private financing—or public programs—to build these facilities? I am intrigued by the interaction between academic institutions and their surrounding communities and how this factors into campus development projects, especially in urban locations where space is precious.
Public Private Partnerships (P3)
Over the past ten years, I have been actively involved in some of the largest and most visible P3 projects in the U.S., generally from the perspective of meshing the concessionaire’s design and construction obligations with the analogous provisions of the EPC/design-build contract and key subcontracts. I recently was a lead member of the team that represented Cook County in negotiating a ground lease and redevelopment agreement for a parcel near Stroger Hospital that will provide for the redevelopment of the century-old Cook County Hospital into a mixed-use facility.
Energy facilities/Powerplant Decommissioning
For the past four years, we have represented Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (a subsidiary of Avangrid) in all aspects of the remediation and demolition of two legacy coal-fired power plants in the Rochester, NY area, as well as the auctioning of two smaller peaking units located elsewhere in Western New York. Our Energy/Environmental and Real Estate groups handled all aspects of the demolition process, including environmental, land use, site access and the bidding and negotiation of a series of contracts, including contracts for construction management, engineering services and demolition. Demolition has been underway since early 2015, and we have been involved in follow-on advice dealing with change orders, claims, permitting questions and contract administration matters. I was the co-lead partner (along with an environmental partner) addressing the real estate and construction aspects of this project.