Allison L. Bergman

Practice Areas

Real Estate
  • Development
  • Project Finance
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Incentives
Transportation
  • Ports
  • Transit
  • Freight Rail
  • Highway/Right-of-Way

Education

University of Missouri
Kansas City School of Law, J.D., 1996

Virginia Commonwealth
University, B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1992

Admissions

Missouri

Community Engagement

Kansas City, Missouri Employee Retirement System Trustee, 2011-2017

Urban Land Institute (ULI), Advisory Board, 2014-2017

Prior Affiliations

Lathrop and Gage, LLP
Stinson Leonard Street fka
Morrison and Hecker LLP
U.S. Army Jag Corps
U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb
Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Who she is. Allison is the legal architect of notable private and public/private partnerships in real estate and transportation. Her mastery extends to large-scale infrastructure, industrial, port, commercial real estate, intermodal and transload facilities, apartments, hotels, and student housing projects. She is a veteran development attorney in the port, airport, rail and transit sectors. Allison also has a long history acquiring, developing, and managing right-of-ways, and interfacing with utilities and regulators. She brings particular skill and knowledge to project finance and land development. Allison’s currency is creativity, smarts, tenacity, and connections.

What she does. Tapped at project inception, Allison structures and develops a financing and implementation framework for each development project, and then drives it to completion. Transactions led by Allison involve conduit bonds, housing tax credits, tax-exempt financing, New Market Tax Credits, Brownfield and historic tax credits, and grants and loans from HUD, DOT, EPA. She also secures incentives for her clients, using tools such as tax increment financing, exempt sale-leasebacks, PACE loans, and tax abatement. With 20 years of legal expertise under her belt, Allison provides seasoned counsel on matters involving property acquisition, sale, development, condominiums, covenants, commercial leasing, land platting, zoning, and taxing district matters.

Allison’s projects typically involve governmental oversight. Her understanding of regulations is documented: for 11 years, she co-authored the Federal Regulations section of the Missouri Bar Association’s Real Estate Practice Handbook. Allison also interprets and monitors Davis-Bacon, M/WBE contractor utilization, public bidding, and procurement mandates. Coupling legal experience with her education in urban planning, Allison also drafts economic development, planning, and transportation studies. She also drafts governance and compliance policies.

Who she represents. Allison represents developers, issuers, and public agencies, and works seamlessly—on national and local projects—with lenders, architects, engineers, and construction contractors, to put ideas to work. She also manages client obligations which continue after project implementation, as well as post-closing corporate compliance. By having a broad client base, Allison understands challenges and opportunities, from many perspectives.

For over a decade, Allison served as assistant and then general counsel to one of the nation’s oldest functioning freight terminal railroads. She negotiated rail transport, industrial, and service agreements, some of which required approval of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. Allison has successfully led numerous multimillion dollar rail expansion and infrastructure projects, west of the Mississippi. Allison has also served as legal counsel to transit authorities. For one, she managed its extensive property portfolio, and led park-and-ride and transit center developments.

Recent experiences. Allison has practiced as a development and transportation attorney for nearly two decades. A small sampling of what she’s done, just recently:
  • In the last two years, Allison served as lead counsel to an issuer of more than 600 million dollars in conduit financings, involving both local developers and national mega-corporations.
  • Allison co-authored amendments to the State of Missouri’s port special taxing district legislation, enabling the next generation of development for Missouri ports. Afterward, as the lead counsel, Allison established – by judicial approval - the first four port improvement districts in the state.
  • Allison was lead counsel to a national bi-state airport authority and consummated a high-profile, six-party public/private partnership driven by a deadline established by Congress, on time.
  • For two public/private partnerships, Allison was co-lead counsel on freight rail infrastructure projects, both of which required federal and state regulatory approval. Post-closing, Allison ensured compliance on implementation, audit, accounting, and post-closing reporting requirements.
  • Allison manages right-of-way portfolios. For one client, she was the point-person for a right-of-way spanning two states and 90-miles. For a national utility, she acquired a bi-state pipeline, both by negotiation and condemnation.
  • Allison served as co-lead counsel of the finance portion of a streetcar expansion study, and authored the finance portions of Kansas City’s “transit oriented development” land use and incentive policy.
Recognition. Allison’s expertise is recognized on a national, state and local level:
  • UMKC Alumni Achievement Award-School of Law, 2013
  • Chambers USA as Leading Lawyer for Business, 2012
  • Women Worth Watching, Diversity Journal
  • Best Business Practitioner - Western District of Missouri - Missouri Lawyer’s Media, 2011
  • Best of the Bar for Real Estate, Kansas City Business Journal, 2011
  • Chambers USA’s Leading Law Firms, Transportation: Rail
  • Missouri Bar Association, finalist for Lawyer of the Year, 2009
  • Women Who Mean Business, Kansas City Business Journal, 2009
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer, 2007-2014
  • Kansas City’s Influential Women, Kansas City Business Magazine
  • 2007 Urban Land Institute, Advisory Board Member
  • American Bar Association, The Urban Lawyer, Editor-in-Chief
  • UMKC Law Review
Engagement. When not providing legal counsel to her clients, Allison enthusiastically applies her skills, to help build a thriving community:
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): Chair, 2013-2015, and Board Member, 2009-2015
  • UMKC School of Urban Planning – Visiting Guest Lecturer, 2010-2017
  • Metropolitan Energy Center, Board of Directors, 2002-2010
  • Sheffield Place, Board Chair, 2012-2013; Board Member; 2007-2013
  • American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, 2010
  • International Right of Way Association, 2016
  • Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge, Class of 2005
  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions, Class of 2003
Publications.
  • Co-author, Missouri Bar CLE Handbook, Real Estate - Chapter on Federal Regulations, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011
  • Covering Your Assets: Missouri’s New Limited Liability Partnership Law, Volume 63, No. 4, Summer 1995

More. Connect with Allison about structuring, elevating, and implementing your real estate or transportation project. Email abergman@hardwick.law.com, or call 816.221.5436.