Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP is now Arent Fox. Read the press release

Steve Atkinson

Steve specializes in land use, development law, and local, state, and federal development entitlements.
Steve Atkinson, Counsel at Arent Fox

Steve's clients include developers of residential, multi-family, office, hotel, and retail projects. Steve regularly represents clients in San Francisco on affordable housing requirements and transferable development rights transactions.

As a former attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington DC, Steve has in-depth knowledge of toxic substances, hazardous substances, remediation, and waste incineration. He was active in the development of the EPA’s new chemical review program under the Toxic Substances Control Act as well as the Superfund program. He continues to advise clients on hazardous substance contamination issues.

Previous Work

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Steve was senior counsel in the San Francisco office of a global law firm. He has practiced land use law in San Francisco for 30 years.

Client Work

Steve’s clients include developers from an array of projects, including hotel, retail, office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, technology, and education spaces, as well as large-scale master planning. His representative former projects include the Mountain House new town project in Tracy, CA; the Lafayette Town Center in Lafayette, the 101 Second Street project; the Infinity residential project on Rincon Hill, and the 10th and Market Street project, in San Francisco. Steve also has experience with entitlements for historic San Francisco buildings, including One Market Street and 150 Powell Street. 

Representative Projects



  • 55 2nd Street, San Francisco
  • 101 2nd Street, San Francisco
  • The Pacific Center, San Francisco
  • One Market Street, San Francisco
  • 300 Grant Avenue, San Francisco
  • Several "small cap" office projects, San Francisco


  • NEMA, 10th and Market Streets, San Francisco
  • The Infinity, San Francisco
  • 750 2nd Street, San Francisco
  • The Metropolitan, San Francisco
  • 45 Lansing Street, San Francisco
  • 325 Fremont Street, San Francisco
  • Oak Knoll Naval Hospital Conversion, Oakland
  • 829 Folsom Street, San Francisco
  • 80 Natoma, San Francisco
  • 650 Eddy Street, San Francisco
  • 950 Gilman Street, San Francisco
  • 150 Powell Street, San Francisco


  • The Pacific Center, San Francisco
  • M-31 Hotel, San Francisco


  • 300 Grant Avenue, San Francisco
  • The Pacific Center, San Francisco
  • 150 Powell Street, San Francisco
  • Oak Knoll Naval Base Conversion, Oakland
  • REI, 840 Brannan Street, San Francisco


  • Internet Service Exchange, 160 Harrison Street/365 Main Street, San Francisco
  • Telecom Exchange Project, 100 Harrison Street, San Francisco
  • Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Mission Bay, San Francisco
  • NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, San Francisco

Historical Buildings

  • One Market Street, San Francisco
  • The Pacific Center, San Francisco
  • 300 Grant Avenue, San Francisco
  • 150 Powell Street, San Francisco
  • Transferable Development Rights transctions, San Francisco

Suburban, Ex-urban, Town & Resort


  • Lafayette Town Center, Lafayette
  • Menlo Gateway, Menlo Park
  • Station 1300, Menlo Park
  • Burlingame Point, Burlingame


  • Lafayette Town Center, Lafayette
  • Bishop Ranch, Monterey
  • Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life, Palo Alto
  • Neary Lagoon Affordable Housing, Santa Cruz
  • Schaefer Heights, Dublin
  • 201 Mountain Wood Lane, Woodside
  • Station 1300, Menlo Park
  • Nine Lot Subdivision, Los Altos Hills


  • Ballena Isle Hotel/Office, Alameda
  • Breakers Inn, Mendocino County
  • Mission Hills Resort, Rancho Mirage


  • Lafayette Town Center, Lafayette
  • Morro Bay Shopping Center, Morro Bay
  • Williams-Sonoma, Sonoma

Technology, Industrial, Educational & Institutions

  • Seguin Moreau, Napa County
  • Montessori School, Park Merced, San Francisco
  • Shinnyo-En USA Headquarters, Burlingame
  • The Bridge School, Hillsborough
  • 24 Hour Fitness Club, Redwood City
  • Bay Club, Santa Clara
  • NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, San Francisco

Large-Scale Master Planning

  • Oak Knoll Naval Base Conversation, Oakland
  • Mountain House Community Plan, San Joaquin County

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Steve’s publications include:

  • “Airbnb Isn’t Under Attack Just Yet” – Daily Journal, May 6, 2014
  • “Fee Abatement to Stimulate Development” – The Registry, Bay Area Real Estate Journal, October 2009
  • Co-author, “Is San Francisco Serious About Meeting Its Housing Needs?” – San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association Newsletter, Report 412

Professional Activities

  • California State Bar Association
  • San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, Executive Committee
  • The Bridge School, Board of Directors
  • Industries
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • California Bar
    • District of Columbia Bar
  • Education
    Georgetown University Law Center
    James Madison College, Michigan State University