David Gest
David Gest

David M. Gest

Associate

gestd@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8143
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

David M. Gest has a wide-ranging real estate practice focused on zoning and land use matters. Mr. Gest has experience working with city planners, architects, landscape architects, and environmental and historic preservation consultants on major development projects. He has also worked with an array of city agencies and community groups throughout the zoning and historic preservation review processes.

Mr. Gest also has experience with many aspects of transactional real estate work, including complex due diligence review, property acquisition and disposition, construction agreements, eminent domain, and leasing of retail, office, and laboratory space.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Gest worked as a consultant for a leading historic preservation consulting firm in California. Mr. Gest also holds a Master of City Planning degree with a focus in community and economic development.

Representative Matters
  • Assisted developer in obtaining legislative and administrative approvals for a 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project with 480 dwelling units, three levels of structured parking, and 80,000 square feet of retail in Philadelphia
  • Assisted national hotel company in obtaining Philadelphia Historical Commission approval for a controversial modification of the region’s most iconic and historically important building identification sign
  • Assisted developer in obtaining significant use and dimensional zoning variance relief for a 132-unit mixed use project in the Spruce Hill section of Philadelphia

Pro Bono Experience

Mr. Gest serves as pro bono real estate counsel to the Mural Arts Program, which has spearheaded more than 3,800 murals around Philadelphia and was named by Forbes magazine as "the most influential mural arts organization in the world."


Professional Activities

Urban Land Institute

American Bar Association, Section of State and Local Government Law

Philadelphia Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal Intelligencer's 2016 Lawyers on the Fast Track

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "The Mural Arts Program: A Multi-Faceted Legal Landscape," presentation to Greater Philadelphia Delaware Valley Association of Corporate Counsel, June 26, 2015

Panelist, "Beyond Zoning: Philadelphia's Other New Land Use Regulations," Ballard Spahr briefing, Philadelphia, October 15, 2013


Columbia Law School (J.D. 2010)
Submissions Editor, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, 2008-2010

University of Pennsylvania School of Design (M.C.P. 2010, city planning/community and economic development)
Recipient, Edmund Bacon Award for Best Professional Project; Daniel J. Curtin Fellow

Yale University (B.A. 2003, architecture/urban studies, cum laude with distinction in major)
Yale President's Public Service Fellow

New York

Pennsylvania