b'A FOUNDATIONFOR FUTURE SUCCESSWhentheleadersofthenonprofitCradlestoexpandthe38,000-square-footbuilding,which Crayonsrealizedthatrenewingtheleaseforwould require city permits and zoning approval. theirBrighton,MassachusettsheadquartersCradles again turned to Eric for assistance. He couldcostthemthreeorfourtimesmoreinenlistedattorneyRebeccaLee,whoadvised rent, they were afraid that the financial strainCradles based on her deep knowledge of zoningThis is the biggest would affect their ability to provide services toanddevelopmentpermittingandtheresearchinvestment we have the disadvantaged children that depend on them.conducted by Phil. Ultimately, the organization Theorganization,whichalsohasoperationsdecidedthatpursuingthepermittingreviewever made as an in Philadelphia and Chicago, provides new andwould jeopardize both its targeted move-in dateorganization. It was nearly-new clothing, school supplies, and otherand opening, and Cradles elected not to move essentials to 150,000 homeless and low-incomeforward with plans to modify the building.really essential that children in Massachusetts each year and 300,000As the closing date approached, another majorwe had top-notch children nationally. Its headquarters includes awrinklearose.Cradlesinitiallyintendedtocounsel supporting GivingFactorywarehouse,wherevolunteerspurchasethebuildingwithconventional sortandpackagedonationsfordistribution.bankfinancingbutdecidedabout45daysus and providing With rents for commercial property in Bostonprior to closing to seek a more tax advantagedadvice along the skyrocketing, it was time for Cradles to Crayonsalternativeatax-exemptbondfinancing.Eric to consider owning its own home. way. We couldnt sought the assistance of attorney Meghan Burke FortuitouslyforCradles,Mintzrealestateand then-Mintz attorney Colin McNiece.have asked for a attorneyEricFreemanheardabouttheMeghansandColinsmarketknowledgeandbetter partner organizationspredicamentwhileatadinnerexperienceintax-exemptfinancingprovedthan Mintz.with Dean Athanasia, the chair of the nonprofitsinvaluabletoCradles,andwiththeirsupport, national board of directors. Eric was eager to help,EricshepherdedCradlestoasuccessfulLYNN MARGHERIOandhequicklysecuredapprovalfromMintzsJanuary2019closing.Asofmid-June2019,Founder & CEOPro Bono Committee for the firm to get involved.Mintz has devoted 348 pro bono hours to thisCradles to CrayonsAfter thoroughly reviewing Cradles agreementproject, and the firms work is not over yet. As withitsbroker,Erichelpedtheorganizationthe organization begins renovating the building, negotiateapurchaseandsaleagreementinattorneyRebeccaRaphaelsonwillcontinue October2017fortheNewton,Massachusettstoassisttheorganizationbyreviewingits property that its leadership decided to purchase.construction contracts on a pro bono basis.WithassistancefromattorneyPhilFieldand legal specialist Diana Crockett, Eric then guidedBeing able to do work for an organization whose Cradlesthroughanintensive30-daydiligencemission is to help underprivileged families and process,conductingacomprehensivereviewkids is very rewarding, Eric said. You just dont ofthepropertystitle,thelandsurvey,andget that same feeling with commercial projects. zoning issues. AfterthediligenceprocessandafterCradles approximately$200,000depositbecame nonrefundableacomplicationarose.The organization wanted to explore whether it could PERSPECTIVES // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 23'