Craig S. Biesterfield practices in the Real Estate Department at Lewis Rice. Craig has extensive experience in commercial real estate and development law and municipal law, which works to the advantage of his clients in both the public and private sectors. His practice includes acquisitions, leasing, development, zoning and land-use regulation, and government regulation and permitting, including code enforcement and appeal. Craig assists clients in the use of numerous economic development programs such as tax increment financing (TIF), tax abatement, special business districts (SBD), and community improvement districts (CID).
Craig also represents cities and other local governmental entities, and he is a long-time city attorney for a St. Louis area municipality.
Craig was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 1995-2019 and was included in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® in 2005-2016. Additionally, Best Lawyers named him St. Louis "Lawyer of the Year" for various categories including Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law, Litigation - Real Estate, and Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Law, from 2011-2013, 2015, and 2019.
Prior to joining Lewis Rice, Craig was a partner at Husch Blackwell.
Represented a historic riverfront mixed use, commercial, and entertainment district in downtown St. Louis.
Represented an inner-ring suburb in rejuvenation of its historic downtown area into a thriving retail, restaurant, and entertainment district.
Advised a municipality in redeveloping an older substandard residential area adjacent to what had become a major traffic thoroughfare into a more suitably situated major commercial retail center, while negotiating minimal public assistance.
Counseled a start-up wireless telecommunications company in all real estate, zoning and construction aspects of the development of its network real estate, including typical cell tower sites as well as “pine tree,” “windmill,” “flag pole,” “cross” and other stealth applications, rooftop locations, co-locations and switches, as well as retail store sites.
Represented leading wireless communications companies and tower companies in development of hundreds of wireless communication transmission sites, switches, microwave hubs, retail stores, warehouses, and office locations in Missouri and Illinois, from infancy of the wireless communication industry through the present. Experience includes real estate, zoning, construction, and litigation matters.
Secured federal and state court orders that overturned local government denials of permits for wireless communications facilities, including winning broad injunctive relief against local governments and neighboring property owners prohibiting interference with the construction of wireless telecommunications facilities.
Counseled several regulated and non-regulated owners and operators of multiple-site fiber-optic networks utilizing public rights of way, utility easements and pole attachment and conduit licensing agreements.
Represented electric utility in connection with pole attachment agreement with telecommunications company.
Advised on numerous economic development programs, including tax increment financing (TIF), special business districts (SBD), community improvement districts (CID), Chapter 353 Urban Redevelopment, Missouri’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, St. Louis Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA), and Chapter 100 projects.
- University of Missouri School of Law (J.D., 1978)
- Order of the Coif
- Note and Comment Editor, Missouri Law Review
- Board of Advocates
- Westminster College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1975)
- Partner, Husch Blackwell
- Partner, Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin
- Partner, Peper, Martin, Jensen, Maichel and Hetlage
- Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) (2000-present)
- Chair, Land Use/Environmental Committee (2007-2011)
- American Bar Association
- Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
- Urban, State, and Local Government Law Section
- Communication Law Forum
- Real Estate and Development Committee, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- Missouri Bar
- Property Law Committee
- Local Public Law Committee
- Disciplinary Hearing Officer
- Missouri Economic Development Financing Association
- Missouri Municipal Attorneys Association
- Municipal Attorneys Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Urban Land Institute
- Missouri Bar
- Illinois Bar
Honors & Awards
- Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers (2004-2018)
- The Best Lawyers in America (1995-2019)
- St. Louis "Lawyer of the Year"
- Land Use and Zoning Law (2011, 2015)
- Real Estate Law (2012)
- Litigation - Land Use and Zoning (2013)
- Litigation - Real Estate (2019)
- St. Louis "Lawyer of the Year"
- Chambers USA, Real Estate Law (2010-2017)
- The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers
- Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® (2005-2016)
- Who's Who in America
- Who's Who in American Law