Gregory T. Smith

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP

Gregory T. Smith

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP


About Greg Smith

Greg Smith is an economic development, land use, and local government focused attorney. As a partner at Elrod Friedman LLP, he works as general counsel and special counsel for public and private sector clients. Greg serves as Village Attorney for the Village of Berkeley, economic development counsel for the City of Aurora, Plan Commission counsel for the Village of Oak Park, and assists in representation of many of the Firm’s other clients.

Greg’s economic development experience spans a wide range of incentives and public-private partnership structures focused on improving economic conditions and generating additional tax revenues through high quality developments. He has a deep understanding of development incentives such as tax increment financing (TIF districts), special service areas, sales and utility tax sharing, and property tax abatements. Greg works with multidisciplinary teams on projects across real estate sectors including industrial, data centers, warehousing, gaming, office, retail, mixed-use, and residential, including affordable housing.

Greg’s land use work includes preparing and implementing development agreements, zoning approvals, annexations, leases, easements, real estate dispositions, and construction contracts. He also advises public and private sector clients on compliance with statutory and constitutional requirements applicable to processing land use development applications. Greg also advises on real estate transactions including purchases, sales, leases, and license agreements.

For public sector clients, Greg provides counsel on sunshine laws, contracts, ethics, intergovernmental relationships, taxation, and code compliance. His work includes negotiating and advising on software agreements, capital improvement projects, ordinances, and numerous municipal policies.

Greg also has broad litigation experience in Federal and State courts, with a focus on claims for breach of contract, equitable relief, and zoning disputes.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D.
  • DePaul University, B.S.
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


  • IICLE Municipal Law: Financing, Tax, and Municipal Property 2022 Edition
  • IICLE Land Use Law: Practice and Procedure 2021 Edition
  • Illinois Municipal League Manual on Municipal Business Regulation, Taxation and Licensing, 2020 Edition
  • Illinois Municipal League – The Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts, 2020 Edition

Representative Matters

  • Representation of NTT Global Data Centers Americas in obtaining annexation, zoning, and subdivision approvals for a multiphase data center campus in the Village of Itasca.
  • Representation of Vermilion Development in obtaining complex development and finance approvals for mixed-use, multi-facility public-private partnership for a University of Illinois project.
  • Representation of the City of Aurora in negotiating sales and property tax incentives for a US Foods facility.
  • Representation of the City of Aurora in negotiating economic incentives and land use development agreements for the Hollywood Casino relocation project and the Avalon Heights mixed use project.
  • Representation of a board of education in litigation culminating with the Illinois Supreme Court confirming the contiguity requirements in the Illinois Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act.
  • Representation of a local government in negotiating and drafting an intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority resulting in millions of dollars of additional compensation being paid by the Authority related to its condemnation of public property.

Community Service and Public Service

  • Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorneys Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Law Section and Real Estate Law Section Councils
  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
  • Chicago Bar Association, Local Government Committee

Speaking Engagements

Greg has presented on more than 80 occasions on a variety of economic development and land use topics, including:

  • DuPage County Bar Association & DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference “Identifying and Managing Local Land Use Pitfalls,” 2024
  • Illinois Government Finance Officers Association Professional Development Seminar “Legal and Financial Aspects of Tax Increment Financing Areas and Business Districts,” 2024
  • Elrod Friedman LLP Biennial Seminar “Major Land Use Projects and Lessons Learned (Big and Small),” 2023
  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association Annual Conference “Economic Development in Uncertain Times,” 2023
  • Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference “Anticipating & Getting Ahead of the Next Economic Slowdown,” 2019
  • Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference “Consolidating and Dissolving Units of Government: Getting Ahead of the Curve,” 2017
  • Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference “Economic Incentives Beyond TIF Districts: Creative Solutions to Promote Development,” 2017


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