Marcus E. Martinez

Attorney, Elrod Friedman LLP

Marcus E. Martinez

Attorney, Elrod Friedman LLP


About Marcus Martinez

Marcus Martinez focuses his practice on real estate transactions, zoning, land use, and municipal law.  Marcus’ commercial real estate practice includes counseling clients on acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financing, and public-private partnerships.  He also works with private developers and property owners to obtain municipal approvals for real estate development projects including zoning changes, special uses, variations, annexation and development agreements, subdivisions, and planned developments.

Prior to joining Elrod Friedman, Marcus served in the City of Chicago’s Department of Law for thirteen years.  As an attorney in the Law Department’s Real Estate and Land Use Division, Marcus provided legal assistance to the Department of Planning and Development, Department of Housing, and Department of Transportation, among other client departments in connection with the purchase, sale, leasing, condemnation, zoning and development of land.  In that role, Marcus negotiated land acquisitions and sales; drafted a variety of transactional documents, including redevelopment agreements, intergovernmental agreements, leases, and rights of entry; oversaw the City’s eminent domain program; efficiently coordinated and closed transactions; and served as counsel to the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. Marcus also represented the City’s Department of Housing before the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.

Marcus also represents municipal and local government clients in real estate acquisition matters; annexation and development agreements; intergovernmental agreements; construction and consulting contracts; ethics compliance; license and concession agreements; and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act.

In addition to his transactional work, Marcus has extensive litigation experience. During his tenure with the Chicago Law Department, he oversaw high-visibility eminent domain proceedings and handled complex matters in chancery court, criminal court, administrative hearings and administrative review.  In that capacity, he participated in multi-departmental taskforces and represented the City in numerous high-profile, high-stakes litigation matters.

Marcus is passionate about public service and has a track record of advocating for underserved communities.  During law school, Marcus served as a PILI Fellow in the Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) Housing Law Program.  In that role, Marcus advocated for low-income Cook County residents against wrongful terminations of public housing vouchers and to secure the return of security deposits.  Marcus also helped establish DePaul University College of Law’s Special Education Advocacy Clinic, a program designed to protect the educational rights of children with developmental disabilities.


  • DePaul University College of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Bachelor of Science in Management
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Chicago Bar Association

Representative Matters

Representation of the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development in various projects, including:

  • Sale of city-owned property as part of redevelopment agreement for a community art lawn project on Garfield Boulevard in collaboration with the University of Chicago.
  • Acquisition of private land for the relocation of a Streets and Sanitation facility.
  • Redevelopment agreement amendments for anaerobic digester and renewable energy facility.
  • Land acquisition for conveyance to NeighborSpace for el Paseo Community Garden.
  • Sale of city-owned property to Veterans of America for Hope Manor Village.
  • Exchange of land with Salvation Army for establishment of new Chicago Park District skate park.

Representation of the Chicago Department of Transportation in various projects, including:

  • 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project under Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program.
  • Division Street Widening Project.

Representation of the Zoning Board of Appeals in administrative review case Tri-Taylor Community Association, et al. v. the ZBA, et al.

Representation of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events on lease agreements with National Public Radio, After School Matters, Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Millennium Park Foundation, Story Corp, Design Museum, and the Chicago Park District.

Community Service

  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee
  • Housing Law PILI Fellow for Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic

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