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Joshua Lee Smith is a land use and real estate lawyer focusing on complex commercial real estate matters involving permitting, acquisitions, leasing, environmental compliance and financing. His clients primarily consist of developers, public and private corporations, public utility companies, colleges and universities and lending institutions. He works on a variety of matters involving urban and suburban developments and mixed-use multifamily, retail, office, public utility, industrial, education and hotel projects.

Josh works closely with public utility companies on projects involving the siting, development and permitting of bulk power substations, gas turbine generator facilities, high-voltage transmission lines, solar photovoltaic generation systems and operations and equipment management facilities. He serves as an expert zoning witness in hearings before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

Clients turn to Josh to navigate challenging legal and business issues.

Besides work

Josh is active in his church and coaches his son’s Little League baseball team.


  • Board Member, Board of Directors of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau
  • Board Member, Board of Directors of the Southern Worcester County Economic Development Organization


  • Chairman, Board of Directors of Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Westborough Economic Development Committee
  • Finance Committee Member, Worcester Art Museum
  • Corporator, Greater Worcester Community Foundation
  • Board Member, Board of Directors of Music Worcester, Inc.
  • Executive Committee Member, Babson College Real Estate Career Affinity Network
  • Member, Asian-American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association


  • Named a Go To Lawyer for Commercial Real Estate, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2023)
  • “40 Under Forty,” Worcester Business Journal (2011)

Articles + Talks

Media Mentions

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law
  • B.S., summa cum laude, Babson College

 Permitting and zoning

  • Permitting for a highly-publicized $92 million performing arts center
  • Acquisition, development and financing of the former Worcester County Courthouse property involving a $53 million development of 117 residential units
  • Permitting for numerous transit-oriented developments involving high density multifamily mixed-use projects
  • Permitting for various adult-use marijuana retail, cultivation and product manufacturing establishments
  • Permitting for a 150,000 square foot office and research facility for an international medical device company
  • Permitting for a 139,000 square foot expansion of a collegiate athletic complex
  • Permitting for various large-scale public utility infrastructure and improvement projects throughout the Commonwealth, including projects involving two high-profile casino developments
  • Serving as an expert zoning witness for a public service corporation with respect to various matters before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities

Purchase, sales, leasing and licensing

  • Highly-publicized purchase and ground leasing of property and permitting for development of a 36,000 square foot academic center
  • Purchase, leasing and development of numerous gasoline station and convenience store sites throughout the Commonwealth for publicly-traded and private operators
  • Negotiation of a highly-publicized license for semi-pro hockey team
  • Purchase and financing of multi-tenant shopping centers
  • Purchase and development of a highly publicized 35,000 square foot retreat center
  • Purchase of a former hospital site in a multi-phased, 10-year acquisition involving numerous real estate, environmental, zoning and leasing issues

Financing and development

  • Financing of a highly-publicized, $33 million, 168-room hotel development
  • Historic rehabilitation of a 135,000 square foot former newspaper building complex involving New Markets and historic tax credits
  • Financing of a highly-publicized $18 million hockey rink facility and mixed use development
  • Leasing and development of large-scale solar photovoltaic generation facilities in various communities, including consultation of one of the largest multi-community solar build outs in the state’s history, with over 50,000 solar panels
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