Tay C. Via


Tay Via advises clients on commercial real estate, land use, and development. She specializes in large public/private projects and represents real estate companies, nonprofit entities, and other businesses, identifying strategies for navigating the increasingly complex real estate development process.

Her experience includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and laws and regulations regarding housing, climate change, redevelopment dissolution law, waterfront development (including the Bay Conservation and Development Commission and State Lands Commission), historic resources, and transportation.

Tay is the editor of the firm’s Unfamiliar Terrain blog, which provides insights into the complex Bay Area land use landscape.

Tay has served as lead counsel or played a primary role in providing CEQA and land use advice for the following matters:

  • Mission Rock, the development of a 28-acre, $1.6 billion project adjacent to Oracle Park by Seawall Lot 337 Associates, LLC, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
  • 5M, a 1.8 million square foot mixed-use development venture of Forest City Development and the Hearst Corporation at the juncture of San Francisco’s Downtown, South of Market (SoMa), and Mid-Market neighborhoods.
  • California Pacific Medical Center’s $2.5 billion Long Range Development Plan, including two new hospitals and three new medical buildings in CPMC’s five-campus system.
  • AT&T Park, the 42,000-seat waterfront ballpark/mixed-use project developed for the San Francisco Giants at China Basin.
  • The California Academy of Sciences, a world-class, 300,000 square-foot museum, aquarium, and planetarium in San Francisco.
  • The Exploratorium, the internationally renowned museum of science, art, and human perception in its relocation to piers 15-17 on the San Francisco waterfront.

Tay is a member of Lambda Alpha International and the Urban Land Institute. She serves on the Board of Trustees and as Co-Chair of the Site Committee for the Marin Horizon School.

Tay received her undergraduate degree in political science and economics from the University of California, Berkeley (1987) and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) (1991). While at Boalt, she served as a member of the California Law Review.

ProLogis (successor-in-interest to Catellus Development Corporation) and Focil-MB, Mission Bay Project
The Mission Bay Project is a 300-acre, mixed-use project that includes eight million square feet of commercial use space, a 43-acre U.C. Expansion Campus, and 6,000 housing units. This is one of California’s largest and most successful redevelopment projects, and Coblentz has been involved as the lead real estate counsel for over two decades. Tay’s involvement dates back to 1994. In 2011, Coblentz worked with Focil-MB in negotiating and closing a complex land deal in Mission Bay, valued at nearly $70 million.


Tay was recognized in 2017 as among the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers and the San Francisco Business Times’ Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence. She is listed by Chambers USA as a Noted Practitioner in the California Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use category. Tay was selected as the 2017 and 2019 Litigation – Land Use and Zoning “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco by Best Lawyers®. She has continuously been listed among the Best Lawyers in America for Land Use and Zoning Law and Litigation since 2008, and as a Northern California SuperLawyer.

Moderator, “Designing Places of Innovation: The Experience on the Ground,” Innovation Summit at Mission Bay

Urban Land Institute San Francisco Residential Local Product Council, Housing Product Panel

Editor and Contributor, Unfamiliar Terrain