Dean Spina has over thirty-eight years of experience in economic development, real estate, bank financing and tax-exempt bond financing. He has been involved in real estate and local government matters from annexation to zoning, including subdivisions, property tax appeals, tax increment financing, land use approvals and the purchase and sale of property for industrial, commercial and residential development.
In 2017, Dean obtained reductions in assessed values of twenty-three tax parcels exceeding a combined $8,200,000. In 2021, Dean worked on in the appeals of a retail mall and two hotel properties with a combined reduction in assessed values, obtained with minimal expense, of nearly $6,300,000.
On behalf of developers, Dean has worked on scores of tax increment and tax abatement agreements with city and counties throughout Iowa, including the purchase of land from cities and counties and subsequent development of the land. He has worked on behalf of employers on numerous state economic development agreements.
Since 1985, Dean has prepared hundreds of industrial new jobs training agreements under the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Act.
Dean spearheaded a change in Iowa law that enabled numerous non-profit organizations in the state of Iowa to reduce their borrowing costs by the use of private activity bonds resulting in tax-exempt interest savings of millions of dollars. He has represented banks and non-profit organizations with tax exempt bond financings of senior housing, college buildings, a sectarian high school, children’s services campuses and office buildings for non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses using Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds, including a large medical office building, retail and office buildings and an agricultural property.
Representing local and national banks, Dean has prepared complex loan documents for a shopping center, a casino, hotels, office buildings, and retirement and nursing home facilities. Dean has represented owners and borrowers on projects where funding was secured from or insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Fannie Mae.
Dean has worked on the subdivision of large tracts of land into commercial, industrial and residential lots in several Eastern Iowa cities and counties, including but not limited to Tiffin, North Liberty, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, and Linn County.
Recognition by his peers has resulted in Dean’s selection by Best Lawyers in the areas of Economic Development and Public Finance and by Super Lawyers (Plains) in the area of Real Estate.
Dean has served on the board of directors of numerous non-profit organizations including a national museum, a housing trust fund, one of the nation’s foremost advocates for trees, home builders (local and state), a public market and organizations promoting social and racial justice and equal opportunity. He has been recognized as Associate Member of the Year in 2019 and 2021 by the Greater Cedar Rapids Area Housing & Building Association.
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- Bachelor’s Degree with honors, University of Iowa, 1975
- Juris Doctorate with distinction, University of Iowa College of Law, 1981
- Order of the Coif
- Iowa State Courts
- United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Economic Development and Public Finance Law
- Listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers® for Real Estate 2013, 2019-2021
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Section on State and Local Government Law
- Section on Business Law
- Section on Health Law
- Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Health Law Section Council, former member (2016-2018)
- Government Practice Section Council,
former member (2008-2014)
- Linn and Johnson County Bar Associations
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- Guest Lecturer, University of Iowa College of Law
Civic and Volunteer Involvement
- Greater Cedar Rapids Area Housing & Building Association, Board of Directors
- Associate Member of the Year in 2019, 2021
- First Light Christian Fellowship, Board of Directors, past President
- NewBo City Market Board of Directors, former member, past President
- Matthew 25 Ministry Hub Board of Directors, former member and officer
- Housing Fund for Linn County Board of Directors, former member, past Chair
- National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, former Board member and past officer
- Trees Forever Board of Directors, former member
- Ecumenical Community Center Foundation Board of Directors, past President and former Board member
- Home Builders Association of Iowa Board of Directors
- National Association of Home Builders - Remodelers Council, Board of Trustees
- Joined Bradley & Riley PC in 1983
- Law Clerk for the Honorable Harold D. Vietor, United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 1981-1983
- Bradley & Riley’s Health Law Practice Group, Chair
Speeches and Publications
- “A Detailed Look at Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds” (2010)
- “Disaster Area Bonds” (2009)
- “Economic Recovery Stimulated by Tax-Exempt Bonds” (2009)
- “Disaster Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses” (2009)
- Contributing Author, Legal Guide for Iowa Nonprofits, Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, University of Iowa College of Law
- Represented two entities as tenants in common of 25 acres of commercial land with formation of acquiring entities, acquisition and land development financing, construction financing, urban renewal funds, zoning, subdivision, permanent financing, single tenant leases, covenants, and property tax values.
- Represented newly-formed entity, with 100 acres of land, in formation of entity, negotiation of option to purchase in excess of 400 acres of undeveloped land in two adjacent cities, and subsequent approval of zoning and subdivision relating to 160 acres, negotiation of development agreement with city, completion of acquisition and land development financing, negotiation of land development contract with contractor, and preparation of covenants.
- Negotiated and drafted urban renewal tax increment agreement to redevelop three city blocks with commercial and residential uses. The land was purchased from the city.