Stephen S. Aichele

Stephen S. Aichele

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (215) 972-7797
Fax: (215) 972-1861

Primary Office

Philadelphia
Centre Square West
1500 Market Street, 38th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2186

Stephen S. Aichele

Partner

Steve Aichele provides legal counsel on complex real estate development projects where issues involving land acquisition, approvals, financing and construction intersect with federal, state and local governments, particularly in Pennsylvania. While Steve has spent much of his 40-year career in private practice advising major developers, lenders and government entities on projects from their inception, through government approvals, to building and management, his perspective is also shaped by his experience serving in Pennsylvania state and local government. From 1983 through 1995, he served on the Planning Commission and then the Board of Supervisors of Tredyffrin Township, a 30,000-person municipality in suburban Philadelphia, and from January 2011 through October 2013, Steve was General Counsel and Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's administration, roles that required him, respectively, to run an office serving the legal needs of the entire executive branch and to manage its daily operations.

Underpinning the advice that Steve provides clients is a desire to help them balance their sometimes competing needs to meet government regulatory requirements and to move at the speed and with the precision required to pull off major real estate projects. Because Steve has built a career on negotiating with, and for, government, he understands the dynamics involved in these interactions and has deep experience navigating them. His sensitivity to the business needs of his clients is also shaped by the many leadership roles he has held at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, including past service as Managing Partner and Firm Chairman. Befitting his understanding of the complexities of government, he currently co-leads the firm's Regulatory, Compliance and Government team.

Before joining Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Steve served more than four years active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve after 25 years of total service with the rank of Captain.

Experience

Some of Steve's representations have included:

  • The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority in a $800 million dollar expansion encompassing an entire city block.
  • A developer in assuming private ownership of land in order to facilitate the redevelopment of three city blocks in downtown Philadelphia. The work included providing the legal foundation to aggregate publicly- and privately-owned land that had been controlled by an authority to transfer these parcels to private ownership and to adjust the underlying funding arrangements involving city and state government. Overlapping issues involved eminent domain, streets, public transportation historic protections and air rights, all regulated by government entities.
  • A major regional health care provider in the $150 million expansion of one hospital and the "greenfield" development of an entirely new hospital and ambulatory care facility.
  • The owner of an 1,800-acre tract in rezoning, land use approvals, and disposition of land. This eight-year process involved creative use of "Unified Development District" zoning to create 700 acres of public open space, as well as mixed use areas consistent with the latest land use practices.
  • The owner of a 125-acre "brownfields" project in rezoning, land use approvals, financing, and development of an abandoned steel plant property. The Unified Development District includes residential, office, commercial and retail, and hotel uses on a redevelopment site in the middle of a borough vacated by the failed steel plant.
  • One of the nation's largest defense contractors in negotiations with the Commonwealth, County, and local governments and agencies to expand facilities, establish rights with respect to road and Turnpike access, and obtain rezoning to enable disposition of certain parcels.

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Judge Learned Hand Award for Lifetime Achievement, American Jewish Committee, 2016

Named "Businessman of the Year," Great Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2009

Designated a Who's Who Legal by The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Real Estate, 2006

Named to "The Best Lawyers in America" list, Real Estate Law, by Woodward/White, 2006 to 2012, 2019

Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA, 2006 to 2012, 2015

Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers in Real Estate" by Chambers USA, 2005 to 2012 and 2018

Designated as one of the "Top 100 Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Super Lawyers" in the areas of Real Estate Law and Eminent Domain, 2005, and a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer," 2004 to 2012 by Philadelphia magazine and Law and Politics magazine

Recipient, First Judicial District's Roll of Honor, First Judicial District's Pro Bono Committee, 2007

Distinguished Citizen Award, Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2016

Memberships and Affiliations

Chair, Main Line Health Board of Trustees

Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Member, CEO Council for Growth, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Member, Executive Committee, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

Former Chairman, Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

Former Board of Port of Wardens, Independence Seaport Museum

Former Member, Executive Committee, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Former Member, Board of Directors, The Union League of Philadelphia

Former Member, Board of Trustees, Paoli Hospital Foundation

Former Member, Board of Directors, Riddle Memorial Hospital

Former Member, Service Academy Applicant Review Board for Congressman Jim Gerlach, 6th District of Pennsylvania

Former Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

Former Member, Board of Directors, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Past Chairman, Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors

Past Vice Chairman, Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission

Life Fellow, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation

American Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Education

J.D., cum laude, Temple University School of Law, 1977

  • Managing Editor, Temple Law Review

A.B., Cornell University, 1970

  • ROTC Brigade Commander

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Firm Management Positions

Co-Chair, Regulatory, Compliance and Government practice

Member, Government Involvement Committee

Steve Aichele provides legal counsel on complex real estate development projects where issues involving land acquisition, approvals, financing and construction intersect with federal, state and local governments, particularly in Pennsylvania. While Steve has spent much of his 40-year career in private practice advising major developers, lenders and government entities on projects from their inception, through government approvals, to building and management, his perspective is also shaped by his experience serving in Pennsylvania state and local government. From 1983 through 1995, he served on the Planning Commission and then the Board of Supervisors of Tredyffrin Township, a 30,000-person municipality in suburban Philadelphia, and from January 2011 through October 2013, Steve was General Counsel and Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's administration, roles that required him, respectively, to run an office serving the legal needs of the entire executive branch and to manage its daily operations.

Underpinning the advice that Steve provides clients is a desire to help them balance their sometimes competing needs to meet government regulatory requirements and to move at the speed and with the precision required to pull off major real estate projects. Because Steve has built a career on negotiating with, and for, government, he understands the dynamics involved in these interactions and has deep experience navigating them. His sensitivity to the business needs of his clients is also shaped by the many leadership roles he has held at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, including past service as Managing Partner and Firm Chairman. Befitting his understanding of the complexities of government, he currently co-leads the firm's Regulatory, Compliance and Government team.

Before joining Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Steve served more than four years active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve after 25 years of total service with the rank of Captain.

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