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Ernesto is a key player in high-profile real estate and public financing transactions across the Midwest, advising clients on major developments that impact the local landscape and economy.

He primarily counsels developers and public bodies on all aspects of development, from land acquisition through the construction and leasing of commercial, industrial and residential properties. Applying his broad knowledge of real estate transactions, Ernesto brings specialized value to clients navigating complex project finance issues surrounding commercial, industrial and public infrastructure projects such as logistics centers, renewable energy plants, greenway networks and professional sports arenas.

This versatility allows Ernesto to provide unique insights into helping clients achieve their goals. He regularly guides clients through the structuring, negotiation, adoption and implementation of public financing tools and incentives, such as tax increment financing (TIF), tax abatements, special taxing districts, and state and federal tax credits. He also negotiates commercial, office and industrial leases for landlords and tenants and has extensive experience in drafting state and local legislation and assisting in its refinement and passage. His work as counsel to a variety of public bodies also allows Ernesto to guide projects with a holistic perspective on the issues that matter most to both public and private stakeholders.

In addition to assisting clients, Ernesto plays a key role in recruiting new talent to the firm as a member (and former Chair) of the firm’s Executive Recruiting Committee in St. Louis. He also is proudly involved with the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives.




  • Regional Business Council, Leadership 100
  • St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, "Up & Coming," 2017
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Real Estate, Rising Star, 2018
  • IFLR1000, Real Estate (Missouri), Rising Star​, 2019, 2022, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law, 2021-2024; Land Use and Zoning Law, 2023 and 2024; Project Finance Law, 2023 and 2024


  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
    • cum laude
  • B.A., University of Colorado Boulder
    • Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology


  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Missouri Economic Development Financing Association
  • Regional Business Council, Young Professionals Network
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Featured Experience

Redeveloped Logistics Center Is a Win for Client and Community

Ernesto and his team represented NorthPoint Development in the acquisition and redevelopment of a stalled, 165-acre industrial logistics center embroiled in multimillion-dollar litigation. The team unwound existing public financing incentives and negotiated and implemented new public financing incentives, including real property tax abatement and New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC).

The Hazelwood Logistics Center NorthPoint was a front-to-end massive undertaking that spanned several years. The St. Louis Business Journal awarded the project the 2018 Building St. Louis Award in the Public/Private Project More Than $10 Million category.

Additional Experience

Development Incentives & Tax Credits

  • Represented client in multiple New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) financing transactions for buildings in major industrial park in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Represented industrial developer in acquisition and development of 1.3 million-square-foot logistics optimization center leased to General Motors, including negotiation and adoption of real property tax abatement and creation of transportation development district to assist with financing and construction of related public improvements.
  • Advised developers on numerous tax increment financing projects in Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska ranging from $5 million to $90 million in approved TIF funding.

Arena & Stadium Development

  • Retained by owners of St. Louis Blues NHL franchise to structure and negotiate governmental incentives provided by City of St. Louis to support first phase of $140 million renovation of Enterprise Center, home of the Blues and a major downtown entertainment venue. Representation involved negotiation, adoption and implementation of public financing tools such as municipal revenue bonds, Community Improvement District sales tax and successful defense of litigation challenging the constitutionality of public financing.

Corporate Real Estate

  • Represented developer in public financing for a new office tower, which consisted of $202 million Chapter 100 bond financing and $18.5 million transportation development district bond financing.
  • Represented Fortune 100 publicly traded company in development of 225,000-square-foot facility costing in excess of $70 million. Financing included nearly $22 million of Missouri BUILD bonds, Chapter 100 bond financing and sales tax abatement.
  • Counseled landlord in negotiation of office leases in 750,000-square-foot office tower.

Other Real Estate

  • Counseled lenders and developers on real estate due diligence and title insurance matters in more than 30 states.
  • Represented privately held company in all real estate aspects of $95 million sale of corporate assets, including six separate river terminals (fee-owned and leased property) in multiple states.
News Releases | June 03, 2019
Husch Blackwell Places Five Attorneys in ILFR's Inaugural Real Estate Rankings

Overall, the new edition represents the second year IFLR has ranked top financial and corporate law firms and lawyers on a state-by-state basis.

News Releases | June 03, 2019
Sixteen Husch Blackwell Attorneys Recognized in 2019 IFLR 1000 United States

The 2019 edition of the IFLR 1000 represents the second year IFLR has ranked top financial and corporate law firms and lawyers on a state-by-state basis.

Outside the Office

Ernesto enjoys hunting, fly-fishing and trying new restaurants.

He is particularly proud of completing the Wyoming Cutt Slam, catching all four subspecies of cutthroat trout native to Wyoming rivers over the course of multiple trips to the state. He reported his catches to the state Game and Fish Department, which awarded a certificate as proof of his accomplishment.

As foodies, Ernesto and his wife love trying new restaurants. They venture out with their three children to establishments in St. Louis to discover the latest food crazes. He also enjoys cooking at home.

Community Leadership

Ernesto volunteers to help make hospital stays for children more fun and less fearful.

When his nephew spent a month at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Ernesto saw firsthand what a hospital can do for patients and their families. He and his wife joined the hospital’s Young Friends group and assist with the fundraising event Cocktails and Clowns. The money raised allows doctors and nurses to enter the hospital rooms dressed as clowns, helping kids form positive associations with hospital staff.

  • University of Colorado Alumni Association
Diversity Advocate

As a member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Ernesto tackles the challenge of increasing diversity among attorneys.

The immigrant narrative is central to Ernesto. He was raised with the ethos: You work hard so you can provide more for your family. He strives to do the same but recognizes that not everyone has success modeled for them.

Ernesto is pleased that the firm takes a role in identifying opportunities for people who may not know they exist. For example, the firm has established programs in which Husch Blackwell attorneys engage with high school students from minority areas and bring them to the law firm to meet attorneys and hear about their jobs. The students participate in negotiation exercises where they see attorneys in action and realize that they also have the potential to do that kind of work. The firm also prides itself on its direct outreach to law student groups at local universities, where the next generation of diverse lawyers can seek advice and mentorship from Husch Blackwell attorneys.

Follow Ernesto on Twitter