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Jeffrey S. Aronoff

Principal
Public Finance, Deputy Group Leader

Offices

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+1.313.496.7678
O:
+1.313.963.6420
F:
+1.313.496.7500
T:
+1.517.483.4978
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+1.517.487.2070
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+1.517.374.6304
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Education

Wayne State University Law School, J.D.

University of Michigan, Ford School of Public Policy, M.P.P.

Michigan State University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

Jeffrey S. Aronoff specializes in all types of public finance and securities, including municipal infrastructure finance, economic development finance and school finance, both as bond counsel and underwriter/purchaser's counsel. He also regularly advises governmental clients on general matters including economic development initiatives, fiscal distress issues and public-private collaboration.

In addition to his broad-based work with municipalities and bond purchasers, Jeff has special expertise in airport finance and conduit financing for tax-exempt organizations and small manufacturers. He also has extensive experience assisting local leaders in the establishment and ongoing operation of intergovernmental and regional authorities designed to manage large public assets and implement regional economic development programs.

Representative Matters

Detroit-FCA Redevelopment of the Mack Engine Plant and Jefferson North Assembly Plant

In 2019, Miller Canfield represented the City of Detroit and the City's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in connection with FCA US LLC's expansion and redevelopment of its Mack engine plant and Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The project involved lawyers from the firm's real estate, public finance, environmental, land use and litigation groups. The team worked with the City and Brownfield Authority in assembling and negotiating a master development agreement for 215 acres of land in 60 days without the power of eminent domain. Jeff was co-leader of the overall Miller Canfield deal team and directed the firm's work on the public finance and incentives components of the transaction, which consisted of a $107 million mix of City bond proceeds and other City funds, industrial facilities tax abatement, state loans and grants. 

City of Detroit Revitalization Financings

Jeff has served as bond counsel to the City of Detroit on all of its major bond financings following its 2014 exit from bankruptcyincluding its consolidation and restructuring of approximately $606 million of outstanding debt in 2016; its financing of approximately $125 million in various improvements to implement the Mayor's "Twenty-Minute Neighborhoodsprogram, using a novel application of state road funds; and in 2018, its tender-repurchase and refinancing of approximately $175 million in outstanding bonds originally issued to resolve bankruptcy claims, as well as its first unlimited tax general obligation bond issue unsecured by state funds in several years, which financed $135 million in voter-approved projects throughout the City.

Wayne County Criminal Justice Center Complex Financing

In 2018, Jeff served as lead bond counsel on Wayne County's financing of its new criminal justice center complex, with a borrowing of over $288 million through the Michigan Finance Authority. The financing involved a number of complex issues including the securitization of statutory revenue sharing and coordination of the bond issue with the terms of a private development agreement for the project. The transaction was recognized as The Bond Buyer's 2018 Midwest "Deal of the Year."

Regional Convention Center Authority Creation and Financing

Over a three-year period, Jeff led a cross-practice team of attorneys in the transfer of the Cobo Convention Center (now TCF Center) from the City of Detroit to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority. Jeff helped draft the Authority's enabling legislation, guided the Authority through its incorporating proceedings, worked alongside Miller Canfield colleagues negotiating and documenting the asset transfer, and served as bond counsel to the Authority in connection with its $315 million financing to redevelop the facility.

Airport Refinancing

Jeff was a member of the Miller Canfield team serving as bond counsel to the Wayne County Airport Authority as it restructured over $1 billion in bonds originally issued to finance the construction of two new terminals and related improvements.

Public Transportation Authority Transition

Jeff helped guide a regional public transportation authority through the process of taking over the role of a predecessor authority that had been dissolved. He helped the client navigate a difficult maze of limitations and requirements imposed by various federal and state regulatory agencies, which had the potential to choke off all funds to the client, threatening its survival. In the end, the client assumed all the powers and resources it needed to move forward on important policy objectives.

Honors

Best Lawyers in America, Public Finance Law, 2021

DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Public Finance Law, 2020-present

Michigan Super Lawyers, Bonds/Government Finance, Rising Star, 2009-2011

Marshall Memorial Fellowship, 2011

Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Law Review, 2003-04

Professional Activities

State Bar of Michigan

American Bar Association

Michigan Government Finance Officers Association

National Association of Bond Lawyers

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Leadership Detroit, Class XXXV

Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Board of Directors, 2019-current

Temple Shir Shalom, Board of Directors, 2018-current

BUILD Institute, Board of Directors, 2017-current

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, NextGen Board of Directors, 2010-15

Jewish Community Relations Council, Board of Directors, 2008-2013

New Detroit: Emerging Leaders in Race Relations, 2007-2008

Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders' Junior Council, Board of Directors, 2006-2008

Wayne State University Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 2006-2011

Teaching

University of Michigan-Dearborn, Institute for Local Government, Instructor

BUILD Institute, Instructor

Speeches

"Building Bridge(s): From Infrastructure to Economic Development," State Bar of Michigan - International Law Section Annual Meeting, September 13, 2018

"Intergovernmental Cooperation," Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Local Government Academy, March 24, 2011

"Learning About Opportunities in the Detroit Region Aerotropolis," Wayne County EDGE (Panelist), Crain's Detroit Business, October 21, 2009

"The Credit Crunch Hits the Munis: The Current Landscape and Hazards that Lie Ahead," Wayne County Treasurers Association, June 18, 2008

"Municipal Finance Fundamentals," Michigan Municipal League Elected Officials Academy, October 2007

Publications

"Legislative Mystery: Did the Michigan Legislature Leave an Entire Class of Teachers Without a Seat at the Bargaining Table in the Charter School Era?" (Note), 48 Wayne Law Review 1485 (2003)

"Legal Briefs," (Editor), Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, 2007-08

Articles