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Silk Purses From Public Projects

New York
Silk Purses From Public Projects
Fried Frank's Stephen Lefkowitz and Carol Rosenthal
NYC has an abundance of public projects underway, including East Side Access (ESA), the 7 line extension, and ARC Mass Transit Tunnel. But owners are caught in the wake, trying to make these developments a winning prospect for themselves while facing potential situations like condemnation and impact to property operations and access. That's what Fried Frank partners Stephen Lefkowitz, Carol Rosenthal (above), Richard Leland, and Melanie Meyers (below) told us when we dropped by their One New York Plaza offices. But owners can often work with agencies to make these projects work out—the earlier they get involved, the better they can minimize the projects' impact on their properties, they say. Private owners who play ball do so in anticipation of earning a profit from the developments, and in many instances, get tax benefits.
Fried Frank's Richard Leland and Melanie Meyers
For ESA, there were negotiations regarding the design and configuration of a ventilation structure on East 50th Street. Owners of neighboring properties, including some represented by Fried Frank, reached accommodations with the MTA, leading to a substantially smaller structure and modified design so it's less intrusive to local owners and the environment. These issues aren't limited to transit projects, but there's been an emphasis on such developments in recent years. Another land-use trend is increasingly requiring affordable housing in new development, but NYC rezoning efforts for neighborhood preservation have led to concern about long-term effects on new housing. We may also see more sustainability in zoning and building codes. The City will continue to focus on sustainability in its discretionary reviews and public-private development projects.