The Lobby

Former BSA Director Joins Kramer Levin

Jeffrey Mulligan

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel has hired former city Board of Standards and Appeals executive director and Department of City Planning official Jeffrey Mulligan as a planning and development specialist in the firm’s land use practice, Kramer Levin announced today.

The eight-year veteran of the city board that evaluates special permits and zoning variances previously served as the head of the City Planning department’s Manhattan team during  rezonings like Hudson Yards, the West Chelsea area around the High Line and Hudson Square South.

He expressed excitement about starting his new job at the influential firm. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Congress Votes to End Condo Owner Filing Requirement

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously last week to end a federal filing requirement for owners of condo buildings with more than 99 units that ensnared developers in litigation following the financial crisis of 2008.

During the downturn, lawyers for condo buyers began trying to break the purchase contracts by arguing in court cases that the owners hadn’t accurately complied with a 1969 law named the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that required owners of buildings to register with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Read More

The Lobby

Mayor Nominates BSA, Landmarks Commissioners

Bill de Blasio.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has nominated Margery Perlmutter as commissioner of the Board of Standards and Appeals. Adi Shamir Baron and John Gustafsson were also nominated as commissioners of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The nominations have been submitted to the City Council for final approval, according to a release issued by the Office of the Mayor. Read More

Cover Story

The Great Wall: The Hurdles U.S. Brokers Face in China


Shortly after a Chinese business tapped Studley’s newly opened Shanghai office to help it expand beyond the city and country and procure space in New York earlier this year, Yin Li, head of the brokerage firm’s China operations, hit a roadblock.

In line with standards in China, Ms. Li’s client was looking to sign a short-term two- or three-year lease, which New York landlords were reluctant to accommodate. Instead, Ms. Li convinced her client to seek out an alternative—a sublease deal.

Read More


Opponents and Defenders of MSG Spar at Planning Commission Hearing


Shortly into yesterday’s City Planning Commission public hearing on the special permit application for Madison Square Garden—an event that would stretch into the evening—a comparison to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was made. It was an early indication of what would be a recurring theme throughout the day.

A number of obstacles facing the Garden, from its age and inferior infrastructure to its request for special signage, were brought to the fore as Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden heard from a list of 50 speakers, ranging from State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried to former New York Knick Larry Johnson, he of the four-point play. Read More

The Year in Review

Commercial Real Estate In Memorium: 2012

A sketch of David Winoker.

New York real estate is some of the most desirable and expensive in the world, but the ever-fluctuating price of a square foot of space in a given neighborhood is unquestionably dwarfed by the value of human life. This year, the commercial real estate world lost several notable figures and The Commercial Observer would like to take a moment to remember them. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Q&A: Jay Neveloff, Kramer Levin

Jay Neveloff.

The Mortgage Observer spoke to Kramer Levin partner Jay Neveloff this month. Mr. Neveloff, a 24-year veteran at the firm, told us what he’s hearing from his wide range of clients following November’s elections and what many of those clients are busiest doing with the end of the year fast approaching. Read More