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Q&A WITH DANIEL H. BRAFF

Reflections on New York City Zoning in 2017

Reflecting on 2017, what were some of the more challenging projects you worked on?
Two projects come to mind. First, after several years, we secured approval for the extension of term of a pre-1961 special permit for a public parking garage in Midtown Manhattan. The garage was developed pursuant to a special use permit from the City Planning Commission granted on October 2, 1957 for a term of 25 years. This special permit was extended several times, with the last extension expiring on October 9, 2002. The approval had lapsed for nearly 13 years by the time we filed for the renewal and extension of term. In order to secure the approval, we had to establish supporting precedent that the approval could be reactivated and extended, despite being expired for nearly 13 years. City Planning also required many improvements to the garage in order to bring it into compliance with current zoning laws, which added another layer of complexity.

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MATTERS OF INTEREST

Nassau County Supreme Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking the Holder of a Nassau County Tax Deed from Evicting a Commercial Property Owner from Its Building for Nonpayment of Real Estate Taxes

Firm Partners Adam Koblenz, Andrew Roth, and Joseph Bjarnson have obtained an important ruling from the Nassau County Supreme Court in the case of Forest Glen Realty LLC v. T11 Funding that protects Nassau County commercial property owners in real-property tax enforcement proceedings by requiring purchasers of Nassau County tax deeds to commence judicial proceedings to quiet title before they can assert rights under their tax deeds.

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Real Estate Practice Update

Christian Browne, a Partner with the Firm, and Michael J. Barone, Jr., an Associate with the Firm, recently represented the seller of Rock Cliff House, a historic inn in High Falls, New York. The inn stands on a 4.4-acre parcel, including four additional buildable lots.

Adam Koblenz, a Partner with the Firm, and Mr. Barone represented the purchaser of a commercial building in the Village New Hyde Park. The purchaser will use it as an office and storage facility for their landscaping business.

FIRM NEWS

Chris J. Coschignano Named to the Board of Governors of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Chris J. Coschignano, a Member with the Firm, has been named to Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center's Board of Governors.

Mr. Coschignano is a 1990 graduate of Touro Law Center. He concentrates his practice in the areas of zoning and land use planning, real estate law and transactions, municipal and legislative law, economic development and industrial development agency law, advanced litigation on state and federal courts and matrimonial law.

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Jon A. Ward and Elaine M. Colavito Receive LIBN's Leadership in Law Awards

Jon A. Ward, a Partner with the Firm, and Firm Associate Elaine M. Colavito received the Leadership in Law award from Long Island Business News at a special awards ceremony on November 16 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Mr. Ward was honored in the category of Partner and Ms. Colavito in the category of Associate.

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Real Estate Weekly and The Drive Report on Kosciuszko Bridge Implosion

The implosion of the Kosciuszko Bridge that took place on October 1 was reported by Real Estate Weekly and The Drive.

Jon Ward and Chris Coschignano, Partners with the Firm, and Firm Associate Nick Cappadora represented Emil Realty, a property owner and manager whose buildings laid within 20 feet of the areas where sections of the bridge were supposed to land.

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OUT AND ABOUT

John Christopher Helps Organize Annual Holiday Party and Toy Drive to Benefit Toys for Tots Foundation at its Annual Holiday Party

John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm, helped organize the annual holiday event and toy drive for the 10th District of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS), the Real Property Law Section (RPLS) and the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section (TICL) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), in cooperation with the Nassau County Bar Association, New Lawyers Committee, which was held on December 6, 2017 at St. James Restaurant in Mineola. The event raised donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation.

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John Christopher and Colleagues Raise More Than $8,000 during the NY Lawyers Help A Veteran 24-Hour Giving Challenge

John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm and Chair of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), took part in the NY Lawyers Help A Veteran 24-Hour Giving Challenge that was held on November 10. Mr. Christopher helped plan and coordinate the event, along with his fellow members of the YLS and the Young Lawyer Friends of The Foundation.

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NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LAW

Elaine Colavito's "Bench Briefs" Appears In Suffolk Lawyer

Elaine Colavito had her "Bench Briefs" column published in the November 2017 edition of The Suffolk Lawyer. "Bench Briefs" is a roundup of recent decisions from Suffolk County trial courts.

To review these decisions, click here.

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