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| 2 minutes read

"You are a New Yorker the first time you say, '"That used to be…'"

According to one of my favorite novelists, Colson Whitehead, “No matter how long you have been here, you are a New Yorker the first time you say, 'That used to be Munsey's' or ‘That used to be the Tic Toc Lounge.’”  I have a friend who says New Yorkers are born all over the world every minute…it just takes time to get home.  Now I was born here, but I appreciate the viewpoint, especially as the landscape of our City changes what seems like oh so quickly. 

Buildings and neighborhoods can reach a moment when they no longer function for their original purpose, and no longer function well for any current purpose, at least without significant investment. It takes grit and commitment to reshape these buildings and neighborhoods. 

Bravo to our client team at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the City, and to the Port Authority, on starting the process to transform the Red Hook waterfront into a more workable port and much-needed housing and parks!  Here are more details.  Soon you will be saying, I remember when it was…

When we think of great cities, we think of art and culture and sports and restaurants – but cities are great because the trains run, fresh food arrives, there are jobs, affordable housing, parks, and greenery … My property professor in law school said, "If there’s a subject matter that interests you, there is a lawyer involved.”  I was lucky to help on a number of public/private projects, ostensibly real estate developments, but just as much about job creation, patent generation, housing affordability, local, small business growth… 

Here are then and now images from some of my favorite public/private projects:

THEN dockets in the Clock Tower Building 

NOW the Jack Shainman Gallery

THEN and NOW the Essex Street Market

THEN the Smallpox Hospital 

NOW the Cornell Tech Campus

When Empire State of Mind comes on at a ribbon cutting, I get teary-eyed.  “These streets will make you feel brand new.”  And I remember when sheep grazed on the Sheep Meadow. 


real estate, development land use & zoning, affordable housing & economic development, public-private parterships, perspective