Barak A. Wrobel

Barak A. Wrobel


Barak Wrobel is an attorney in Holland & Knight’s New York City office and a member of its Land Use Practice.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wrobel served as a city planner and assistant general counsel to the New York City Department of City Planning and the City Planning Commission. He has extensive experience appearing before and securing approvals from agencies and officials involved in the regulation of land in New York City, including the Department of Buildings, Department of City Planning, City Planning Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Economic Development Corporation and Empire State Development Corporation.

Representative Experience

  • Provides legal and technical advice surrounding a range of discretionary approvals involved in the development of publicly and privately sponsored projects, including large-scale developments, zoning map and text amendments, special permits, authorizations and a variety of certifications and ministerial certifications
  • Drafts and negotiates restrictive declarations and other legal instruments required in connection with approval of land use applications, entitlements and construction projects, and facilitate the implementation of environmental mitigation measures
  • Prepares zoning analysis to establish the highest value and best use of property
  • Advises on a variety of real estate transaction matters, including purchase and sale agreements, transfer of development rights and zoning lot development agreement, issuance and review of zoning opinions, negotiation of easements and license agreements
  • Obtained approvals from the Board of Standards and Appeals to allow for the completion of a 27-story hotel in East Midtown Manhattan following a 2017 change in the law requiring such use to obtain a special permit
  • Successfully prosecuted land use applications with the city involving the development of a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, 750,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, new public access areas within the Special Hudson Yards District of Manhattan and an automated parking facility in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan
  • Experience working on city-wide policy initiatives involving sustainability and climate resilience, including zoning for sustainability, the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) and the City Environmental Quality Review Technical Manual
  • Experience drafting city rules, including City Planning pre-application processes designed to bring greater predictability to timeframes surrounding the City Planning land use and environmental review and approval processes
  • Approval of a variance case granted by the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals to facilitate a 21-unit supportive housing project in Astoria Queens

  • Served as member of the Stakeholders Group that provided feedback and recommendations to the New York City Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Taskforce, which resulted in the publication of New York Mayor Eric Adams' "Get Stuff Built" Report


  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D.
  • Hunter College of the City University of New York, Master of Urban Planning
  • Western Washington University, B.A., Law & Diversity Program
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New York
  • Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, Board Member, 2017-2023; Current Member
  • New York City Bar Association, Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee, Member, 2006-2014; Secretary, 2008-2011; Member, Class of 2017-2019; Chairperson, 2019-2022; Current Member
  • New York City Bar Association, Housing and Urban Development Committee, Member, 2014-2017
  • Department of City Planning Applicant Working Group, Member, 2017-2023; Current Member
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2020, 2021
  • Lawyers Alliance Pro Bono Cornerstone Award, 2020
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2019, 2020


Speaking Engagements