Land Use: New York

  • Holland & Knight's New York City Land Use Team has extensive experience counseling clients on all aspects of New York City development, including special permits, variances, landmarks, air rights, tax exemptions and incentives.
  • Our legal team also has one of New York City's most active affordable housing practices. We advise clients on how to make use of the Inclusionary Housing Program and other New York City, state and federal housing programs.
  • Our land use attorneys advise clients regarding zoning and entitlement issues for potential development sites, and perform due diligence for buyers and investors on land use issues.


With one of the most complex regulatory regimes in the country, development in New York City requires experienced and knowledgeable professionals to advise clients on how to bring a project to fruition. Clients have come to rely on the Holland & Knight New York Land Use Team's top-to-bottom understanding of the law, as well as its solid, ongoing relationships with elected officials, their aides and senior staff.

Members of our New York Land Use Team appear regularly before the New York City Planning Commission, the New York City Council, the Board of Standards and Appeals, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. We also represent clients before other New York City agencies, including the Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the Economic Development Corporation.

A Diverse Client Base

Our clients include major residential and commercial developers, property owners, hotel companies, lenders, investors, condominiums and co-ops, retailers and not-for-profit institutions, including schools, hospitals and religious organizations. We represent clients in a wide range of projects, from multi-building developments with millions of square feet to a single parcel or townhouse.

Broad Industry Know-How

Holland & Knight lawyers are not only highly experienced in addressing New York land use matters but also understand the business of development. Our team includes attorneys with prior business experience, as well as former senior New York City officials. Our New York Land Use attorneys are active in the industry in other important ways as well, as members of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), housing and zoning committees, and the board of directors for both the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) and the New York Housing Conference (NYHC).

Representative Engagements

The following are representative matters involving members of the Holland & Knight team:

  • securing all required land use approvals from the New York City Planning Commission and the New York City Council for the Riverside Center project — a 3 million-square-foot development on an 8-acre site on the Upper West Side of Manhattan
  • representing the Real Estate Board of New York on matters relating to the Section 421-a Program and the Affordable New York Housing Program
  • obtaining land use approvals from the New York City Planning Commission and New York City Council for a major national real estate company to develop a full block on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with approximately 1,000 dwelling units and three new high schools
  • representing a joint venture of two leading New York City affordable housing companies on the development of a full block in the East Harlem area of Manhattan
  • ongoing representation of a major real estate company on the development of a 4.5 million-square-foot, mixed-use project on the West Side of Manhattan
  • representing Yeshiva University on land use matters relating to its campus
  • spearheading the approvals for a $1 billion multi-agency, public-private partnership in the Halletts Point peninsula in Queens
  • prosecuting Board of Standards and Appeals variance applications that enabled the conversion and enlargement of three manufacturing buildings in Brooklyn's Fulton Ferry Historic District, as well as the conversion of a 70,000-square-foot warehouse to residential use
  • securing Landmarks Preservation Commission approval for the demolition of a non-contributing, low-rise structure and replacement with a 19-story, contemporary glass landmark building in Manhattan's Madison Square North Historic District
  • obtaining HPD approvals under New York City's Inclusionary Housing Program
  • providing land use due diligence work for construction lenders
  • representing buyers and sellers of development rights


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