News

Herrick’s Land Use & Zoning Team Doubles in Size

May 20, 2019 – Press Release
Herrick, Feinstein LLP

Herrick, Feinstein LLP is proud to welcome Raymond Levin, Ellen Hay and Robert Huberman to the Land Use & Zoning Group. The trio increases the size of Herrick’s capable and sophisticated group when they join the firm on May 20th, making it one of the largest zoning and land use groups in NYC.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ray and his team to Herrick. I’ve known Ray for many years and he and his team bring an immense wealth of knowledge of the players, City and the agencies that govern the zoning in New York.” says Land Use & Zoning Group chair, Mitch Korbey about the group’s arrival. 

Ray Levin has had a long career in city government, starting as a planner in the Brooklyn Borough office of the Department of City Planning, and serving as director of the Coney Island Planning and Development Office, the first on-site community revitalization effort undertaken by NYC. He also served as counsel and Board of Estimate representative for Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden.

Affectionately, referred to as “Mr. Brooklyn,” Levin has worked on some of the most innovative and significant zoning changes to NYC in recent memory including the initial rezoning of DUMBO, Brooklyn from manufacturing to residential and the Red Hook rezoning allowing for Ikea and Fairway to enter the Brooklyn market.

Ray and his team recently led the successful rezoning of the former Pfizer site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where the valuation of the site jumped from $92 million to $186 million upon approval, allowing The Rabsky Group to move forward with their plans for a 1.1 million-sq-foot housing complex. The team also rezoned two development sites on Franklin Avenue in Prospect Heights Brooklyn, as clients Carmel Realty and Cornell Realty develop sites to create 500+ mixed income residential units in the area. 25 Kent is also on the list of recent projects, working with Heritage Equity and Rubenstein Partners on this groundbreaking site of Brooklyn’s first new ground up office and industrial development in forty years.

Ray also continues to work closely with Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management, most recently obtaining approvals on the innovative Domino Sugar redevelopment of the Brooklyn waterfront and the Mercedes House Apartments on 54th Street in Manhattan.

“I started my career working with Ray, who has remained one of my mentors over the last 13 years of practice, and I am thrilled that he decided to join us, and we will be working together again,” says Jodi Stein, partner in the Land Use & Zoning Group. Jodi returned to Herrick in 2018, after serving as vice president of acquisitions and development at Lightstone, one of the largest privately-held real estate companies in North America.

Ellen Hay, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, AICP, also has had a long career in city government starting as a planner in the Manhattan Borough Office of the Department of City Planning and serving as the Executive Assistant and Board of Estimate representative for the Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein.

Ray, Ellen and Robert join Mitch, Jodi, Jennifer Dickson and Veronica Chuah. Veronica Chuah also recently joined the team from the NYC Board of Standards & Appeals where she managed zoning applications, assessed compliance with NYC zoning and building regulations, and coordinated multi-agency review to ensure alignment with City Planning policies and initiatives.

The Land Use & Zoning Group is an important component of, and a complement to, the impressive Real Estate Department chaired by Belinda Schwartz. Herrick maintains one of the country’s largest and most accomplished commercial real estate law practices. From Patrick O’Sullivan’s P3 practice to Scott Mollen’s real estate ligation team, Herrick is poised to handle any and every real estate transaction in the U.S.

Belinda Schwartz states, “I couldn’t be happier that the department continues to grow and develop organically. We have had many strategic additions to the group in 2019, and I know it speaks to the quality of the work and the people Herrick is able to bring together to serve our real estate clients. I’m greatly looking forward to what’s next for the entire department.”

Please read more about the Real Estate Department and Land Use & Zoning Group at Herrick.