Real Estate and Urban Policy Forum

REUPF Annual Panel of Real Estate Lawyers


Each fall, REUPF hosts a panel of five leading New York lawyers who share their views on the intersection of the law and the real estate industry in New York. In the words of former Forum Co-Chair Nick Kujawa '04, "This is the perfect yearly kick-off event for REUPF because we are bringing together leading real estate practitioners and students right during the time that many students are interviewing for 2L summer jobs. The students get the chance to learn more about what it is to practice real estate in a New York firm and make connections with leaders in the field, many of whom are NYU School of Law alumni."

The Fall 2004 Panel


Meredith Kane, Esq.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP - Partner

Meredith J. Kane regularly represents developers, equity investors, institutional and entrepreneurial owners and government agencies in all aspects of development, finance, acquisitions and sales, leasing and securitization of real estate. She has special expertise in the finance and development of complex public/private joint venture projects, including the long-term lease acquisition of New York's World Trade Center complex, the development of the proposed new stadium for the New York Jets on Manhattan’s west side, the retail redevelopment and historic restoration of Grand Central Terminal, the redevelopment of nine historic theaters in the 42nd Street Development Project, the development and securitized financing of a million square foot office and hotel complex in downtown Brooklyn, the development and financing of a new arena for the Miami Heat, the development and financing of the 76-story Trump World Tower luxury condominium, and the development and financing of numerous office, residential and mixed-use complexes. She has represented Equitable, Avalon Bay Communities, The Lefrak Organization, GE Capital Investment Advisors, the Carlyle Group, Daewoo Corporation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Tishman Speyer Properties, ITT Corporation, Hyatt Hotels, and others in major real property acquisitions, sales, financings and developments.

Ms. Kane was named in 2004 as one of the Top 50 Women in Real Estate, and one of 25 "Current Leaders" in the industry, by the Association of Real Estate Women and Real Estate Weekly. She was recently appointed to the newly formed World Trade Center Memorial Center Advisory Committee by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, where she is also a member of the Residential Advisory Council. She was formerly a lead official of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in charge of the planning and development of 8,000 housing units of new construction, and a former City Planning official for the City of New Haven in charge of mixed-use retail and commercial districts. She is a regular speaker at professional forums on real estate development and finance, including stadium finance and housing finance. Ms. Kane is a commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (1995-present) and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (Economic Development and Real Estate Finance Committees), ULI-Urban Land Institute and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (former Chair, Economic Development Subcommittee, Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee; former member of Housing and Urban Development Committee). She is chair of the Executive Committee of the Avenue of the Americas Association.

Ms. Kane is a graduate of Yale College (B.A. 1976, magna cum laude) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1982, cum laude). She has been a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP since 1994.

Sarah Ludwig, Esq. '92
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project - Executive Director

Sarah Ludwig is executive director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), a resource and advocacy center that promotes community reinvestment in low income neighborhoods in New York City . NEDAP provides legal and technical support to groups organizing for financial justice and community-based economic development, and convenes broad coalitions to address fair lending and financial justice policy issues. Ms. Ludwig was selected as a 2000 fellow in the Rockefeller Foundations Next Generation Leadership Program, and received the 2002 Union Square Award, which recognizes individuals who have "initiated and developed projects that make notable contributions to New York Citys educational, economic and cultural life." She is an adjunct professor at NYU s Wagner School of Public Service, where she teaches Community Equity & Wealth Building and the Community Development Capstone. Ms. Ludwig is a 1992 graduate of NYU School of Law, received a master's degree in urban planning from NYU Wagner School, and her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College.

Jonathan L. Mechanic, Esq. '77
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP - Partner

Jonathan L. Mechanic is chairman of Fried Frank’s real estate department resident in the New York office. The department was recently rated one of the top four real estate practices in New York City by Chambers Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers (2002 - 2003). Mr. Mechanic’s practice concentrates in the areas of acquisitions, dispositions, financings, joint ventures, commercial leasing, workouts and restructurings. He has acted in connection with numerous high-profile transactions, including the sale of the new Lehman Brothers headquarters building at 745 Seventh Avenue and the Viacom headquarters building at 1515 Broadway, the leasing of the UBS/Paine Webber headquarters building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas and the financing of the Seagram’s Building at 375 Park Avenue, 199 Water Street, 520 Madison Avenue and 666 Fifth Avenue.

Prior to joining Fried Frank, Mr. Mechanic was general counsel and a managing director of Howard Ronson’s HRO International Ltd., a real estate development organization responsible for the development of more than 2.5 million square feet of office space in Manhattan . Mr. Mechanic is a member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Real Estate Roundtable. He also serves on the Board of Directors or advisory boards of the New York University Real Estate Institute, Chicago Title Insurance Company, Wall Street Rising and the Modell Foundation. He has been honored for his philanthropic activities by Israel Bonds, the Modell Foundation, ORT and the Association for Help for Retarded Children.

Mr. Mechanic lectures regularly for the Real Estate Board of New York and the Practising Law Institute.

Mr. Mechanic received his JD in 1977 from New York University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his BA, magna cum laude, in 1974 from Brandeis University .

Ross F. Moskowitz, Esq.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP - Partner

Ross F. Moskowitz concentrates in land use, zoning, environmental and tax abatement and exemption issues. He is also involved in sophisticated acquisitions, financings and transfers of commercial and residential properties. He also provides advice and counsel on the various state and municipal approval processes governing such transactions. His clients include many financial service companies, as well as professional service firms. He has represented companies in negotiations with state and local officials regarding tax incentive packages in New York and New Jersey , including transactions involving a headquarters move to New Jersey as well as a transaction which resulted in the largest tax incentive package ever offered to a firm moving employees to New Jersey .

Mr. Moskowitz joined Stroock’s Real Estate Practice Group in 1998 from the New York City Economic Development Corporation where he was Executive Vice President. At EDC, Mr. Moskowitz was instrumental in structuring many of New York City ’s most complicated public/private real estate ventures, including Renaissance Plaza , Times Square (Reuters and Conde Nast) and the historic rehabilitation of Pier A in lower Manhattan . In his position at EDC, Mr. Moskowitz was also responsible for recruiting companies to New York City and helped to create the Plug N’ Go program which successfully retained and recruited numerous new media and internet companies to New York City. As the city's lead negotiator for business retention transactions, he was responsible for over 40 business incentive retention transactions, involving such companies as Paine Webber, Merrill Lynch, Viacom, Credit Suisse and the Travelers Group. Mr. Moskowitz also served as Executive Director of the New York City Industrial Development Agency where he supervised the issuance of over $1 billion in tax-exempt and taxable bonds.

Elise Wagner, Esq. '81
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP - Of Counsel

Elise Wagner is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the New York University School of Law. She became associated with Tufo and Zuccotti in 1981, and was with Brown & Wood from 1986 until October l994 as an associate and counsel, and with Battle Fowler from October 1994 to June 2000 as special counsel. She has been a member of the Environmental Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York , and is currently a member of the Environmental Review Board of the Town of New Castle ( Westchester County ) and the Board of Directors of the NYU Law Alumni Association.

Ms. Wagner concentrates her practice in land use, zoning and historic preservation law, and also has experience in environmental matters. She has coordinated the public review processes of major private development projects in New York City, including 599 Lexington Avenue and West End Towers (part of the West Side rail yards), and has also overseen public review processes for public sector clients such as the Villages of Garden City and Port Chester and the United States Postal Service. She has advised New York University in connection with its acquisition of development sites and its use and redevelopment of properties which are subject to special zoning, urban renewal and historic designation constraints, including the Kimmel Center for University Life and the new Furman Center at the School of Law . She coordinated the public review processes for the NYU School of Medicine's new Research Building , and for the East River Science Park , which would accommodate facilities for commercial biotechnology companies as well as Medical School functions.

The Fall 2003 Panel

Jonathan L. Mechanic, Esq. '77
Fried Frank - Partner; Real Estate Department Chair

Meredith J. Kane, Esq.
Paul Weiss - Partner

Ross F. Moskowitz, Esq. '84
Strook - Partner

Alan J. Pomerantz, Esq. '68
Weil, Gotshal - Partner

Jennifer A. McCool, Esq.
Schulte Roth & Zabel - Associate

The Fall 2002 Panel


Jonathan L. Mechanic, Esq. '77
Fried Frank - Partner; Real Estate Department Chair

Meredith J. Kane, Esq.
Paul Weiss - Partner

Peter A. Miller, Esq. '84
Strook - Partner

Mark A. Levine, Esq.
Herrick, Feinstein - Partner; Chair, Land Use and Environmental Group

Susan M. Wade, Esq. '99
Paul Hastings - Associate