Cozen O’Connor Brings on Renowned Land Use Expert Meenakshi Srinivasan

Monday, March 11, 2024

NEW YORK, March 11, 2024Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Meenakshi Srinivasan, an accomplished urban planner and respected land use and zoning expert has joined its fast-growing New York City office. Srinivasan joins as a senior principal with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies and will work closely with Cozen O’Connor’s award-winning international real estate practice. Srinivasan’s hire reflects Cozen O’Connor’s expanded focus on development, following the recent additions of Richard Kalson, a veteran construction lawyer, and Kerry Cooperman, who regularly counsels not for profit organizations on real estate matters.

A former chair of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission and Board of Standards and Appeals, Srinivasan is considered one of her industry's highly regarded thought leaders. Her track record includes decades of experience shaping land use policy and advising real estate developers, property owners, nonprofit organizations, and other institutions on a range of New York City zoning, planning, and landmarks matters. She started her career at the Department of City Planning, where as deputy director of the Manhattan office she directed several high-profile city initiatives, including the plan to allow transfer of air rights from Broadway theaters and the Hudson Yards zoning framework.

"We are delighted to add Meenakshi to our practice group. Her remarkable expertise and problem-solving skills will enhance our team’s strong reputation as thoughtful and experienced advocates for clients navigating the complex challenges of the real estate and development environment," said Katie Schwab, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies New York. “This is especially important for clients in New York, as many are grappling with a severe, city-wide housing shortage and a post-COVID commercial real estate crisis. We also anticipate demand for Meenakshi’s expertise in Washington, D.C., and other North American cities.”

"We welcome Meenakshi to Cozen O’Connor and are delighted that her expertise will allow us to provide unparalleled services, especially to nonprofit and affordable housing organizations seeking comprehensive government relations advice for complex capital projects,” said Rose Christ, co-chair of New York Public Strategies. “Meenakshi’s skills and creativity will enhance our team’s capabilities and ensure that we are well equipped to guide property owners throughout the development process, from initial planning to public funding to commission approvals.”

Srinivasan represents clients in connection with various discretionary approvals, including variances, rezonings, text amendments and special permits, and permit applications before the Department of City Planning, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of Buildings, City Council, and community boards. Most recently, she advanced the objectives of some of New York’s s leading real estate entities, successfully delivering various city approvals.

“With a deep understanding of the complex practices and procedures of New York City agencies, Meenakshi can evaluate and craft a client’s development proposal and help shape their applications for a range of discretionary land use actions,” said Vivien Krieger, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Zoning, Land Use & Development practice. “That’s critically important to our real estate clients, particularly in New York. She’s a high-profile addition to both Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies and the firm, and I’m thrilled to welcome her aboard.”

As chair and commissioner of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission — the largest municipal preservation agency in the United States — Srinivasan led the 80-person mayoral agency, which protects and preserves the city’s historic resources by designating buildings and districts, regulating designated properties, and enforcing compliance with the city’s Landmarks Law. As chair and a commissioner of the Board of Standards and Appeals, she managed the entity that decides zoning variance and special permit applications and appeals from determinations by the city’s Buildings and Fire departments.

“In my decades of experience working on land use and development issues in New York, there have been many challenges that have affected our industry that required creative and sound solutions,” Srinivasan said. “Our industry continues to face many difficult issues including critical housing, economic, social, and environmental issues. But I strongly believe in New York’s tenacity and that its post-COVID future will rebound. I’m very much excited by being a part of Cozen O’Connor and looking forward to helping our clients play a major role in its recovery and growth.”

Srinivasan earned her Master of City Planning and Master of Architecture degrees at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Arts. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India.

About Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices throughout the country, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including health care, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 850 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 33 offices across two continents.


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