To Our Clients and Friends:
To protect the health and safety of our clients, staff, families, and our community at large, we are taking every necessary precaution to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As of the end of business on Monday, March 16, 2020, Meyer Suozzi’s workforce shifted to a remote environment. We are meeting with our clients on a virtual basis, and participating in telephone or remote teleconferences. It should be noted that following our decision, effective immediately, that starting on March 22, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued a statewide executive order for businesses, mandating that all workers in non-essential businesses are require to stay home until further notice. This mandate excludes only those businesses that provide food, healthcare, shipping and supplies. Moreover, the Governor indicated that if the spread of the virus does not level off, further workforce restrictions will be implemented.
Be assured that Meyer Suozzi’s technological capabilities provide secure state of the art remote access to our electronic file server and emails. Additionally, our attorneys and staff have all the supplies and resources necessary to operate remotely without interruption as we continue to be diligent and attentive to our clients’ legal needs and provide effective representation to our clients.
As we navigate these extremely challenging times, our offices will provide our clients and friends with updated information about our operations.
We wish you good health and thank you for your continued trust in Meyer Suozzi.
Paul F. Millus has been coaching the Floral Park Memorial High School, Nassau County Bar Association (“NCBA”) Mock Trial Team. Each year, NCBA lawyers volunteer to encourage and motivate high school students to consider a career in the legal profession by giving them support and advice to argue a real case in a real courtroom during Mock Trial. The annual New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament, the nation’s largest, provides students with hands-on opportunities to further their understanding of the law, court procedures and the legal system, while honing their speaking, listening, reading and reasoning skills. With more than 45 high schools, and more than 500 students participating, the Nassau contest is the largest single-county competition in the state. On March 4, 2020, the team will be entering Round III (“the Intermediate Round”) which now consists of 32 teams.
On February 19th, Paul F. Millus was appointed a new member of Touro Law’s Board of Governors. Mr. Millus’ enthusiasm, knowledge of the Touro College community, and a recommendation from Lois Schlissel was what led the Board of Governors to make this decision.
Since 1995, Touro Law Center has honored distinguished members of our community and alumni at our annual “With Liberty & Justice for All” Dinner Celebration. Each year, we recognize their outstanding achievements and commitments to the community with an induction into the Builders Society. The Builders Society was created to recognize and celebrate those individuals who played a role in the establishment and in the creation of a solid foundation for the Law Center.
On February 6, 2020, Matthew M. Marcucci received Long Island Business News’ 40 Under 40 Award. Since 1998, Long Island Business News has celebrated outstanding members of the business community on Long Island who are 40 or under. These future leaders of Long Island have already begun to distinguish themselves in business, government, education and the not-for-profit sector.They have a proven track record of career success, are involved in mentoring and promoting their profession and find time to give back to their communities.
Michael P. Reynolds, Esq., tax certiorari attorney, explains why every property owner should grieve property taxes now.
Welcome to the LI Law Podcast. We feature legal issues and developments which affect Long Island residents and business owners. The podcast focuses on Long Island law topics and includes greater New York court and legislative happenings. If you are one of the approximate 8 million residents of Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings counties), or want to enjoy all law-related matters on Long Island, this podcast is for you!
Our guest on this 32nd episode is Michael P. Reynolds, Esq., a tax certiorari attorney. Mike Reynolds has worked both as a Deputy County Attorney and as a petitioner’s attorney in the field of tax certiorari. He is a former prosecutor and the current President of the Society of Professional Investigators.
In his public appearances, Mr. Reynolds discusses the numbers behind your tax bill, what the County is looking at in determining fair market value, and what it isn’t. The approach to assessments varies from New York City to Montauk. This makes for an interesting collection of challenges and solutions for property owners.
EVERY taxpayer needs to know what goes into a tax bill and nearly EVERY taxpayer should be protesting, EVERY year. This year’s deadline to file a tax grievance is March 2, 2020 in NYC and Nassau County, but Mike recommends giving yourself a Valentine’s Day gift and filing in February.
Click here to view the Podcast.
Five lawsuits later, golf club owners stay on plan to build homes
Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa
By Jesse Coburn
Two moratoriums. Five lawsuits. $1 million in legal fees.
A plan to convert an 18-hole golf course and country club on Nassau County’s South Shore into building plots for 284 homes has not exactly been frictionless.
Still, the owners of the Woodmere Club express optimism about their goal of subdividing the expansive property, potentially yielding hundreds of millions of dollars in land sales, even as local officials continue to raise concerns about the proposal’s impact, including on traffic and the environment.
The project is entering a pivotal period, stakeholders say. The Town of Hempstead and the villages of Woodsburgh and Lawrence recently approved an intermunicipal agreement to create a comprehensive zoning plan for the property. The club falls into all three municipalities. An environmental review is also proceeding at the Nassau County Planning Commission, which may soon begin accepting public comment on the proposal.
“The process is moving forward,” said Efrem Gerszberg, one of the club’s owners. “With or without the politicians.”
The resistance to the plans to carve the property into 284 residential plots began even before Gerszberg and Robert Weiss purchased the club in 2017. Hempstead issued a moratorium in 2016 that effectively prohibited residential development there, while Woodsburgh enacted its own moratorium in 2018.
Lawsuits by the club owners ended both moratoriums. But, in December, Woodsburgh adopted a Vision Plan that recommended rezoning much of the club for larger lots, which would reduce the number of homes that could be built there. That plan sparked another lawsuit from club owners, which is ongoing.
“The board of trustees has a duty to act in a lawful manner that promotes the health, safety, morals and general welfare of its residents,” Woodsburgh attorney Brian Stolar said in an interview.
Similar concerns are present in the intermunicipal agreement between Hempstead, Woodsburgh and Lawrence to establish a comprehensive zoning plan for the club.
“Potential development seriously threatens both this environmentally-sensitive coastal area, the well-being of the Town and adjacent Villages, as well as the region as a whole,” a copy of the agreement approved in December by the Hempstead Town Board reads.
Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman, whose district includes part of the club, said the new zoning would likely reduce the number of lots the owners could create, at least on the portion of the club in Hempstead’s jurisdiction.
“There could be a residential component to the final plan,” Blakeman said, but “I would like to see it become a site where we preserve as much open space as possible.”
Gerszberg, for his part, said he is only waiting for Lawrence to approve the intermunicipal agreement before he files suit against it too. He said the club owners have spent around $1 million in legal fees on the project so far.
The costly legal wrangling over the plan reflects the rare opportunity it represents, said those involved.
“There’s not going to be that many more times where you’re going to get 100 acres of property in the middle of Nassau County that’s being developed,” said Christian Browne, an attorney for the club owners.
January 6, 2020 (Garden City, N.Y.) – Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. is pleased to announce that Jordan D. Weiss has joined the firm as an Associate in the Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization Law group located in Garden City, New York.
Mr. Weiss’ practice focuses on advising clients in the area of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights with significant experience in representing debtors, creditors and trustees in chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
“Jordan will be a valuable addition to our team,” said Edward J. LoBello, Chair of the Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization Law practice at Meyer Suozzi. “His arrival reflects the firm’s continuing commitment to providing top quality services to its clients, and we look forward to his contributions.”
Before joining Meyer Suozzi, Mr. Weiss was an Associate at a boutique bankruptcy firm on Long Island. After graduating from law school, Jordan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Grossman, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Weiss received his J.D., cum laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2015. While in law school, Jordan was a Notes Editor for the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal, and his student note, Non-Dischargeability of Mixed Student Debt, 13 Cardozo Pub. L. Pol’y & Ethics J. 281 (2014), was selected for publication.
Mr. Weiss was born and raised in Oceanside, New York and currently resides in Astoria, New York.
(Photo by Robert Pelaez)
The Great Neck Estates Board of Trustees approved an extension for the developers to obtain demolition permits of the First Playhouse after a public hearing on Monday.
Lions Group NYC has sought to replace the historic building with a 20-unit, 35-bedroom mixed-use apartment complex since 2017.
“We all want to get this done so we do not have to look at a decrepit, run-down building anymore,” said Albert Shirian, who heads Lions Group. “Whatever we can do to make sure that happens as quickly as possible, we will.”
In its heyday, the First Playhouse on Middle Neck Road showcased Broadway-bound plays and vaudeville acts starting in the mid-1920s, including the Marx Brothers and F. Scott Fitzgerald. United Artists bought the theater in the 1930s, but it closed in 1983.
Developers were scheduled to appear at a public hearing on Nov. 11 but did not provide the necessary modifications and updated studies that the village asked for after a hearing on July 8. On Monday, representatives from Newman Design and Mulryan Engineering presented both to the board and close to 20 residents.
“The changes we made were very minute, with the biggest one being the new facade of the building,” said Brian Newman, director of architectural services at Newman Design. “We also changed the glazing and width of windows to decrease visual intrusion of residents in the apartment and the homes on Maple Drive.”
The developers amended their initial plans, which included changing the entrance location, adding windows to the west side facing Maple Drive and moving the fitness center upstairs. The facade of the building will be a dark grey brick veneer material, providing a more contemporary design.
The developers were also asked to present their findings in an updated traffic impact study. Sean Mulryan, the head of traffic engineering firm Mulryan Engineering, presented the conclusions found since July.
“There have been no significant changes that go against our conclusions from our studies conducted several months ago,” Mulryan said.
Village Attorney A. Thomas Levin expressed concerns about granting a demolition extension if permits were subsequently not approved and there would be, for lack of a better term, “a hole in the ground”.
Shirian and his attorney William Bonesso came to an agreement with the board that a $50,000 deposit would be made to ensure that if the building was not approved after demolition occurred, the village could level out the pavement and clear the area for another project to come along after.
“There has to be an understanding that there is mutual trust for both the village and the developers,” Mayor William Warner told the public. “We are all on the same page of wanting work to begin on this project. The village is willing to be flexible within reason to help get this started.”
The board unanimously approved to grant a two-month extension for the developers to obtain demolition permits. Warner said the plans must also be approved by the Nassau County planning commission. The planning commission meets on Thursday, and Levin said the village should have an answer for approval of the modified plans by Friday.
The board concluded the public hearing by agreeing to replace the modified plans withe the original ones on the initial application. The board also agreed on extending the public hearing to Jan. 13, where approval of construction could be granted.
by Robert Pelaez
Click here for the article on The Island Now.
November 20, 2019 – (Garden City, NY) Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. is pleased to announce that our esteemed colleague has been named Long Island Herald’s Real Estate Achievers and Leaders Commercial & Real Estate Attorney. The Herald Community Newspapers and RichnerLIVE’s Premiere R.E.A.L. Awards was held on November 19, 2019 and spotlighted entrepreneurs, professionals, and visionaries in Long Island’s real estate industry who have achieved success in their respective roles while also involved in community contributions and advocacy.
Alexander Berger is Chair of the Real Estate Law group at Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein, P.C. located in Garden City, New York. Mr. Berger represents land proprietors and developers in all aspects of transactional real estate, including the management, construction, acquisition, disposition and financing (construction, acquisition, joint venture and mortgage conduit loans) of commercial properties regionally and nationwide.
In addition, Mr. Berger represents landlords and tenants in all types of commercial real estate lease transactions including space leases, “big box” leases, ground leases and build-to-suit leases. He regularly drafts and negotiates letters of intent, brokerage agreements, and leases and subleases for landlords and tenants.
Mr. Berger also has extensive experience in structuring and facilitating like-kind exchanges under IRC §1031.
Prior to joining Meyer Suozzi, Mr. Berger was a Partner in the Real Estate practice group at Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein, LLP. Mr. Berger is fluent in Russian.