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  • By Jennifer Polovetsky On Monday, October 16 th, 2017 · no Comments · In , , , ,

    Ok we are just having a bit of fun and being giddy, since we’ve just heard that for the third year in a row the attorneys at Sanchez & Polovetsky PLLC have been selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers List for the New York Metro Area.  That’s right, we made it in 2015, 2016, and again in 2017! This is a big deal because each year no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Are you impressed now? Yes! Although the honor constitutes peer recognition in the legal profession, the selection is quite mathematical and scientific. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. The Super Lawyers lists are also published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country (including the NYTimes). We’re spreading the news so feel free to congratulate us on Facebook too. Of course being selected for this list is a big honor, but the real satisfaction is knowing that the partners at Sanchez & Polovetsky have been recognized by their peers for helping so many small and family businesses. Far too often a business receives a notice about eminent domain and signs an agreement that puts an end to all of their hard work and the employment of those who live the local community. They didn’t know where to turn or who could help them. Knowing that the attorneys at the eminent domain firm that they hired brings a sense of comfort to our clients-they know they are in good hands. And that’s what is most important to us. The dynamic duo said it best: “It is gratifying to be recognized for our work in helping so many multi-generational family businesses and small businesses that make great contributions to the labor force and to society.  We strive to relieve the pressures of eminent domain and create new opportunities for our clients,” says Philip Sanchez, partner at Sanchez & Polovetsky PLLC.  “Super Lawyers is an elite industry group and we are honored to have been selected.” “We thank the Committee for selecting the attorneys at Sanchez & Polovetsky for the third consecutive year.  The New York Metro Area is where we work and live, and to be recognized by our peers for our efforts speaks volumes to our commitment and drive in serving the community at large,” says Jennifer Polovetsky, partner at Sanchez & Polovetsky PLLC.

    16 Oct
    16 Oct
  •   There are whispers of eminent domain in Far Rockaway, Queens so of course we are going to blog about it… It all has to do with rezoning and reshaping the downtown area of Far Rockaway. Let’s face it — some of us might have gone to the area to check out the beach, but downtown — not so much. On September 7th, the City Council approved a $300 million plan to rezone downtown Far Rockaway, Queens. The ambitious plan is the second of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s neighborhood rezonings that have undergone the process of public review. We make note of the proposed rezoning of East New York, which was highly controversial due to fears of gentrification. It seems like those fears are not present in Far Rockaway. The City Council’s zoning subcommittee went through the public review with flying colors and even with unanimous votes. According to The Commercial Observer, $288 million worth of investment will be made, including $128 million in city funding, into a long-blighted stretch of Far Rockaway. The city estimates that the new land use rules will pave the way for 3,100 new apartments, 165,000 square feet of retail and 81,000 square feet of community space in the 23-block rezoning area. In addition, several neglected properties around the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue subway station will be acquired for $91 million. The biggest piece of the puzzle is the Far Rockaway shopping center. Never heard of it? That’s because more than a dozen storefronts have stood empty for decades. The plan is for the city to acquire the shopping center and some other parcels nearby. Once that happens 1,700 apartments are planned for the site and 100% of them will be affordable. Here’s the part about eminent domain… The city might take control of a 150,000-square-foot shopping mall property, which is currently owned an by estate, through eminent domain. The real story is that an affordable housing developer, such as Phipps Houses, will be able to strike a deal.   According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, eminent domain will only be used as a last resort.  But all government agencies say that… The only other way this can play out is if a private developer buys up the lots. That most likely means that only 50 percent of the planned housing will be affordable. In this case, the Mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program would require that developers to allocate at least a quarter of all new apartments as below-market rentals in the seven to eight story buildings. It’s nice to hear that the city’s plan to revamp the neighborhood with such amenities as a new park, a new 30,000-square-foot public plaza, a shuttle bus from downtown to the Rockaway ferry landing at Beach 108th Street, upgrades to sewer infrastructure and sidewalks and a new public library at the corner of Mott and Central Avenues. According to the experts, this is what Far Rockaway needs to energize the local real estate market.   Let’s face it, the area has been economically depressed for decades. Those investors and developers who have been in Brooklyn and the Bronx will now be looking to Far Rockaway for opportunities. Until now there have been very few developers taking the plunge, and most likely it will take several more years before the area sees the type of activity expected. The potential for a renewed downtown Far Rockaway is great, especially with all important commuter options. We’ll just have to wait and see!

    26 Sep
    26 Sep
  •   Absolutely nothing. Both of these stories came out this week and we just couldn’t pick one over the other for a post. The monkey story is both interesting and important, and well, the Kosciuszlo Bridge story is something that we can’t pass up since it’s been a big focus of the firm for a few years. So here goes… We will start with the Kosciuszko Bridge. Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 24 at 5am. According to a tentative schedule released by 94th Precinct Captain Peter Rose, that’s when two old sections of the Kosciuszko Bridge are set to be blown to bits. It was supposed to happen on July 26th, but as these things go, it didn’t. Specifically, the debris will fall on 56th Road, Scott Avenue, Gardner Avenue, Thomas Street and Stewart Avenue, and the roads will be blocked for several hours.   It’s safe to assume that streets near the bridge will also be closed for several hours after. The demolition is only part of the first stage of the $825 million construction of the new Kosciusko Bridge. Back in April the section of the bridge that allows east and westbound traffic to cross it was opened. Once the full bridge is completed, it will only carry Queens-bound traffic, and you will have to wait until 2020 for the second span of bridge, which will eventually carry westbound traffic and feature a broad pedestrian and cyclist pathway. It sounds like the area will be a zoo! (LOL.) Speaking of which, we thought it would be of interest to our readers to know about the lawsuit over a monkey’s selfie. Yes, we were thinking the same thing, a monkey that takes a selfie? Apparently so. The monkey’s name is Naruto and he lives in a rainforest reserve on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. In 2011, Naruto took the selfies in 2011 with a camera that David Slater, a British wildlife photographer, had set up in the reserve. Slater later published the photos in a book, and in 2015 The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (aka: PETA) sued on behalf of the macaque monkey.   The legal battle sought financial control of the photographs for the benefit of the monkey. A lower court ruled in the photographer’s favor, and the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was considering PETA’s appeal. However, on Monday, September 11th, lawyers for PETA said they would ask a federal appeals court to dismiss the case since Slater agreed to donate 25 percent of any future revenue to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques. Considering that Slater spent time with the monkeys and probably has an affinity for them, we’d say he did the right thing.

    14 Sep
    14 Sep
  • By Jennifer Polovetsky On Friday, September 08 th, 2017 · no Comments · In , ,

    All across Florida residents hunkered down in preparation for one of the most powerful hurricanes in history, Hurricane Irma. Some people evacuated while others are made plans to stay safe as close to home as possible.  For residents near Sunny Isles, that means taking your exotic car to a shelter, the 60-story Porsche Design building located at 18555 Collins Avenue that was built to withstand Category 5 winds. As of right now, there are only 10 people living in the building. Wish you were a fly on the wall to know what model cars will be parked?   We hear there’s up to 10 of Lamborghini Miami’s $5 million-and-up cars, including a $5 million Ferrari and a $15 million Pagani Zonda. That’s according to developer Gil Dezer who told The Real Deal. Prestige Imports, a luxury car dealership in North Miami Beach, will be also keeping its unsold penthouse located on the 56th floor with the ability to store up to 11 vehicles. There are two penthouses, and both feature a garage designed to be used as a car gallery that can accommodate up to seven vehicles. As if that’s not enough, also included are two separate car sky garages in each of the penthouse units. If you are like us, you’re probably thinking, “How do they get the cars up there?” Silly question! The building has a unique ability to lift cars from ground level. To be precise there are three such lifts. A first-of-its-kind auto elevator lift system, dubbed the “Dezervator” and named after Dezer himself, is a high-tech hydraulic elevator that smoothly transports owner’s cars to private sky garages adjacent to their condo units. The system has received worldwide publicity, having been prominently featured on financial news networks and TV programs touting the lifestyles of the wealthy. Porsche Design brought in additional pumps to ensure that everything stays absolutely dry. There’s even a team working 24-hours a day dedicated to keeping everything going. Just how valuable does a car have to be to make it into the Porsche Design building? Talks are still underway to decide if a Lamborghini Huracán, which start at just under $200,000, will be brought into the shelter. For the rest of us, insurance companies suggest parking vehicles close to buildings for protection against high winds, and to avoid parking under trees.  

    08 Sep
    08 Sep
  • By Jennifer Polovetsky On Friday, September 01 st, 2017 · no Comments · In , , , ,

    You come to this blog for the unusual and this post will not disappoint (dog poop has led to an arrest). We have everything that people are drawn to: bad language and pets. The story starts with a man named Tracy Smith who ended up in handcuffs after a neighbor complained about a dog that he didn’t own, pooping in a yard that wasn’t his. Yup, we told you it would be interesting. Doing the arresting was Thomas Tinklepaugh (seriously) a Jackson Police Officer who was called to Smith’s home by an angry neighbor named Robin Robinson.   According to the report, Officer Tinklepaugh initially spoke with Smith’s wife. After that conversation the officer spoke to Smith. Things got nasty and Smith began cussing at Tinklepaugh Even with children present, Smith said “F*** you. F*** you. F*** you.” That’s when Officer Tinklepaugh threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct. There is a lawsuit in the works, and according to it, Smith claims he was treated badly. First slammed onto the hood of a police SUV, and then tackled to the ground during his arrest. He ended up in the emergency room at the hospital and required emergency treatment for his injuries. Then he spent two days in jail. The charge? Smith was charged with assaulting-resisting-obstructing an officer based on his swearing. The charges were dropped since the Michigan Court of Appeals had thrown out the state’s obscenity law in 2004. When the charges were dropped, prosecutors tried again by arguing that Smith interfered in the investigation when Smith interrupted the conversation between Officer Tinklepaugh and Mrs. Smith. That didn’t work either. So prosecutors tried to argue Smith’s words were loud enough to violate the city’s noise ordinance. (Really?) In the end, the Michigan Court of Appeals also threw out Smith’s charges, finding there was no probable cause for his arrest. The saga continues, as Smith is now suing Officer Tinklepaugh. How and on what bases? For violating his Fourth and First Amendment rights. Yup, the claim is that he “arrested and sought institution of criminal charges against … Smith in retaliation for his use of constitutionally protected speech.” Smith is also claiming he was the victim of assault by Officer Tinklepaugh and was falsely imprisoned. Because you really can’t make this stuff up!

    01 Sep
    01 Sep
  • By Jennifer Polovetsky On Thursday, August 31 st, 2017 · no Comments · In , , , ,

    Turn on your computer, power up the TV, or sit in the car with the radio on, and the horrors of Hurricane Harvey can’t be missed. In addition to the horrific loss of life, it is reported in the New York Post, that up to a quarter of metro Houston’s real estate has been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Monetary totals say it is as much as $55 billion, according to CoStar. The total losses are impressive. Houston is the sixth-largest US metro area, most of which is very spread out. The city has 1.6 billion square feet of leasable space excluding single-family homes. It is estimated that up to 400 million square feet of commercial space in 12,000 buildings has been affected by flooding. In terms of the buildings, $16 billion worth are apartments. The highest levels of damage are properties that are 175 million square feet inside the 100-year flood zone. That encompasses 20 million square feet of office space and 72,000 apartments. In addition, 225 million square feet is in the wider, 500-year floodplain, but was also engulfed by between 20 and 25 million gallons in floodwaters. “Unfortunately, the number of displaced residents could be far larger than current media reports indicate,” CoStar Group founder and CEO Andrew Florance said. “Our property-by-property review of the assets in the flood plain reveals an outsized share consists of low- to moderate-income households, including those in southwest Houston, where the bayous overflowed.” Houston’s River Oaks, known for its luxurious mansions and where the wealthiest residents live, have also experienced overflows. In Southwest Houston, a dense residential area, CoStar estimates 30 percent of those apartments will be impacted. Retail and hotel properties were not spared either. So what happens when there is so much damage? “You basically have to rip out everything down to the studs and rebuild everything,” he said, adding, “Where are you going to find people [to do repair work] if they can’t live in the city?” said Jay Freitag of STR, in a speech to Memphis hotel owners. We are keeping all the residents of Houston in our prayers.  

    31 Aug
    31 Aug
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