Name: Carol Rosenthal
Years in real estate: 26 years
Company Name: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP
Year Founded: 1890s
How did you get your start in real estate?
I began as an associate in the real estate department at a large law firm where I practiced for three years. Shortly thereafter, I was approached to work as associate counsel to the New York City Department of Planning (1986 to 1988). This was a fascinating period and where I became heavily involved in the land use and regulatory aspects of real estate. Among other things, I counseled a team that developed the city’s first inclusionary housing program. I also advised on enforcement policies, and worked on “Television City” (later Trump City and Riverside South), a 16-building development on Manhattan’s West Side. From there I was recruited to a boutique environmental and land use firm, and I served as an Adjunct Professor of New York Law School where I taught land use law. I was partner for several years in Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP’s Real Estate Department. In 2007, I joined Fried Frank’s Real Estate Department where I serve as counsel to developers, businesses, investors and non-profit institutions from all over the world on land use and development projects in New York City.
What real estate associations or organizations are you a member of?
I am a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission and serve as co-chair of its Solid Waste Management Committee. I am also on the advisory board of Cityland (The Center for New York City Law, New York Law School) and a board member of Citizen’s Housing and Planning Committee. From 1998 to 2008, I was chair of zoning committee of the American Planning Association for the New York Metro Chapter and I was on the law committee for the Municipal Arts Society. From 1991 to 1995, I was on the board of directors for Women in Housing and Finance.
What recent project or transaction are you most proud of?
I represented the Durst Organization in the procurement of land use entitlements and successful completion of the environmental review process for 625 West 57th St. The building is a 750-unit, mixed-use tetrahedron-shaped apartment tower, now known as the “VIA,” designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. We went through a rigorous public review process. As soon as that was done, I moved across the street–representing TF Cornerstone on its 1,000 unit mixed-use building. That representation involved transactional issues and another series of entitlements. The area next to the West Side Highway and Hudson River Park will be transformed.
What recent honor, achievement or recognition has meant the most to you and why?
Last year, the Real Estate Forum named me to its Women of Influence 2015 Hall of Fame for my work helping clients on sophisticated, complex deals involving a number of players and contributing to the city’s built environment. As one of six 2015 inductees, I joined 13 other women professionals highlighted for their accomplishments in the traditionally male-dominated industry of commercial real estate. I appreciate the progress that women have made since the days where one might be lucky to encounter one woman working on a project, and the acknowledgement of my contribution to that change.
What have been some of the benefits of being a mentor or having a mentor?
Mentoring is incredibly important. I have experienced a great deal of satisfaction with my own career and I enjoy mentoring others in my field so that they may have similarly energizing and positive experiences. Whether it is balancing a clients’ objectives or facing logistical challenges on a project, I have taken great pride in stepping up and being viewed as the “expert.” I find it thrilling to instill that in the next generation of women so they can go there and beyond!