In the environmental arena, Mr. Braun has litigated the adequacy of several environmental reviews under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and New York City’s implementing regulations. In one case, on behalf of Silverstein Properties, he made significant new law in New York’s highest court on conceptual environmental reviews. In the real estate area, he persuaded New York’s highest court that lease renewals are not subject to the Rule Against Perpetuities, allowing leases to contain an indefinite number of future renewal options, so long as each renewal only may be exercised prior to expiration of the preceding term.
The high-profile real estate, land use and environmental use disputes that Mr. Braun has handled include the successful representation of Forest City Ratner Cos. in multiple litigations in federal and state courts in which opponents challenged the use of eminent domain for its Barclays Center/Atlantic Yards redevelopment project and the approvals and environmental review of the project. Mr. Braun also has successfully defended the land use approvals for numerous major projects by a litany of for-profit developers (including Solow Management, Macklowe Properties, the Trump Organization, RFR Davis & Partners and Stellar Management) and nonprofit institutions (including Columbia University, the Guggenheim Museum and The Museum of Modern Art). He also brought a successful challenge on constitutional grounds to the refusal by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to allow the owner of a commercial building in a historic district to remove an art installation from an exterior wall and use the wall for advertising.