Ken Fisher is a member of the national law firm of Cozen O’Connor. Ken’s practice concentrates on New York real estate development, zoning, litigation, and investigations.
Ken was a Member of the council from 1991-2001. He is co-chair of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Real Estate Committee, and former chair of the City Bar Land Use Committee. Ken earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific and his law degree from Syracuse University.
What led you to get involved in the real estate industry?
Real estate is to New York what oil is to Texas! But it’s also one of the most heavily regulated industries. Since being a young lawyer, I’ve had an interest in navigating those rules. It’s very gratifying to look at skylines you helped shape, and also satisfying to help prevent a client from being strangled by red tape.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in NYC?
I’d have to say Brooklyn Heights, New York’s first historic district. It’s still predominantly charming brownstones but with development all around it, in the tech/creative hub in DUMBO, the tens of thousands of new apartments in Downtown Brooklyn, and the transformative Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River waterfront. So some of the most dynamic areas of New York are only steps from one of the calmest.
Describe a recent project you’ve enjoyed working on.
A big focus the last few years has been helping to shape – and win approval for – the Gowanus rezoning. It will transform what has been a neglected industrial area into thousands of apartments, waterfront open space, artist studios, and galleries. My clients and I worked closely with both the City and community stakeholders, and I got to draw on all of my experience in land use, development, and even litigating against the NIMBYs.