Photo of Ted Zangari

Ted Zangari is a Member of Sills Cummis & Gross and is a Chair of the Firm's Real Estate Department.  Mr. Zangari also chairs the Firm's Government Relations and Public Policy Practice and its Redevelopment Law Practice.

It’s true: COVID-19 has breathed new life into parking lots. As Neal Freyman of Morning Brew has observed:
  • Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship have been holding radio broadcasted services in their parking lots.
  • DJs in Germany have been hosting drive-in raves in parking lots.
  • With libraries, schools, and coffee shops closed, parking lots

Curbside pick-up lanes and “to-go” parking spaces—already trending in shopping centers before the pandemic—have become essential features of retail stores in the wake of COVID-19 and are likely to become permanent fixtures in shopping centers. Likewise, drive-throughs and walk-up or vestibule kiosks will no longer be limited to banks and pharmacies, as retailers of every type seek to adapt to the new public health normal and avoid risks and exposures to employees and customers alike. How does this sudden shift in shopping center design and layout square with existing zoning laws and municipal codes around the Garden State?
Continue Reading Re-Imagining the Shopping Center Post-COVID: Zoning Changes Needed to Accommodate Store Features No Longer Deemed Convenience Amenities

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services (DLGS or Division) yesterday issued “Operational Guidance” to the state’s municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment to “ensure continuity of Land Use application procedures” while New Jersey’s State of Emergency remains in effect. The guidance document seeks to “ensure due process is afforded hearings and to remind local units to adhere to appropriate social distancing and health measures as they implement this process.”
Continue Reading NJDCA Issues Guidelines Clearing the Way for Virtual Zoning and Planning Board Hearings

Sills Cummis attorney Ted Zangari recently issued a public call for the New Jersey State Legislature to adopt a new version of the Permit Extension Act, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-136.1 et seq. The Act was signed into law in 2008 to revive and extend state, county, and local government approvals to provide the regulated community, developers, property owners, and the real estate sector with relief in recognition of the nationwide recession that began in 2007. As the recession and its effects dragged on, the Act was further extended in 2010 and 2012, and again in 2014 to deal with compounded effects of Superstorm Sandy in certain highly impacted areas. As Ted noted, now is the time to extend these protections as we adapt and respond to the current and forthcoming public health and economic crises that are impacting the country and the world.
Continue Reading The Need for a New Permit Extension Act due to the COVID-19 Health Crisis and Ensuing Economic Downturn

History doesn’t usually repeat but it often rhymes. COVID-19’s impact on construction projects will likely differ from past recessionary triggers but one thing is already clear: the setback will be severe in its depth and breadth. That’s why policymakers in Trenton should begin to consider extending building permits and approvals, just as they did during the Great Recession.

A dozen years ago, the New Jersey State Legislature approved the Permit Extension Act of 2008. By any measure, this law saved countless businesses, construction lenders and host municipalities from financial ruin and prevented what could have been a far more dire situation for the state’s economy.

So why was it so important to extend permits and approvals?Continue Reading COVID-19 Legal Resources: It’s Not Too Early to Consider Extending Building Permits & Approvals

Curbside pickups, already trending in shopping centers before the pandemic, will likely become a permanent feature of retail stores…along with features long associated with bank branches: automated kiosks (ATMs), dividers between customers and clerks (tellers), and drive-throughs. As with the advent of mini-fulfillment centers within stores (see my earlier post), these operational and design changes

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released an interactive map that provides details about significant transportation-related facilities, such as highway exits, train stations, and bus stops, that are located in or near Opportunity Zones. Click here to read more.

As seen on:

The city of Newark has one of the top locations in the country for investors looking to take advantage of the new Opportunity Zone Program, according to a national study released Thursday morning.

The LOCUS National Opportunity Zone Ranking Report ranked a census tract in downtown Newark in a tie for

Source: Press Release From Senate Democratic Majority Office

Legislation (S2333) that will require the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) to establish an office of real estate economic development and transit-oriented development was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

The newly created office will assess and develop recommendations for economic development and transit-oriented