June 27, 2014
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio has nominated Larisa Ortiz, Cheryl Cohen Effron and Bomee Jung to the City Planning Commission, and Marcie Kesner to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If approved by the City Council, the Mayor's three nominees to the City Planning Commission will assist in planning related to growth and development in New York, and the Mayor's nominee to the Landmarks Preservation Commission will help protect the City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites.
The Mayor's appointees bring diverse experience to the City Planning Commission: Larisa Ortiz is an accomplished urban planner specializing in commercial and retail revitalization; Cheryl Cohen Effron has specialized in reinventing and revitalizing warehouses, including the Falchi Building in Long Island City, into multi-tenant light manufacturing and creative centers; and Bomee Jung leads program activities in sustainability, resiliency, and homelessness at the New York City office of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a national provider of development capital and expertise to create affordable housing. Marcie Kesner, the Mayor's nominee to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, is a planning and development specialist with experience providing land use and zoning advice to clients in New York City.
"With these new appointments, New York City has gained the expertise of four leaders in planning, development and preservation. The City Planning Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission help ensure our city can continue to grow responsibly by working closely with communities—and I know Larisa Ortiz, Cheryl Cohen Effron, Bomee Jung and Marcie Kensner have the skills we need to help us build and maintain this growing city," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"Mayor de Blasio's appointees each have specific expertise that will help inform the Planning Commission's work as it weighs appropriate locations for housing and industrial space, and assesses issues regarding sustainability, affordability and climate resilience. These new appointees have spent years developing their practices related to urban planning and growth, and they will be indispensable partners as we strive to ensure that future development shapes a strong and vibrant city that benefits all New Yorkers," said City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod.
"Marcie Kesner knows this city's neighborhoods and understands the value our historic buildings lend to our local communities. At the Landmarks Preservation Commission, we strive to safeguard historic buildings and districts, while still helping this city develop and expand—and Marcie is uniquely qualified to help us pursue that mission," said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is responsible for protecting the City's architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings, while ensuring the City can continue to grow and evolve. The Commission grants new locations landmark or historic district status and oversees thousands of sites across the city, ranging from specific aspects of individual buildings to entire historic districts.
The City Planning Commission is responsible for the conduct of planning relating to the growth and development of the city, including adequate and appropriate resources for the housing, business, industry, transportation, distribution, recreation, culture, comfort, convenience, health and welfare of its population. The commission meets regularly to hold hearings and vote on applications concerning the use, development and improvement of property subject to city regulation.
About Larisa Ortiz
Larisa Ortiz's career in planning spans nearly two decades, including extensive work managing urban commercial revitalization and economic development efforts. In 2008, Ortiz founded Larisa Ortiz Associates, whose clients include city governments, non-profits, Business Improvement Districts and other economic development entities, both nationally and internationally. A Fulbright Scholar and Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Ortiz earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Master's in City Planning from M.I.T.
About Bomee Jung
An expert on sustainable community development, Bomee Jung currently serves as Deputy Director of the New York City office of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. where she has conceived of, designed and managed multi-million dollar sustainable development projects. Outside of her work at Enterprise, Jung has served on the boards of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and GreenHomeNYC, which she founded in 2004. Jung earned a BA from the University of Georgia and a Master's in City Planning from M.I.T.
About Cheryl Cohen Effron
Cheryl Cohen Effron has spent her career in neighborhood revitalization through the renovation of empty warehouses into vibrant multi-tenant manufacturing and production centers, including over 3.5 million square feet in Long Island City and West Chelsea. After founding the Conjunction Fund, Effron focused on pro bono projects and tri-sector solutions to urban issues. Effron has also served on more than two-dozen non-profit boards, including the Citizens Budget Commission, the New School, the Brookings Institution and chaired the board of the New York Industrial Retention Network. Effron earned a B.A. from Brown University.
About Marcie Kesner
Marcie Kesner is currently a Planning and Development Specialist for Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. Before joining Kramer Levin in 2005, Kesner worked for Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP, where she provided land use and zoning advice to private, public and non-profit clients in New York City. Prior to joining the firm, Kesner headed her own development consulting practice and advised two Queens borough presidents. She currently serves on the board of Citizens Housing & Planning Council. Kesner graduated with a B.A. from Barnard College and a Master's of Urban Planning from NYU.