Karen ScannaPartner

Headshot image for Karen Scanna



Karen Scanna has worked on several of the most complex and high-profile real estate transactions in New York City’s history. Private developers acquiring City-owned property for redevelopment, by deed or ground lease, often seek her guidance in navigating the City’s competitive bid process. With a focus on acquisition, development, and financing—including mortgage, mezzanine and preferred equity, and construction-to-permanent loans—several of Karen’s transactions have involved high-profile public-private partnerships. For example, she represented Delancey Street Associates LLC in its winning bid for the Essex Crossing development, a delicate and complex negotiation that leveraged Karen’s considerable clout and experience.

Karen has deep experience with various “alternative” property types, including hotels, assisted/senior living and student housing, in addition to more traditional types, such as office, retail and multifamily. The vast majority of her clients have elected to operate their properties in joint venture with others, and a significant part of her practice has involved the negotiation of partnership and limited liability company agreements, representing the developer/operator partner as well as the capital partner and/or preferred equityholder.

Described in Chambers USA as “a very strong lawyer with a very good developer representation practice,” Karen has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her work, including being named by Real Estate Forum as one of its Women of Influence in the commercial real estate industry for 2008, 2014 and 2015. She’s been ranked multiple times in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.

Representative Matters

  • Taconic Investment Partners, L&M Development Partners and BFC Partners in all aspects of the acquisition, financing and development of Essex Crossing. The nine-site, 1.9 million-square-foot project is an unprecedented development in the Lower East Side, to be comprised of 1,000 new residences, 450,000 square feet of retail space, 400,000 square feet of office space, community attractions and green spaces. The International Center of Photography, one of New York’s leading institutions, will serve as cultural anchor.
  • TF Cornerstone in the redevelopment of two City-owned sites on the Long Island City waterfront. This mixed-use project combines industrial and commercial office with residential space and is expected to create approximately 1,500 permanent jobs and more than 2,500 construction jobs. The project will include more than 250 units of affordable housing, a new 600-seat school, workforce training programs, 25,000 square feet of art space, more than an acre of open space, and ground floor retail.
  • L&M Development Partners and Type A Projects in its successful bid to develop City-owned property in the Lower Concourse section of The Bronx into Bronx Point. This mixed-use development project will feature public open spaces, hundreds of permanently affordable housing units, a home for the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, a state-of-the-art multiplex theater, education space and a food hall that will focus on incubating Bronx-based food and beverage vendors.
  • The purchaser of Riverton Houses in East Harlem, New York with respect to the acquisition, financing and continued operation thereof, including the negotiation of an Article XI regulatory agreement with the City of New York.
  • Ares Management LLC in its joint venture with Ian Schrager for the acquisition, development and financing of 160 Leroy Street, New York, New York.
  • Silverstein Properties in the 2001 acquisition and financing of various leasehold interests in the World Trade Center, and the subsequent restructuring and continued redevelopment thereof.
  • The New York Mets in the construction and financing of the stadium known as Citi Field.

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers, Real Estate Law
  • Chambers USA, Real Estate—New York
  • Crain’s New York Business, Notable Women in Law
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers, Top Women Lawyers in New York State
  • New York Real Estate Journal, Women in Real Estate: Professional Services Spotlight
  • NY Residential magazine, Top Woman in Commercial Real Estate
  • Real Estate Forum, Women of Influence in Commercial Real Estate
  • Real Estate Weekly, Top Commercial Deal Maker and Leading Ladies
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Legal 500, Real Estate—Nationally Recommended


  • Member, Urban Land Institute
    • Member, ULI New York Women’s Leadership Initiative
  • Member, WX, Inc. – New York Women Executives in Real Estate
    • Member, Membership Committee
  • Advisory Board, Chicago Title Insurance Company
  • Member, Real Estate Board of New York
  • Member, New York City Bar Association

Speeches & Events

  • Moderator, “Impact Investing,” Stroock and KPMG Present the Latest Insights on QOZs and Impact Investing, New York, NY, February 26, 2019

Admitted To Practice

New York; New Jersey


J.D., New York University School of Law, 1995

B.S., Yale University, 1990