Karen Scanna has worked on several of the most complicated and high profile transactions in New York City’s history, focusing primarily on acquisition, development and financing (mortgage, mezzanine and preferred equity, construction and permanent), usually from the owner/operator’s perspective. Several of Ms. Scanna’s transactions involve “public-private” partnerships, with Ms. Scanna representing private developers acquiring City-owned property, by deed or ground lease, for redevelopment in response to the City’s requests for proposals.

In addition to being involved in transactions covering the more traditional property types, such as office, retail and multifamily (including affordable and fair market housing, ground-up condominium developments and condominium conversions), Ms. Scanna is also experienced with various “alternative” property types, including hotels, assisted and senior living and student housing. The vast majority of Ms. Scanna’s clients have elected to operate their properties in joint venture with other parties and, accordingly, a significant part of her practice has been the negotiation of partnership and limited liability company agreements, representing the developer/operator partner as well as the capital partner and/or preferred equityholder.


Some of the more notable transactions in which Ms. Scanna has been involved include the following: 

  • Representation of Taconic Investment Partners, L&M Development Partners and BFC Partners in all aspects of the acquisition, financing and development of Essex Crossing. The 9-site, 1.9 million square foot project is an unprecedented development in the Lower East Side, comprising 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of Ares Management LLC in its joint venture with Ian Schrager for the acquisition, development and financing of 160 Leroy Street, New York, New York.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of the New York Mets in the construction and financing of the stadium known as Citi Field.


  • Listed in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers for work in real estate law
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Nationally recommended by Legal 500
  • Recognized in the 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017 Women in Real Estate Spotlight from the New York Real Estate Journal
  • Named by Real Estate Forum as one of its Women of Influence in the commercial real estate industry for 2008, 2014 and 2015
  • Listed in Super Lawyers for 2007-2008 and 2013-2017
  • Featured in The New York Times Magazine as one of the top women lawyers in New York State, as recognized by Super Lawyers magazine in its 2013 New York Metro Super Lawyers list
  • Selected by NY Residential magazine as a top woman in commercial real estate for 2010
  • Selected by Real Estate Weekly as a top commercial deal maker for 2009


  • Full Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Advisory Board, Chicago Title Insurance Company
  • Member, Real Estate Board of New York
  • Member, New York City Bar Association
  • Member, WX, Inc. - New York Women Executives in Real Estate
    • Member, Membership Committee


New York, 1996; New Jersey, 1995


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

B.S., Yale University, 1990