Carol E. Rosenthal

Carol E. Rosenthal

  • Partner
  • Real Estate
  • New York
  • T:   +1.212.859.8495
  • F:   +1.212.859.4000
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Carol Rosenthal is a member of the Real Estate Department resident in Fried Frank's New York office.  She joined the Firm as a partner in 2007.

Ms. Rosenthal specializes as land use, zoning and development counsel to developers, businesses and non-profit institutions. She has substantial and broad-based experience in overall project development, and particularly in City and State public-private initiatives, housing, transportation and other development, and regularly represents clients in the transfer of development rights, government acquisitions, and turnkey developments. She has successfully prosecuted applications for zoning amendments, special permits, variances, state and city environment quality reviews, landmarked site approvals and other governmental approvals for multi-block to single lot developments.

Ms. Rosenthal's recent representations include:
  • Counsel to The Durst Organization in securing rezonings, text amendments and special permits for its award winning “tetrahedan” VIA 57 WEST building in Manhattan.
  • Land use counsel to Alloy Development for the rezoning and approximately 1.03 million-square-foot development, in partnership with the New York City Educational Construction Fund, of a full block located at 80 Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, which will include housing, office, retail, and new schools.
  • Counsel to TF Cornerstone in connection with rezoning a 2-acre site and zoning text change and special permits to allow the construction of a 1,200-unit mixed-use building at West 57th Street and 11th Avenue.
  • Counsel to the purchasers in connection with a US$1.4 billion acquisition of the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue and approvals for repositioning the site.
  • Development counsel to the Whitney Museum in its acquisitions, land use, and multiparty development agreements for its new museum in the meatpacking district and its latest art instillation.
  • Counsel to The Durst Organization in the development of a 2.4 million-square-foot project, including development rights and other agreements with NYCHA, and located on the waterfront of Astoria, Queens.
  • Development, transaction and land use counsel to the Hospital for Special Surgery in the expansion of its facilities in New York and elsewhere.
  • Transaction and land use counsel in the assembly of option rights, zoning lot mergers, high line transfers and inclusionary rights for a 19-story tower in West Chelsea.
  • Land use counsel for the approvals and transactions for a 63-story mixed-use building in Lower Manhattan using zoning changes to create and transfer development rights from the City.
  • Land use counsel for a 15-acre housing and assisted living facility in Staten Island.
Ms. Rosenthal was also lead counsel on land regulatory matters for the development and private financing of high-speed train maintenance facilities along Amtrak's northeast corridor, and counsel to many New York City educational and healthcare institutions in expanding their housing and other facilities.

Ms. Rosenthal is a former associate counsel to the New York City Department of Planning (1986 to 1988) and was an adjunct professor of New York Law School, where she taught land use law.  Ms. Rosenthal frequently teaches at conferences and seminars for clients and professional organizations and has contributed numerous articles and papers for publication.

Ms. Rosenthal is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission and serves on the Advisory Board for Cityland, a publication of The Center for New York City Law of New York Law School.  She is a member of Women in Housing and Finance, Inc. (serving on the Board of Directors,1991-1995) and was a member of the Municipal Affairs Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1991-1994) and chair of the Zoning Committee of the American Planning Association, New York Metro Chapter (1998-2008).

Ms. Rosenthal is a member of the Women's Forum Planning Committee, a representative group directing Fried Frank's Firmwide women's affinity group.

Honors & Awards

Ms. Rosenthal is recognized by Chambers and Partners in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (New York) and as a Leading Lawyer by Legal 500 in Real Estate: Land Use and Zoning. She was also named to Crain's New York Business' inaugural list of Leading Women Lawyers in New York City in 2017 and Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence Hall of Fame in 2015.  In 1999, she was honored by the American Planning Association with the Floyd Lapp Service Award.  In 2003, she received the Pratt Area Community Council Leader of the PACC award and The New York City Council proclaimed June 6, 1998 as "Carol Rosenthal Day" in the City of New York.

Professional Associations

Trustee, Citizens Budget Commission
Advisory Board, Cityland (The Center for New York City Law, New York Law School)
Board Member, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Committee
Chair, Zoning Committee of the American Planning Association, New York Metro Chapter (1998-2008)
Law Committee, Municipal Arts Society (2003-2008)
Board of Directors, Women in Housing and Finance, Inc. (1991-1995)


Ms. Rosenthal served as law clerk to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

New York

Practices & Industries


New York University School of Law, JD – 1982
  • Staff Member and Note and Comment Editor, Review of Law and Social Change
Brandeis University, BA – 1979
  • magna cum laude
  • Phi Beta Kappa
London School of Economics and Political Science , General Course Student – 1977-1978
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