Christopher Collins, Vice Chair and Commissioner of NYC Board of Standards and Appeals Joins Capalino Team
Collins Will Serve as Executive Vice President of the Land Use Group
Christopher Collins, former Vice Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals, will join Capalino as Executive Vice President of its Land Use Group. Collins brings decades of experience in public service to Capalino having served for nearly 15 years as Counsel and Deputy Director of the New York City Council’s Land Use Division, among his many other posts in government. In his new role, Collins will provide technical and procedural expertise on a wide range of land use matters.
“We are excited to welcome Chris to our team,” said James Capalino, Capalino’s Founder and CEO. “His dimension of technical expertise in land use and breadth of experience in New York City government will be an invaluable asset to our firm and most importantly – to our clients. Capalino has advised many of the city’s largest real estate development companies through the land use process, and Chris will undoubtedly help advance this practice area by engaging government, stakeholders and communities to ensure favorable outcomes. We are certain that our land use practice will grow and thrive under his exceptional leadership.”
“I am thrilled to join Capalino. The firm’s reputation for smarts, sophistication and integrity made this an easy offer to accept,” Collins said. “I’ve known Jim for many years and I’ve seen firsthand how he and his colleagues always put the client first and never stop working to meet the goals. Jim and I served together on the Executive Committee of Friends of the High Line for more than six years and I really admire his strategic skills and analytic approach. I look forward to advancing the firm’s land use practice.”
Appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council to the Board of Standards and Appeals in 2006, Collins was part of the 5-member panel that heard and decided zoning variances, special permits, administrative appeals and other complex land use matters.
From 1992 to 2006, Collins served as Counsel and Deputy Director of the New York City Council’s Land Use Division. His many responsibilities included providing legal counsel to the Land Use committee and its subcommittees, advising Council Members on major re-zonings, landmarking, the acquisition and disposition of City property, special permits, franchises and the entire range of land use law in New York City. He also negotiated modifications to City Planning Commission decisions, drafted legislation and worked closely with civic and community organizations, non-profits, property owners and the real estate industry. Prior to the City Council, he served as General Counsel to the New York City Department of Telecommunications & Energy and Counsel to the Bureau of Franchise at the Board of Estimate.
In addition to his work in government, Collins was a Founding Board Member of Friends of the High Line. He was instrumental in the litigation that saved the High Line from demolition and helped guide Friends through the difficult, early years of an extremely complex process. Chris played a major role in moving the West Chelsea/High Line re-zoning through the City Council’s approval process. He has served on the Law Committee of the Municipal Art Society, several committees at the Association of the Bar and Chaired Manhattan Community Board 8. Collins has also guest lectured at New York Law School, Cardozo Law School, Baruch College, Hunter College and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Travis Terry, Capalino’s COO, added, “Our biggest asset at Capalino is our incredibly talented team of experienced professionals who work tirelessly to achieve our clients’ objectives. Since 1981, our team’s efforts have resulted in major land use changes, new public policies to reduce hunger and improve the educational opportunities for children, the expansion of major cultural institutions, and the creation of new business opportunities and corporate social responsibility programs. We are overjoyed to welcome Chris to our team – his talent, experience and expertise will be of great value to our clients and to making Capalino the most effective Government & Community relations firm in the City of New York.”
Collins holds a B.A. from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA where he currently serves as Alumni Board President and a J.D. from Duquesne University Law School in Pittsburgh. He resides in Manhattan with his husband, Robert R. Kulikowski.