PK Law Education, Labor and Employment Attorney Les Stellman will be presenting at the Chesapeake Human Resources Association (CHRA) 2018 Spring Conference. Workplaces in the Post-Harvey Weinstein Age – Whistleblowing, Investigating, and Responding to Harassment and Bullying: The Role of HR Just Got Bigger!
Dino La Fiandra, Partner, PK Law (second from right) was among the presenters at The Daily Record’s Real Estate Matters conference, held recently at the BWI Hilton. Also pictured are (left to right) Michael Leaf, PK Law; Judy Borns, Residential Title & Escrow Company Law; Terry Anne Hearn, Residential Title & Escrow Company and Benjamin Polakoff, Polakoff Sefret, LLC.
La Fiandra stressed that a real estate investor should engage a land use attorney in the real estate investment process “as soon as possible and definitely before committing to purchasing the property or project.” He added that “attorneys can provide expert advice on parameters including zoning, size requirements for proposed uses, assist in the due diligence process and explain regulatory risks. The attorneys can also execute the approval strategy including completing filing applications, meeting with regulators, present plans to community groups and represent the client at appropriate hearings.”
Land use and zoning attorneys are typically engaged to navigate regulatory constraints, development and environmental regulations, historical preservation and architectural requirements issues. “If anything beyond a building permit is needed, such as zoning or development approval, a land use attorney should be involved in contract preparation,” La Fiandra explained. “It is important to plan for the time needed to gain approvals and advise on contingencies and conditions,” he added.
The panel, entitled “Investing in Maryland Real Estate,” was moderated by Tina Beliveau, Keller Williams Legacy and included Jason Balin, Hard Money Bankers; Matthew Mullen, Chesapeake Bank of Maryland; Dino La Fiandra of PK Law and Benjamin Polakoff, Polakoff Sefret, LLC.
“Investors should be aware of and cautious about zoning and land use development issues that arise at the last minute to potentially derail a project or intended improvement or addition,” La Fiandra continued. “This could be caused by the voices of a local community group or an appeal that could potentially change the entire direction of the project. For instance, on a residential project, if the owner wanted to make exterior renovations to a building or add a pool and pool house to an existing home, it is important to check height restrictions, research proper setbacks and, generally, check to make sure your concept conforms all necessary parameters. Commercial jobs present a host of other issues also, like environmental issues, traffic issues, and sometimes political issues. The bottom line is to make sure you have the approval to execute your intended plan.”
Lisa Porter, Stewart Title; Megan Richardson, Richardson Lagrant Group; Wendy Lagrant, Richardson Lagrant Group; Chi Yan, The Chi Team at Keller Williams Legacy Metropolitan; and Roxanne Wiley, Keller Williams Legacy Metropolitan
Pessin Katz Law (“PK Law”) is pleased to announce that the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) has selected Pessin Katz Law, P.A. as the recipient of this year’s Firm Diversity Award. The Firm Diversity Award is presented to an organization in the greater Baltimore area that promotes the recruitment and retention of minority attorneys.
PK Law, along with three other top law firms and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, helped to launch the Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Initiative. The initiative gave a group of 11 accomplished and diverse students a chance to begin their legal careers this past fall with vital financial and professional support.
Dean Donald Tobin said with respect to the initiative, “We are incredibly grateful to these firms for their leadership in addressing this challenge. Together, they have provided us with almost $700,000 to launch this program. Our profession has talked about the importance of increasing diversity for years. This new collaboration is a significant step toward achieving that goal here in Maryland. I hope every law firm in the state will join us.”
In addition to this recent effort, the Firm embraces a culture of diversity and inclusion among all levels of attorneys and staff. The Firm is recognized for having one of the highest percentages of female partners in a law firm in the state. As of January 2018, forty two percent of the Firm’s Members are women and forty eight percent of the Firm’s Members identify themselves as women, a person of color or disabled. PK Law has been recognized repeatedly as a Baltimore Sun Best Places to Work and a BBJ Best Places to Work Finalist. And, the Firm was one of the first in the state to develop an LGBT practice and continues today serving, supporting and welcoming the LGBT community and other minority groups.
PK Law will receive the Firm Diversity Award and be honored at the BLSA 43rd Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet on Friday, March 2, 2018.
Owner Naseem Gundel plans complete transformation of three-story structure built in 1920 to return building to its “former splendor” with anticipated opening date in summer 2018
Entrepreneur Naseem Gondel has acquired 1500 West Pratt Street, a three-story building that formerly operated as the International Academy of Hair Design and Technology, for the purpose of transforming the structure into a neighborhood restaurant with an Indian and Pakistani theme, with a touch of Italian-American. Gondel is currently working on a complete interior and exterior renovation of the structure that was constructed in the 1920s, with plans to open the new restaurant in summer 2018. Herbert Burgunder III, Member, Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law), represented the new owner in this acquisition. The restaurant has engaged Carballo Architecture to provide design services for the project.
The restaurant will offer a variety of Indian and Pakistani dishes including chicken and lamb curry; beef and chicken kabobs; goat and chicken korma; as well as karahi and biryani dishes. A number of Italian-American style items will also be available including New York-style and gourmet pizza, cheese steaks, calzones and wraps. The restaurant will seat approximately thirty-five people for on-site dining.
“Our primary goal is to help improve the local neighborhood by creating a casual dining environment that will be comfortable and inviting for all residents,” explained Naseem Gondel. “We were attracted to the historic characteristics of the neighborhood, and the lack of locally-owned restaurants serving the day-to-day dining needs of this area. With the improvements currently underway on the building, we will make the neighborhood look exceedingly better, while also creating a new gathering spot for downtown.”
According to Gondel, he also chose this location based on its close proximity to downtown attractions including the Baltimore Convention center. Food delivery service to residents and businesses will be an important component of the business plan.
“Based on input from Naseem, our design focused on returning 1500 West Pratt Street to its former splendor,” explained Adam Carballo, Principal of Carballo Architecture, “which will be accomplished by reestablishing the existing storefront and removing the blocked-in windows to add natural light to the interior. This work is in keeping with the objectives of Transform Baltimore to make Baltimore City more livable, which includes the establishment of neighborhood restaurants. When work is completed, the building will not resemble a mouth with a missing tooth like it does now, and it will be turned into an amenity that will draw people in.”
“The neighborhood surrounding this restaurant is in transition and this represents an important corner of the city,” said Herbert Burgunder III, Member, Pessin Katz Law. “The owner is making a substantial investment into this project and has built up tremendous support within the community that has embraced his restaurant concept. The infusion of energy and private capital into any new project in this West Baltimore neighborhood is impressive, and this restaurant will be an attractive gathering spot.”
“The process to acquire the building and gain approval from the local community to proceed lasted nearly two years, but we are comfortable with the reception we are now receiving,” added Gondel. “We are taking a neglected eyesore that had fallen into disarray and creating a new amenity that will create jobs and provide a necessary amenity to the city.”
“This restaurant will improve the diversity of the area and is something the community would wholeheartedly support,” explained Rason Taru, a long-time community resident and President of the West Baltimore Street Commercial Property and Business Owners Association. “In addition, the new restaurant will help attract more businesses and new residents to the community, as well as address the negative job trend in the community.”
Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) is the ninth largest law firm in the Baltimore area and has been serving clients for close to thirty years. PK Law maintains full-service offices in Towson, Columbia, and Bel Air and is comprised of more than 60 lawyers, paralegals and law clerks. Practice areas include corporate and business law, real estate and zoning, education law, estate planning, elder law, labor and employment, litigation, insurance law and medical malpractice defense. For additional information, visit www.PKLaw.com
A recent article in I95 Business highlights PK Law Member, Patricia McHugh Lambert and Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore Executive Director Karen Bond’s extensive involvement in Executive Alliance. Executive Alliance is nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the success and leadership of accomplished women by expanding their impact and influence through advocacy, education and mentorship.
Read full article here:
901 Dulaney Valley Road
Towson, MD 21204
139 North Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014
10500 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044
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