The Rooftops Conference

Early Registration Now Open!

The Rooftops Conference 2014 – Friday, April 25, 2014.

This will be our fourth annual, full-day symposium focused on the role of real estate occupied by not-for-profit organizations in connection with their charitable purposes. Our goal is to provide a forum for meaningful dialogue, research and the exchange of ideas among not-for-profit and real estate industry professionals about the role of real estate (owned, leased or hosted space) in the operational and financial performance of not-for-profit organizations of all sizes and mission types.

To register, please click here.

Conference Agenda

8:30 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Snapshots from the Rooftops: Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Conference Lead Moderator: James Hagy, Distinguished Adjunct Professor and Director of The Rooftops Project, New York Law School

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Harvesting Assets or Eating the Seed Corn? Assessing and Addressing Core and Non-Core Properties

Panel Moderator: Richard Warshauer, Senior Managing Director, Colliers International NY LLC


Jennifer L. Davis, Vice President, New York City Government, Not-for-Profit, and Education Group, TD Bank

Larry Graham, Vestryman, Trinity Church

Richard J. Krainin, Partner, Arent Fox LLP

Dan Lehman, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Children’s Aid Society

What factors may warrant not-for-profits to evaluate their property assets on a periodic basis? While some not-for-profits may operate from the same location for many years or even generations, market changes in property values, needed investment in repairs or renovations, basic funding realities, or a shift in mission-driven locational requirements may all signal a time to reconsider. If a property is sold in a favorable seller’s market, how can the organization face replacing that space in an equally unfavorable buyer’s or tenant’s market? How and when should not-for-profits evaluate both core and non-mission critical property assets in light of both programmatic direction and market conditions?

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
While You Were Resting: Property Regulation and Property Strategy

Ross F. Moskowitz, Partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Most property owners, including not-for-profits, pay close attention to zoning, land use, and other property regulation at the point of site acquisition, construction, or significant redevelopment. But how can property regulation impact not-for-profits at any time, between planned major transactional events? In this discussion, we will explore the nature and significance of zoning changes in the neighborhood and nearby community, the practical and financial implications of air rights, and expected and unexpected impacts of landmark designation and historic properties, including related insights about the new administration in NYC.

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

11:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Risk Management for Not-for-Profit Properties

Alan M. Di Sciullo, Director of Global Real Estate, Shearman & Sterling LLP

James A. Fenniman, Executive Vice President, Bollinger New York Division, A.J. Gallagher & Co.

Laura McGreevy, Associate Director, Center for Real Estate Studies, New York Law School

Litigators and insurers alike frequently mention real estate as a key source of potential financial and operational risk for any organization. What lessons can not-for-profit organizations draw in managing risk with respect to the properties they operate or occupy? How should risk management figure into real estate transactions such as sales, purchases, and leasing? How should not-for-profits address property risks associated with formal or informal use of their space by other organizations? The panel will address property and casualty risk of loss, premises and general liability, transactional allocation of risk, and emergency preparedness.

11:45 –12:30 p.m.
Trends and Tides: Updates in the Built Environment

Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President, New York Law School

Dean Crowell will add his greeting to program attendees and offer insights relevant to the program about the ongoing transition in New York City government, including on operational and community and economic development matters. Previously, for more than a decade, he served in City Hall as counsel and senior management and policy advisor to Mayor Bloomberg.

Gerald Korngold, Professor, New York Law School

Across the country, state and local governments continue to struggle and seek additional sources of needed revenue. Not-for-profit real estate tax exemption is a creature of state statute, not constitutional right. Professor Korngold will offer insights in trends that include payment-in-lieu of tax arrangements and governmental challenges to the exemption of property being held vacant for future use or for conservation.

David G. Samuels, Partner, Duval & Stachenfeld LLP                              

This year the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act becomes effective, implementing the first comprehensive amendments to the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation statute in more than 40 years. This segment will provide a working overview of provisions impacting not-for-profit real estate transactions and associated governance and compliance.

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon Program: What Is Your Building Saying to Your Audience?

John Russick, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Chicago History Museum

Whatever your organization’s mission type, what role does your physical space play in communicating that mission and in building your brand? How do design, function, and operation of real estate affect the audiences you seek and serve, from visitors to employees and donors? John Russick will share thoughts on expected and unexpected ways in which physical space is an integral tool in achieving mission, drawing in part from his own experiences at the recently renovated Chicago History Museum and in its constantly evolving exhibits and spaces.

1:45 p.m

Our reception offers a chance, over dessert and beverages, to meet peers and to chat with our speakers, panelists, faculty, and students involved in The Rooftops Project.

Rooftops Conference 2013

For more information about The Rooftops Conference 2013, including a copy of the Program Agenda and Conference Materials, please click here.