Susan E. Golden

Golden Susan
Sue Golden focuses on development and infrastructure projects, including land use and zoning, real estate transactions, public and private funding, and governance matters. Sue has extensive experience with the intricacies of federal, New York State, and New York City land use and environmental quality reviews, and government procurement and funding contract administration. She masters the space and operating requirements of her clients' businesses, from research labs and hospitals to museum galleries to public train halls to office space. Her approach reflects a commitment to collaboration, value and responsiveness.

Sue has helped government, private and nonprofit entities on real estate development, rebuilding, renovations and other improvements to or investments in real property. She counsels on compliance with zoning, landmarks, historic preservation, environmental review and permitting requirements; public review and government approval of development proposals, including zoning changes and variances; negotiation of development, design, and construction contracts; and government grants, charitable funding and donor agreements. Sue also handles property acquisitions and conveyances, including deeds, easements, leases and the transfer of development rights (so called "air rights"), and the negotiation of mixed-use condominium structures. She advises on both community and regulatory matters—from public hearings to agency requirements—and translates for clients the fundamentals of the world of acronyms she works in: ULURP, SEQRA/CEQR, SHPO, BSA, PDC, CCG, PAAA/PARA, NEPA, FOIL, ACRIS, etc. When necessary she works with litigation counsel to defend project approvals. 

Sue also advises clients in forming small and special-purpose corporations, including tax-exempt, NY not-for-profit corporations, conservancies and public authorities. One of Sue's areas of focus is the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (NPRA), and she has written and lectured extensively on the subject. She counsels on nonprofit governance matters, collaborations, contracts and fundamental transactions such as substantial asset transfers, mergers and dissolution, including obtaining necessary state agency, attorney general or court approvals.


Representative Matters

  • Served as land use, environmental, and real estate counsel for redevelopment of the Mount Sinai Health System hospital and medical school properties throughout New York City, including zoning analysis and master planning, obtaining zoning variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals, CEQR environmental reviews, subdivision of tax lots, purchase and sale and easement transactions, revocable consent approvals, and design and construction contract issues
  • Counseled the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on land use, environmental, and real estate matters related to the redevelopment and revitalization of the areas of Lower Manhattan affected by the events of September 11, 2001, encompassing the World Trade Center Memorial and Redevelopment Plan, and other projects throughout Lower Manhattan
  • Served as land use and environmental counsel for renovation and restoration of the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) historic campus, including a proposed new Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation; also represented the AMNH Planetarium Authority – a state agency – throughout public and government review of the Planetarium and North Side Project, and subsequent litigation
  • Advised the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery on procurement, construction, real estate, contracting, grants, and governance matters related to the $3.8 billion in federal disaster relief funding allocated for New York State after Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Superstorm Sandy
  • Advised the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) on the development of and relocation to the new Moynihan Station; the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station (Penn Station), New York; and the planned trans-Hudson River tunnel at Hudson Yards
  • Counseled clients on development and construction of a proposed new museum building for the Studio Museum in Harlem on West 125th Street in Upper Manhattan, including real estate transactions, zoning and environmental review and approvals, public and private funding and financing, and possible new market tax credits
  • Represented the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in its $600 million expansion and capital improvement project at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center – home of the U.S. Open – in Queens, New York
  • Counseled the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and its constituents in developing a master plan for the reconstruction, renovation, and modernization of the Lincoln Center campus, including creation of a project governance structure
  • Represented the Art Students League in a transfer of development rights and the right to cantilever over the League's landmark building, including advice regarding the League's membership approval process, which was later upheld in litigation
  • Represented a life sciences research institute in academic and research collaborations, leasing, governance and board matters
  • Counseled clients in creating and participating in a variety of nonprofit park or open space conservancies, including board structure, control issues, governance and conflict matters, and ownership or management of park land or public open space
  • Served as real estate and construction counsel for planning, design, construction, financing, and government funding of the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a performance, education, and broadcast facility in the Time Warner Center Condominium at Columbus Circle
  • Advised nonprofit grant recipients on City and State funding contract requirements, restrictive covenants and reimbursement issues




  • M.P.A. New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service 1993
  • J.D. New York University School of Law 1992
    • Editor, Review of Law and Social Change
    • Managing Editor, Environmental Law Journal
  • B.A. magna cum laude George Washington University 1988

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Co-chair, New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Real Property Law Section, Committee on Not-for-Profit Entities and Concerns
  • Member, NYSBA Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee
  • WX, New York Women Executives in Real Estate


  • Legal 500
    • Real Estate, 2017 – 2018
    • Land Use/Zoning, 2016
  • Random Farms Kids’ Theatre, Exceptional Community Service for the Arts Award, 2015
  • Super Lawyers
    • Top Real Estate Women Attorneys, New York Metro, 2013
    • Real Estate, New York Metro, 2013
    • New York Metro, 2006 – 2007, 2009 – 2012


Pro Bono

  • Performs pro bono work for the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center on governance, real estate, and contract matters
  • Advises Random Farms Kids Theater on governance, contracts and fundraising matters