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2016 Most Effective Lawyers: Government Relations and Regulation

Iris Escarra and Carlos Lago

Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig Miami shareholders Iris Escarra and Carlos Lago helped developer Moishe Mana win approval for a plan to reshape the landscape in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

The attorneys represented the New York developer in gaining unanimous approval from the Miami City Commission for the Mana Wynwood special area plan, the largest zoning change by size.

The duo worked diligently for two years with the city and affected communities to nab the necessary approvals for the new plan, which allows 9.72 million square feet of residential, retail, hotel, educational, office, civic, art and cultural uses on 23.5 acres in the Wynwood and Overtown neighborhoods north of downtown.

The transformational project's centerpiece will be a large area of open space featuring plazas and parks that Mana plans to dedicate to the public.

Escarra and Lago faced several hurdles during the two-year process, and the approval in September almost didn't happen.

The attorneys negotiated with several community stakeholders who wanted a say in the project's final outcome, a sometimes contentious process that took several months. Tensions peaked during the September commission meeting when a previously agreed-to resolution between the Wynwood Business Improvement District and Mana's development team fell apart, threatening to derail final approval.

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