For Immediate Release
August 22, 2018
Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 720-3471
August 22, 2018 – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced the appointment of Anita Laremont as DCP’s next Executive Director. Laremont, who currently serves as DCP’s General Counsel and Chief Analytical Officer, will begin in her new role September 4.
“With a deep mastery of land use policy and planning, legendary problem solving abilities, a storied public service career and her trademark good humor, Anita’s promotion means that DCP will continue to focus its significant talents and energies on planning, urban design, transparency and efficiency to benefit communities across the five boroughs. I am thrilled that Anita has agreed to take on this new role,” DCP Director Marisa Lago said.
“I am honored and delighted to be named DCP’s next Executive Director. With big shoes to fill, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues at DCP, in New York City government and in communities throughout our city on the important land use challenges and complexities that we face as we work to make sure that our city continues to be the best that it can be for generations to come,” Anita Laremont said.
“I am so pleased to be passing the baton to my good friend and my close colleague, the amazing Anita Laremont. Under her leadership, I know that DCP, and indeed our city, will be very well served,” said Purnima Kapur, DCP’s outgoing Executive Director.
Using its many land use tools, DCP encourages the creation of affordable housing and jobs for all New Yorkers, while simultaneously enhancing the public realm and promoting quality design.
DCP’s greatest strength comes from the hands-on local expertise of the cadre of expert city planners in its borough offices, in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Each of these counties has a population, and urban planning needs, that are greater than most America cities. These borough-based planners work hand-in-glove with planners at DCP’s central office, who specialize in areas such as urban design, zoning, waterfront, housing, economic development and environmental review. The DCP team also includes demographers, technologists and administrative staff, all working to support the agency’s planning mission.
Laremont will succeed Purnima Kapur who has served with distinction as DCP’s Executive Director since the start of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration. Laremont will continue to serve in her current role until a replacement is named.
At DCP, Laremont helped create and adopt two seminal citywide text amendments -- Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability -- which fundamentally reshaped how affordable housing is produced and designed. She was a key architect of the City’s efforts to redevelop East Midtown, through the Vanderbilt Corridor and Greater East Midtown plans, and the related exploration of the transfers of development rights as a tool to promote the public interest. She has been intimately involved in all of DCP’s neighborhood studies.
“I am thrilled that my longtime friend, Anita Laremont, will be named Executive Director of the Department of City Planning. Anita has been an exemplary public servant as long as I’ve known her, and she has been a champion for affordable housing – which the city desperately needs – throughout her career. She knows the city backwards and forwards on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, and I am confident her expertise will serve the city well. I wish her the best of luck and I congratulate her on this exciting new role,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.
“My team and I have worked with Anita on many occasions. We know and respect her, and we believe she is a knowledgeable and dedicated city planner. Perhaps as important, she is a Staten Islander who understands our community, concerns, and unique challenges. Our Borough Hall team looks forward working with her even more closely in the years ahead,” Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said.
"Anita Laremont is a class act and straight shooter. She has served DCP and worked with our commission for years to ensure the City's planning initiatives and those of private developers serve and protect the public. I look forward to working with her in her new leadership role," said Kenneth J. Knuckles, Vice Chair of the New York City Planning Commission.
“Anita is among my favorite people and one of New York’s most talented public servants. She has proven time and again that she has the leadership skills, intelligence and respect from her colleagues it takes to help lead the Department of City Planning as it meets the economic development and population challenges of this rapidly evolving 21st Century. Congratulations Anita,” said Carl Weisbrod, former DCP Director.
“Anita’s extraordinary integrity, good judgment, and willingness to listen make her perfect for this extremely important position. The City is lucky to have such talent, character, and intelligence on the City Planning team,” said Vicki Been, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Faculty Director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Been previously served as Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development for the City of New York.
“Anita Laremont is a highly capable attorney and public servant who is committed to helping assure the sustainability of a vibrant New York for all,” Carol Kellermann, President of the Citizens Budget Commission, said.
“Creativity in city planning and strong legal skills are a powerful combination that Anita Laremont has wielded in the service of New York City. It was a pleasure working with her to deliver much needed improvements to Greater East Midtown that will keep it a world class business district for generations to come. I congratulate her on this new role,” said Riverside Park Conservancy President and CEO, and former City Councilmember Daniel Garodnick.
Immediately prior to joining DCP as General Counsel in 2014, Laremont was a partner in the law firm of Harris Beach PLLC, where she had a real estate, land use and government agency practice. Prior to that, Laremont served for more than 16 years as General Counsel of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), New York State’s primary economic development entity. While at ESDC, Laremont was involved with numerous large-scale economic development and land-use projects in New York City and throughout the state, including transformative projects such as the 42nd Street Development Project, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island.
Laremont has served as a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, and as Co-Chair of its Economic Development Committee. She is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the State Bar and the American Bar Association. Among a number of board affiliations, she currently serves as First Vice-Chair and Chair of the Development Committee at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens in Staten Island, where she resides. Laremont is a magna cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden Scholar.