Meryl A.G. Gonchar is Co-Chair of the Sills Cummis & Gross Land Use Practice Group. Her practice encompasses all aspects of land use, redevelopment, zoning and related litigation. She represents property owners and developers in appearances before planning and zoning boards throughout the state, in connection with obtaining land use approvals and permits for residential, retail, office, industrial and mixed-use projects. She represents clients in the negotiation of redevelopment agreements and drafting redevelopment plans. She also represents clients in land use and related litigation before the Superior Court of New Jersey. Ms. Gonchar’s diversified experience enables her to provide clients with continuity throughout the often long and complicated land development or redevelopment process.

Ms. Gonchar is a former instructor at Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute where she taught real estate law and real estate development. She regularly guest lectures at Rutgers Graduate School of Business and Rutgers Business School on the topic of land use.

Practices

  • Real Estate

Expand All

Representative Matters

    • Obtained preliminary and final site plan approval for mixed-use redevelopment project including 424 residential units, 25,000 square feet of retail space and structured parking with extensive park and open space.
    • Obtained minor subdivision approval and preliminary and final site plan approval for a 45 acre 380,540 square foot warehouse building.
    • Obtained site plan approval and use variance for a six-story mixed-use building comprised of five stories of residential units over a first floor containing commercial space in Hoboken. The project was approved for 44 residential units, 44 parking spaces and commercial use to be occupied by a local theater company for studio and children’s theater space as well as a small retail area. The building will be developed to achieve LEED Platinum accreditation.
    • Obtained preliminary and final major site plan approval together with a use and bulk variances to permit modifications to an existing vacant industrial building in Hoboken to permit the building to be used for retail, commercial recreational, and commercial/office uses. The proposed commercial recreational use is a three-story rock climbing gym facility and retail and office are proposed for other portions of the building.
    • As part of a leading real estate industry association’s acquisition of a parcel of property in central NJ to be used as the group’s new headquarters, handled an application for preliminary and final site plan approval and variance relief to construct a mixed-use structure in a designated municipal redevelopment area. The project comprises a 20,850 square foot three-story building with leasable commercial space on the ground floor and offices on the second and third floors.
    • Obtained preliminary and final site plan approval for a mixed-use commercial and residential project in Atlantic Highlands, to be comprised of 18 residential units and commercial space.
    • Obtained preliminary and final site plan approval and “d” height variance for a new football stadium to be built on the campus of a leading New Jersey university.
    • Negotiated a redevelopment plan and redevelopment agreement, and obtained subdivision approval to create four building lots and site plan approval for a 2,500+ parking space structured parking facility on the ON3 campus in Nutley.
    • Obtained preliminary and final site plan approval for a 250,000 square foot office and laboratory facility with a parking space structured parking facility on the ON3 campus in Clifton.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Newsroom

Presentations

Rankings and Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in:
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business®* 2005-2022, New Jersey Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* 2007-2023, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning Law; Litigation: Real Estate and Litigation: Land Use & Zoning
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* Newark "Lawyer of the Year" 2022, Land Use and Zoning Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* Princeton "Lawyer of the Year" 2019, Real Estate Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* Princeton "Lawyer of the Year" 2018 and 2020, Land Use and Zoning Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* Woodbridge "Lawyer of the Year" 2016, Land Use and Zoning Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* Newark "Lawyer of the Year" 2015 and 2023, Litigation: Land Use and Zoning
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* 2008-2022, Land Use/Zoning
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* "Top 50 Women Super Lawyers" 2010-2022
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* "Top 100 Super Lawyers" 2014, 2017-2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell®* AV rating
  • NJBIZ®* "Top 50 Women in Business" 2008
  • Included in the Real Estate Forum "Women of Influence" list in 2010.
  • Included in the Real Estate NJ "Women of Influence" list in 2009.
  • Received Cornerstone Award from the New Jersey Builders Association in 2019.
  • Received Chairman's Award from the New Jersey Builders Association in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
  • Received Pillar Award from NAIOP NJ in 2013.
  • Received Women's Initiatives Award from Garden State Woman in 2011.
  • Received Transactional (Non-Litigation) Attorney Practice Award from Middlesex County Bar Association in 2010.

* See Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL)

  • Former Member, Advisory Board, Center for Real Estate, Rutgers Business School

  • Member, Board of Directors and Trustee, NAIOP NJ

    — Co-Chair, NAIOP 2019 Gala
    — Former Vice President, Associates Affairs

  • Member, Board of Directors, New Jersey Builders Association

    — Former Chair, Master Sponsor Program
    — Member, Legislative Committee

  • Member, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW NJ)

    — Past President, CREW-NJ Chapter (1998)
    — Former Chapter Delegate, national CREW Network

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

    — Past Chair and Emeritus Member, Board of Trustees, Land Use Law Section
    — Former Member, Board of Trustees, Women in the Profession Section
    — Member, Legislative Committee
    — Member, CLE Committee

  • Former Member, American Bar Association

    — Former Member, Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
    — Former Member, State and Local Government Law Section

  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Middlesex County Bar Association

  • Member, ICSC

  • Member, Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey

  • Member, Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey Chapter

  • Former Member, Executive Women of New Jersey, Board of Directors

  • Member, Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute Program Advisory Committee

    — Member, Leadership Excellence Award Dinner Planning Committee

  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey (Middlesex and Monmouth Counties)

    — Former President, Women’s Philanthropy

  • Former Vice President, New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations

  • Former Member, Board of Directors, George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick


Education

  • J.D., Rutgers School of Law
  • B.A., Rutgers University, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey