Jason Halpern Jason Halpern Photo: Jason Halpern

Jason Halpern, principal of JMH Developments, has an affinity for modernizing historic districts. Not only is the independent real estate development entrepreneur known for beautifying and modernizing properties in historic districts at a price point of 100 million dollars or more, but he is also known for preserving the historic integrity and landmark status of each project he works on. This is exactly why Halpern is the perfect person to lead a new generation of city planning.

Most real estate developers look for the most economically advantageous opportunity and do not care about a neighborhood's existing architectural style. Jason Halpern has never been one of those developers. Considering himself more of a “preservationist” than a ‘developer,” Halpern has a strong appreciation for historic neighborhoods with a consistent architectural feel. While Halpern supports new developments, considering he builds them himself, he is always conscious of how a new building’s architecture can complement or take away from the value of a neighborhood.

Halpern has a vision for New York City that emphasizes modern and innovative new developments as well as architectural consistency. Halpern asserts that, unfortunately, more often than not, newly constructed buildings disregard the existing architectural style of the neighborhood it is to be built in. While the building itself may include luxurious amenities and have an aesthetically pleasing design, the complete lack of consistency between the buildings may actually reduce the value of the new construction as well as the other buildings in the neighborhood.

This is why Halpern does not only want to preserve the historic integrity and landmark status of any building he works on, but he also wants to start a trend focusing on architectural consistency within neighborhoods.

Halpern is a huge proponent of free commerce and does not want to inhibit construction by any means. With that being said, Halpern still feels as though New York City can and should implement some checks and balances when it comes to the neighborhood architecture. Halpern argues that without these balances, the city may not only lose its historic quality, but it also may turn into an postmodern cityscape with no identifiable character at all.

Halpern believes his idea is not at all controversial. Many other cities have their own commission safe-gaurding the architectural style of any new building, like Miami Beach. Halpern wants to take this idea and apply it to New York City at the neighborhood level, as opposed to the city level. By implementing this idea at the neighborhood level, the city will be able to preserve the plethora of styles and character of each of its unique neighborhoods while still encouraging innovation and new construction projects.

Halpern is the perfect person to lead this movement because he is already a leader in beautifying and innovating buildings in historic districts while preserving their historic architectural features. His record in New York City alone speaks for itself.

As a testament to Halpern’s ability to preserve historic architecture as well as improve upon historic communities, his 184 Kent project won the Building Brooklyn Award in 2011, which is awarded by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in order to recognize development companies who have completed a new project that improves the neighborhood. Halpern is also responsible for the luxury residences at 70 Henry located in the famed historic district of Brooklyn Heights, which was unanimously approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in June of 2015. Halpern was also responsible for renovation and construction of The Townhouses of Cobble Hill. The Townhouses of Cobble Hill is a collection of nine luxury townhouses, four newly renovated and five newly constructed, located in one of Brooklyn’s most historic and desirable neighborhoods; due to their historic features as well as their modern amenities, each townhome was bought within a year of the finished construction.

Halpern has a long history of renovating and improving buildings, while managing to preserve their historic architecture and landmark status. Halpern’s ideas about city planning should be heard precisely because of his past expertise and vision for the future.