Meryl A.G. Gonchar

Meryl A.G. Gonchar


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 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 process. 

Ms. Gonchar is an instructor at Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute where she teaches real estate development.  She also guest lectures at Rutgers Graduate School of Business and Rutgers Business School on the topic of land use.

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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. Approval was obtained in March 2015.
  • 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.

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1981



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Rankings & Recognition

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business®* 2005-2018, New Jersey Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use

The Best Lawyers in America®* 2007-2019, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning Law; Litigation: Real Estate and Litigation: Land Use & Zoning

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, 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, Litigation: Land Use and Zoning

New Jersey Super Lawyers®* 2008-2019, Land Use and Zoning

New Jersey Super Lawyers®* “The Top 50 Women Super Lawyers” 2010-2019

New Jersey Super Lawyers®* “Top 100 Super Lawyers” 2014, 2017-2019

Cornerstone Award, New Jersey Builders Association 2019

Chairman’s Award, New Jersey Builders Association 2015, 2017 and 2018

Martindale-Hubbell®* AV rating 

Pillar Award, NAIOP NJ 2013

Women’s Initiatives Award, Garden State Woman 2011

Transactional (Non-Litigation) Attorney Practice Award, Middlesex County Bar Association 2010

“Women of Influence,” Real Estate Forum 2010

“Women of Influence,” Real Estate New Jersey 2009

NJBIZ®* “Top 50 Women in Business” 2008

* See Award Methodology


Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL)
Member, Advisory Board, Center for Real Estate, Rutgers Business School
Trustee, NAIOP New Jersey Chapter
Member, Board of Directors
Member, Programs and Education Committee
Member, Legal Committee
Former Vice President, Associates Affairs
Member, Board of Directors, New Jersey Builders Association
Chair, Master Sponsor Program
Member, Legislative Committee
Member, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW Network)
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, International Council of Shopping Centers
Member, Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey Chapter
Member, Executive Women of New Jersey
Former Member, Board of Directors
Member, Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute Program Advisory Committee
Member, Leadership Excellence Award Dinner Planning Committee
Member, Board of Trustees, Jewish Federation of the Heart of New Jersey (Middlesex and Monmouth Counties)
Former President, Women’s Philanthropy
Vice President, New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations
Former Member, Board of Directors, George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick