(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that Michael L. Gaynor has joined the firm as counsel in its Midwest Real Estate practice. Gaynor previously served as general counsel and chief operating officer for the City of Chicago's Departments of Housing and Planning & Development.

"Michael is a multifaceted attorney and leader in the affordable housing space," said David R. Dlugie, chair of Katten's Midwest Real Estate practice. "His long tenure and versatile roles in the public sector gives him the hands-on experience and deep skill set our clients are looking for to help guide them through complex affordable housing projects."

For more than 20 years, Gaynor served the City of Chicago in a variety of roles. As general counsel for the housing and planning departments, he oversaw management of the city's 10,000-parcel land inventory for residential and commercial development. He supervised and guided the departments' legislative initiatives and provided counsel on high-profile projects, including the redevelopment of commercial and industrial sites for mixed-use and affordable housing construction.

Gaynor served as a liaison to the city council and its committees, the law department, the inspector general, the board of ethics, the zoning board of appeals, the planning, preservation and development commissions, the public employee union and various sister agencies, including the Cook County Land Bank Authority. As chief operating officer, he oversaw human resources, information technology, geographic information systems and office operations teams for the housing and planning departments.

As supervising counsel in the law department's real estate and land use division, Gaynor also represented the plan and landmarks commissions, helped create the zoning framework for recreational cannabis, and handled all aspects of leasing and conveyancing, including the sale of the 48-acre former Michael Reese Hospital campus in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood for a mixed-use redevelopment. Additionally, he has provided counsel on intergovernmental agreements, tax increment financing, special service areas, industrial development bonds and other tax-exempt debt, and the financing of several affordable housing projects.

Katten has one of the largest and most sophisticated real estate practices in the United States. Its Affordable Housing and Community Development group comprises real estate and tax attorneys who have helped create innovative financing structures for affordable housing, workforce housing, mixed-income housing and community development projects, utilizing public-private partnerships, federal and state tax credits, taxable bonds, tax-exempt bonds and private equity. Last month, the group welcomed Louise Carroll, former New York City Housing Preservation and Development commissioner, to its New York office.