Across the country, the entitlement process is slow. In New York City, it's even worse—especially when you're trying to push through a development with 4,000 apartments spread over six large towers. But Sheldon Solow, who leads East River Realty Co., may just have the resources to pull it off.

Solow's mixed-use development on three sites south of the United Nations building is proving to be a hotly debated project in the Big Apple.

The project includes five residential buildings, including 600 affordable units, an office building, a retail pavilion, and a mixed-use building with apartments and a community facility. It would also have a school, approximately 1,303 parking spaces, and 4.95 acres of open space.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance wants better access to East River, while Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who represents the area where the development will occur, is concerned about the residential and commercial buildings fitting in with the existing community.

“It's a residential neighborhood,” says Dan Pasquini, a spokesman for Garodnick. “The only office building in the neighborhood is the United Nations. At night, it [the area] would be dead.”

As of press time, the land use committee was still debating the development. Despite the opposition, ERRC remains optimistic about its ambitious project.

“We look forward to ... beginning construction of this exciting development, which will create more than 7,000 permanent jobs, enhance the waterfront, and significantly add to the economic and social vitality of the city,” says Michael Gross, ERRC spokesman.