Omar Toro-Vaca

senior vice president
real estate

Omar Toro-Vaca: senior vice president real estateOmar joined Kasirer after returning to New York City from San Francisco, California, where he served as a Principal at Assembly Design Studio. Before that, Omar was an Associate Principal at SHoP Architects, for which he led the public approvals strategy on Uber’s ground-up headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district. Engaging with local community groups, the San Francisco Planning Department, City Hall, and the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII), Omar led a team that secured two planning variances focused on improving the buildings’ contributions to the public realm. And with a team of consultants, he led the process of navigating highly restrictive codes to ensure the approval of San Francisco’s first naturally ventilated, mixed-mode office building to be approved under the state of California’s Building Energy Efficiency Program, Title 24.

Omar has also overseen public approvals associated with international projects in Melbourne, Mexico City, and Tijuana. There, he frequently liaised with government officials on behalf of private clients. In addition, Omar worked on projects for the US Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), where he led efforts on public approvals for new US embassies in Tegucigalpa and Seoul. His early work on the new US Embassy in Jakarta (for Davis Brody Bond) contributed to the successful merger of five contiguous parcels for the expansion of the embassy campus near Merdeka Square.

Trained in Architecture and educated in Public Administration and Urban Policy, Omar sees the social and economic value of fostering community engagement through design. In this way, he co-led a campaign with Human Scale Studio in Detroit for the redesign of Roosevelt Park. Omar navigates complex public approvals with diplomacy and tact to ensure projects are greenlighted by various municipal bodies and stakeholders, all while advocating for densification through policy. As a project lead, he has assembled, led, and mentored talented multi-disciplinary teams to work on multifaceted projects that blur boundaries between architecture, zoning, planning, and economic development.

He joins Kasirer as an integral part of the Real Estate team, where he manages projects going through the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the Landmarks Commission, and other forms of approvals that require advocacy and community engagement.