• Elise Wagner is a partner in the Land Use department at Kramer Levin, where she concentrates her practice in land use, zoning, environmental and historic preservation law. She has substantial experience counseling for-profit and nonprofit property owners on the planning and development of new buildings and the reuse of existing buildings. She has coordinated the public approval processes for major public-private development projects involving cooperation between private developers and agencies of New York City and the state. She has negotiated numerous multiparty transactions for the transfer of development rights, and has performed due diligence on the purchase and financing of major properties.

    Elise has been recognized by Legal 500 US (2012, 2014 – 2018), Best Lawyers (2011 – 2019) and New York Super Lawyers (2007 – 2018). She was recently featured in the “Annual Women in Real Estate Spotlight” by the New York Real Estate Journal.


    • Plaxall Inc. — Land use counsel in connection with the development of an innovative, mixed-use district at Anable Basin, which will form the central part of the plan — announced by Amazon, New York State and New York City — for the development of a new headquarters campus for Amazon along Plaxall’s waterfront property in Long Island City.

    • The Gotham Organization — Land use counsel in connection with a rezoning, special permit and other approvals for a development containing market rate and affordable housing and space for the Chinese American Planning Council at 50 Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

    • Trinity School — Obtained approval of a variance allowing a two-story enlargement of the school’s Upper West Side campus to accommodate additional academic and outdoor recreation space.

    • Major Medical Centers — Land use counsel to several major hospitals in connection with a new clinical building, a biomedical research building, an expansion of an existing emergency department and a new ambulatory care center.

    • Major University — Land use counsel for new and converted academic buildings, and advice in connection with changes to the New York City Building Code.

    • Madison Square Garden — Obtained approvals by the New York City Council to allow the continued operation of the arena and to allow significant additional signage.

    • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — Secured a zoning variance from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals to enlarge Ailey’s headquarters located on West 55th Street in Manhattan.



    • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1981
    • B.A., Wesleyan University, 1978

    Bar Admissions

    • New York

    Professional Affiliations

    • Board of Directors, New York Building Congress
    • Co-Chair, Programming Committee, WX Women Executives in Real Estate
    • Board of Advisors, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University School of Law
    • Former Chair of Building Committee and former member of the Board of Trustees, Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester (Chappaqua, NY)
    • Environmental Review Board, Town of New Castle (Chappaqua, NY) (Former member)
    • Board of Directors, New York University School of Law Alumni Association (Former member)

    Focus Areas