• Paul D. Selver, co-chair of the Land Use department, counsels and represents both private- and public-sector clients in all aspects of land use and development law, with a special emphasis on environmental, zoning and historic preservation. Paul represents clients in matters involving the public and environmental review of complex and large-scale projects, zoning interpretation critical to project approval, and transfers of development rights. He also oversees land use and environmental due diligence in connection with real estate purchases and financings, and has served as special counsel in litigation defending challenges to land use-related permits and approvals.

    Over the past five years, Paul has coordinated the successful public approval of the reconstruction of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport; overseen the documentation of scores of development rights transactions; secured key zoning interpretations and landmark approvals for Central Park Tower; and represented developers and institutions in successful applications to the Landmarks Preservation Commission — for both alterations and new construction — in the Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, Ladies’ Mile, Central Park West-Upper West Side, Park Avenue and Upper East Side historic districts, among other areas.

    Paul is currently overseeing the land use aspects of redeveloping the former Long Island College Hospital campus in Brooklyn with a 900,000-square-foot-plus development that includes residences and a school; the development of a 52-story apartment tower near Lincoln Center; two projects involving the restoration and substantial rehabilitation of Broadway theaters and the development of major new residential and commercial buildings; and the development of an office building containing up to 500,000 square feet in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood — the largest new office building constructed in the West 20s in more than 50 years — that utilizes development rights from two individual landmarks. He is also counseling firms in numerous development rights assemblages and on the land use aspects of projects that do not require discretionary land use actions, including assemblages in Manhattan’s East 20s, East 80s, East 90s and West 40s.

    Paul has practiced land use law with the same core group of lawyers since 1995, and brought his practice group to Kramer Levin in 2005. He has repeatedly been recognized as one of New York City’s most respected and well-known land use lawyers. Chambers USA has ranked Paul in Band 1 (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use) since 2005, recognizing him as a lawyer whom clients and commentators describe as a “great deal maker” (2019), “very skilled at reworking and interpreting zoning, and very aware of the marketplace” (2017) and who is “one of the preeminent land use attorneys in New York,” “very experienced and a terrific negotiator” and “just very, very knowledgeable in the area” (2016). Best Lawyers in America has ranked him as a leading practitioner since 2005 and named him New York Area’s Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year in 2012, 2017 and 2019, and Legal 500 US has repeatedly named him as a top lawyer in real estate and construction (land use/zoning).

    In addition to his work on behalf of Kramer Levin’s clients, Paul also serves as chair of the Planning and Zoning Committee with the Real Estate Board of New York.

     

    Experience

    • Successfully represented SJP Properties LLC and Mitsui Fusodon America in opposition to an appeal to the Board of Standards and Appeals that sought to revoke the building permit for the proposed new building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue.

    • Providing advice with respect to land use, historic preservation and environmental matters related to the reconstruction of Pier 17 and in the overall redevelopment of the South Street Seaport area, including securing approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and discretionary zoning actions for the project.

    • Representing a major theater owner in the sale of development rights to one of its theaters and in prosecuting a discretionary zoning application for additional floor area to facilitate the construction of two separate development projects on adjacent sites.

    • Representing a major developer in the acquisition of development rights to a Broadway theater and in seeking discretionary zoning actions for the use of these rights in an expansion of the existing theater and a new building to be constructed on an adjacent property.

    • Providing land use counsel in the reconfiguration and repositioning of retail space at Brookfield Place, and on other land use matters related to the future use and development of the site.

    • Providing land use counsel in connection with the development of a mixed-use building and a public plaza for access to the High Line at 10th Avenue and West 18th Street in West Chelsea.

    • Secured key zoning interpretations and landmark approvals for both the first and the tallest of the “super tall” buildings on West 57th Street.

    • Secured Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals of alterations and enlargements to buildings in the Greenwich Village, Ladies’ Mile, TriBeCa, Central Park West-Upper West Side, Park Avenue and Upper East Side historic districts.

    • Represented a major New York City developer in the acquisition and development of the southern six blocks of Riverside South, including the zoning actions required to authorize the 3-million-square-foot Riverside Center.

    • Provided land use counsel in connection with the acquisition by a Brooklyn-based developer of the Long Island College Hospital site in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn and is currently representing the developer in connection with the redevelopment of the hospital’s properties.

    • Oversaw representation of pro bono clients Broadway Housing Communities and Hour Children in obtaining approvals for low-income housing and community facilities in West Harlem and Queens, respectively.

    Credentials

    Education

    • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1972
    • B.A., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1969

    Bar Admissions

    • New York, 1972

    Professional Affiliations

    • Real Estate Board of New York Chairman, Zoning Committee; Member, Land Use and Environmental Committee
    • Member, Citizens Housing and Planning Council
    • Advisory Board, CityLand
    • Advisory Committee, New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate