My clients require counsel on both the big picture and the minutia of their developments. By participating in both the strategic and analytical frameworks of their matters, I often have opportunities to suggest creative solutions to design or underwriting problems and am often in a unique position to help add value.
Paul J. Proulx is a New York land use lawyer. He represents clients on land use, zoning and urban development matters in New York City. His clients include both the City’s most respected developers and property owners with lower profiles. Paul’s practice is mainly transaction-based. He regularly assists clients in the transfer of development rights pursuant to New York City’s as-of-right framework. The rest of his practice involves providing land use counsel on the as-of-right solutions and administrative procedures to entitle buildings under New York City’s Zoning Resolution and Administrative Code.
Paul represents purchasers and sellers of development rights in transactions between adjacent property owners. He adeptly handles complex development rights transactions for developers on large assemblages. When working for sellers, Paul takes a cooperative approach and uses his keen insight into the development process to find solutions to maximize value. He negotiates and draws up purchase and sale agreements, zoning lot development agreements (ZLDAs), declarations, licenses, and easements for such transactions.
On the regulatory side of his practice, Paul often plays a role in making changes to the New York City Zoning Resolution and other land use controls, which determine the shape and success of projects. Paul is an advocate before New York City agencies, including the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), City Planning Commission (CPC), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), Office of the Mayor, and New York City Council. Drawing on his background as an urban planner, Paul drafts and prosecutes land use applications and the restrictive declarations that accompany them. He plays a lead role on development teams seeking approvals in the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).
On a parallel path with land use entitlement work, Paul also provides counsel on New York City tax incentive programs. New York State’s Affordable New York Program (421-a) incentivizes affordable housing that can qualify for additional inclusionary zoning benefits, including additional floor area or height for new multi-family construction. Paul regularly represents applicants for benefits under both programs. For renovations and conversions of existing buildings, the J-51 tax abatement program promises to play an important role post-Covid. For commercial buildings and hotels, Paul also provides counsel on the City’s Industrial and Commercial Abatement program.
Paul’s experience includes neighborhood scale ULURP applications and some of the City’s largest assemblages of the last two decades – projects that transform the City. Just as often, Paul provides key counsel to facilitate the more profitable development of a single lot. He finds it rewarding to help architects and developers make the most of square footage on a site, assist them in understanding and planning out land use solutions to development constraints, and watch projects unfold as places that enhance their communities.
Before he entered private practice, Paul briefly spent time in government and worked in-house with a hotelier and real estate development firm. He previously practiced at two global law firms before joining Carter Ledyard.