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David M. Karnovsky

  • Partner | Real Estate

New York

T: +1.212.859.8927

Headshot of David M. Karnovsky

David Karnovsky advises clients on land use, zoning, real estate development, and environmental review.

David has worked on a number of high-profile zoning and land use matters in the Hudson Yards area, Lower Manhattan, East Midtown, and Brooklyn on behalf of such clients as JPMorgan Chase, Tishman Speyer, Extell Development, Related Companies, and Madison Equities.

City & State recognized David in its “2022 Real Estate Power 100” list, which honors the most influential individuals in the industry across the state. In 2020 and 2022, he was included on City & State’s “Law Power 100” list of the most impactful members of the New York Law Community and in 2019 he was included on the “Law Power 50” list, which features the 50 most powerful people in New York politics working in law. David is recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (New York) section, where he is described as “very thoughtful and very analytical.” In addition, David is recognized by Legal 500...

David Karnovsky advises clients on land use, zoning, real estate development, and environmental review.

David has worked on a number of high-profile zoning and land use matters in the Hudson Yards area, Lower Manhattan, East Midtown, and Brooklyn on behalf of such clients as JPMorgan Chase, Tishman Speyer, Extell Development, Related Companies, and Madison Equities.

City & State recognized David in its “2022 Real Estate Power 100” list, which honors the most influential individuals in the industry across the state. In 2020 and 2022, he was included on City & State’s “Law Power 100” list of the most impactful members of the New York Law Community and in 2019 he was included on the “Law Power 50” list, which features the 50 most powerful people in New York politics working in law. David is recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (New York) section, where he is described as “very thoughtful and very analytical.” In addition, David is recognized by Legal 500 in Real Estate: Land Use and Zoning.

Before joining Fried Frank, David worked as General Counsel to the New York City Department of City Planning, guiding many large-scale projects sponsored by the City and private entities involving residential, commercial, and institutional-community facility development. He also advised City agencies and the private sector on zoning and other land use matters. Before that, David was special counsel and policy advisor to New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Operations and chief of the Legal Counsel Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel.

Work highlights:

  • JP Morgan Chase in connection with various aspects of its planned redevelopment of its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue. Fried Frank advised JP Morgan in connection with zoning diligence for the redevelopment of 270 Park Avenue and negotiated agreements for the transfer of up to 668,000 square feet of development rights to the site. The Firm is currently assisting in the implementation of the project under the Greater East Midtown rezoning.
  • Lalezarian Properties in connection with a rezoning, special permit, and other land use actions to facilitate a proposed 45-story, 206-unit mixed-use development at 606 West 30th Street, located south of the Hudson Yards district.
  • Howard Hughes Corporation in connection with a special permit, transfer of development rights and other approvals for the redevelopment of 250 Water Street, located in the Seaport District, for a mixed-use development with affordable housing.
  • Joint venture of RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone in all aspects of the land use approvals needed to develop an 85-story, two-million-square-foot tower next to Grand Central Terminal. The project would replace the existing Grand Hyatt Hotel with a 1,575-foot-tall class-A office building and hotel and include hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment in major transit infrastructure.
  • Extell Development Company in connection with the zoning for its development of 50 West 66th Street on the Upper West Side in New York City. The development is situated along West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue and will feature 127 condominium units.
  • Tishman Speyer in connection with various aspects of its proposed development at the Spiral building, including the acquisition of development rights and zoning text amendments to facilitate a better site plan. The site is situated along Hudson Boulevard West between West 34th and 35th Streets and will include 2.8-million-square-feet of commercial office space.

Professional associations

  • Member, New York City Bar Association

News and recognition

Events

Speaking engagements |

Ground Rules

Speaking engagements |

New Development Plans
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