Mack Paul


Mack Paul is a real estate lawyer who focuses his practice on zoning, land use, environmental permitting, public financing, and public policy. He specializes in regulatory approvals for large, mixed used developments and urban infill.  He also focuses on public-private-partnerships and public finance of infrastructure that supports development projects. He has represented owners, developers, coalition groups and businesses in all types of development and governmental issues such as the proposed ban on disposers by the City of Raleigh and rental registration for the apartment industry. At the coast, Mack has represented local governments, property owners and environmental groups on fisheries issues, sea level rise policy, coastal development and large infrastructure projects such as inlet relocations.

Professional Background

Mack is active with green building and smart growth initiatives. He is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP), a distinction he earned through the Green Building Certification Institute.

Governor Perdue appointed Mack to serve as the public member on the NC Building Code Council, where he serves on the Energy Conservation Committee. He has served on the Community Advisory Board of KB Homes, a national leader in energy efficient housing.

Mack was a founding member of Triangle Growth Strategies and the Triangle Smart Growth Coalition, which brought environmentalists and home builders together on common growth principles.

He chaired Triangle Tomorrow and assisted with the Reality Check visioning exercise that led to a number of guiding principles for the region’s future growth. He also served on the Special Transit Advisory Commission, which developed the current plan for Triangle Transit.

Mack is a frequent writer and speaker on urban planning, transportation and policy matters.

Mack has also participated in numerous political campaigns and political activities. As chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party, he led a successful campaign to win five contested seats, determining the direction of the student assignment policy in Wake County.

He has been active on various municipal races, including Charles Meeker’s first successful run for mayor in 2001. He served as chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker and has worked with candidates on a number of gubernatorial campaigns, including serving as Gov. Jim Hunt’s Wake County campaign manager in 1996.

Mack focuses on fundraising, building coalitions in the business and grass roots communities and advising on transportation and urban issues.


Mack received his B.A. in History at Dartmouth College, his M.S. in Education at the University of Southern California and his J.D. at Columbia University School of Law.

Achievements in Real Estate Law

“Best Lawyers in America,” Land Use & Zoning Law, 2008 – 2019, Real Estate Law 2013-19

“Chambers USA, ” Real Estate: Zoning/ Land Use – Band 3

Professional Activities

  • North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, Local Government Study Group
  • North Carolina Bar Association (Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section)
  • NC Building Code Council (Public Member)
  • Urban Land Institute (Full Member and Membership Committee, Chair)
  • Hope Center (Board of Directors)
  • Wake County Sustainability Task Force
  • Wake County Democratic Party (past Chairman)
  • Triangle Tomorrow (past Chairman)
  • North Carolina State University (past College of Design, Board Member)
  • Special Transit Advisory Commission
Presentations/Publications on Real Estate Law

    • “State of Public Financing in North Carolina,” CDFA North Carolina Financing Roundtable Conference, Septemer 22, 2016, RTP
    • “A Reluctant Acceptance of Public Private Partnerships in North Carolina: Dispatches from the Font Lines,” 2015 Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section Annual Meeting, March 27, 2015
    • “Global Trends and Impact on Real Estate Industry,” Annual Advisory Board Meeting of the Construction Management Department at East Carolina University, October 24, 2014
    • Real Estate Financing Considerations,” National Business Institute, November 2, 2011
    • It Takes Two to Tango: How Local Governments and Businesses Can Use Public Private Partnerships to Set a Course for Economic Success, co-presenter, Triangle Community Coalition, May 23. 2011
    • “Financing Critical Infrastructure in Critical Times,” co-presenter, N.C. Planning Conference, October 2, 2009
    • “Incentives and Infrastructure Financing in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis,” co-presenter, September 16, 2009
    • “Lawmakers Sweeten Public-Private Deals,” co-author, Triangle Business Journal, August 2009
    • “Erosion Control: Urgent Need for Regulatory Reform,” presentation to NC Beach, Inland & Waterway Association, Annual Conference, November 2008
    • “Sandbags, Groins and North Carolina’s Struggle for a Comprehensive Beach Management Strategy,” presentation to American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, Annual Conference, October 2008
    • “The Politics of Real Estate Development,” presentation, May 2008
    • “Issues for the Coast: Update on Sandbags,” presentation to NC Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association, April 3, 2008

Representative Work in Land Use and Real Estate Law

  • Represented developers in approval by a municipality and Local Government Commission of the first Special Assessment District in the State of North Carolina to finance infrastructure to support large, mixed use project.
  • Represented developers in drafting and negotiating town-initiated development agreement to support redevelopment of an historic, commercial property.
  • Represented developers in obtaining zoning approvals for large, mixed use projects within the urban core as well as at green field sites.
  • Represented client on obtaining government funding for waste to energy technology used to address hog waste.
  • Represented developer on a significant land swap at coast, requiring approvals by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State Property Office.
  • Represented stakeholders in creating new regulatory framework for development on oceanfront.
  • Represented client in negotiating health care reform before General Assembly.
  • Represented museum in securing funds for major expansion.
Video Interview

Mack Paul

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