Katherine O’Donniley is Senior Counsel in the Real Estate and Lending Transactions Group. She focuses her practice in the areas of real estate, land use, alcohol beverage regulations and government advocacy. Katherine represents clients before various local governmental bodies on issues relating to zoning, land use, local government comprehensive planning, code enforcement and alcohol beverage licensing. Her practice includes frequent interaction with local, regional and state government entities in Florida. She has experience in the area of public finance, including public debt offerings, bond counsel and disclosure counsel for various localities and issuers. Credentialed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED® AP), Katherine also advises clients regarding green building practices and the LEED building certification process.
Katherine’s transactional real estate practice focuses on office and retail real estate development and leasing, representing national and regional landlords and tenants in connection with acquisitions, dispositions, development and leasing of office buildings, shopping centers and mixed–use properties.
Katherine’s alcohol beverage licensing practice includes handling legal issues for all three tier issues ranging from land use approvals to licensure and regulatory compliance.
Prior to law school, Katherine served in a financial oversight role for Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential Campaign. She oversaw the campaign’s finances for the state of Florida, including the intake of all contributions, the management of expenditures and the filing of FEC reports.
Land Use, Zoning and Government Advocacy
- Successfully achieved entitlement for a new USAA facility in Hillsborough County through the addition of 400,000 square feet of office entitlements and 50,000 square feet or retail entitlements to the two-phase 199 acre Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
- Successfully amended a 476 acre Development of Regional Impact (DRI) through a Notice of Proposed Change (NOPC) to incorporate additional multi-family and medical office entitlements with companion rezoning applications.
- 14 screen movie theater development approvals for a national movie theater chain.
- Amendment of a comprehensive plan future land use (FLU) designation to accommodate development of a student housing facility in Hillsborough County.
- Successful representation of corporate client in securing relocation–related economic development incentives.
- Drafting and approval of a privately initiated text amendment to the Tampa Land Development Code to accommodate mini-warehouse use in a special zoning category.
- Representation at the City of Clearwater regarding redevelopment of a vacant grocery store as mini-warehouse use.
- Assisting with the entitlement and handling the alcohol related approvals for redevelopment of a historically designated site in Tampa to accommodate over 100,000 square feet of community use.
- Representation of a one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in the country monitoring local and state regulations affecting potential medical marijuana site selection.
- Representation in connection with entitlement and development of big-box retail in the Tampa Bay region.
Alcohol Beverage Licensing
- Alcohol licensing approvals for various downtown Tampa hotels, including approvals for a 110+ year old redeveloped building.
- Representation of a national restaurant chain in its Florida expansion and alcohol licensing across the state.
- Successful state alcohol licensing representation for a Florida golf course management company at over a dozen locations across the state.
- Representation of national grocery chain in its Florida alcohol licensure and regulatory matters.
- Ongoing Florida alcohol licensing and regulatory representation for a national convenience store/gas chain with over 70 Florida locations and nearly 1,000 locations nationwide.
- Successful representation in obtaining local, state and federal licensure for startup breweries and distilleries in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg region.
Land Use Litigation
- Litigation representation in a matter protesting a local government’s decision to permit certain gambling facilities tied to a special use permit approval.
- Litigation representation concerning lawsuit against a local government for denial of a client’s request to serve liquor on premises.
- Representation defending developer as co-defendant with local government regarding a privately initiated zoning code text amendment.
Honors and Distinctions
- Up and Comer, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
- Florida Legal Elite “Up & Comer,” Florida Trend Magazine, 2014
- FSU Alumni Association’s Thirty Under 30, 2012
- National Association of Licensing Professionals
- NORML Legal Committee
- Chair, Channel District CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) Community Advisory Committee
- Glazer Children’s Museum, Development Committee
- Burning Spear Leadership Honorary
- Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute
- Tampa Connection
- "Lender Environmental Liability Concerns," Lender Liability Law and Litigation (LexisNexis Matthew Bender), 2010 Edition, September 2010"
- Koontz, The U.S. Supreme Court’s Latest Take on Takings," Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine, March-April 2013, Vol 23, No. 5.