Donnie has assisted with economic development transactions that have incorporated a wide range of financing tools, including tax increment financing (TIF), community redevelopment area (CRA) abatements, historic tax credits, new market tax credits, and bond financing. These transactions have included the representation of a variety of clients, including port authorities, counties, community development corporations, and private developers. Donnie also serves as special economic development counsel to a northern Kentucky city to assist with the development of economic development incentive programs.
Donnie has assisted clients with all phases of complex commercial real estate transactions from due diligence to closing. His experience includes drafting and negotiating leases as well as financing agreements.
In the area of land use, Donnie has served as a mediator, drafted trial court and appellate court pleadings, and assisted with obtaining land use approvals and entitlements.
As lead counsel for the City of Covington, Kentucky, for the first PACE/EPAD transaction in the history of Kentucky, Donnie was part of a team that received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy (2016).
Donnie earned his J.D. in 2014 from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating cum laude. He also holds an M.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a teaching fellowship, and a B.A. in English from DePaul University, where he served as captain of the cross-country and track and field teams and was an All-Conference USA performer in Cross Country and Track and Field.
Donnie joined Calfee in 2017.
Honors & Recognitions
Cincy Magazine, "Cincy Leading Lawyers," Governmental, Real Estate 2018-2020
J.D., cum laude, University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2014
M.A., English, University of Cincinnati, 2009
B.A., English, DePaul University, 2005
- Lead counsel for the City for the Duveneck Square mixed-use, multi-family development from the inducement of City-issued industrial revenue bonds through closing of project financing.
- Project Lead and general counsel for the City for the 501 Main mixed use, multi-family development, including providing guidance with regards to all phases of development from the execution of the development agreement through design and the issuance of permits.
- Lead draftsperson for the City for the first PACE/EPAD project (Energy Project Assessment District) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which involved the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments to finance the retrofitting of a senior care center in Northern Kentucky with energy saving improvements.
- Lead draftsperson and counsel for vacant and abandoned property program, known as the Covington Community Developers Initiative, which included the transfer of over twenty-five (25) vacant and abandoned properties to pre-qualified developers subject to restrictive covenants securing development.
- Drafted a variety of documents for real estate transactions, including deeds, revocable licenses, easements, leases, term sheets, and development agreements.
Zoning and Land Use
- General counsel to the Zoning and Planning Specialist and the Historic Preservation Specialist with regards to all land use and planning issues, including interpretation of the Covington Zoning Code, KRS 100, and the Covington Historic Design Guidelines.
- General counsel to the Urban Design Review Board and the Board of Adjustment, providing legal advice to the board throughout the administrative process to ensure due process and sound interpretation of the Covington Zoning Code and KRS 100.
- Lead counsel for the Urban Design Review Board to uphold the Board’s decision to deny the demolition of the historic Bavarian Brewery based upon the City’s zoning code.
- Delivered prevailing oral argument in Urban Design Review Board appeal involving a proposed structure that the Board determined to be non-compliant with Covington’s historical design guidelines.
Litigation and Administrative Appeals
- Represented the City and individual employees in an ADA matter, drafting a prevailing motion to dismiss that resulted in the dismissal of all claims against the individual employees.
- Represented the Urban Design Review Board in Kenton Circuit Court to defend the Board’s decision to deny the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the demolition of the historic Bavarian Brewery.
- Represented the City in a Section 1983 claim, drafting a prevailing motion to dismiss all custom and policy claims as well as several claims against individual officers.
Professional & Community
Professional & Community
Board of Directors, Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation, 2018 - Present
Mentor, Public Allies Cincinnati Leadership Development Program
Public Allies Cincinnati Advisory Board, 2016-2017
Vice-Chair of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet, 2014-2015
Donnie has presented recently to the following organizations:
- Kentucky League of Cities
- Northern Kentucky Bar Association, local government section
- American Planning Association, Cincinnati and Miami Valley Chapters
News & Events
- This Week Community News, 03.25.2020
- Cincy Magazine, 01.30.2020
- Cincy Magazine, 01.29.2019