Overview

Teresa is the chair of the firm's Public Law Practice Group, chair of the firm's Civic Engagement and Community Relations, a member of the Real Estate Group, and has 25 years of legal experience. She is experienced in bond transactions, economic development incentives, and real estate development and financing. She has served as bond, underwriter’s, borrower’s as well as placement agent counsel. She has represented private sector for profit and non-profit entities and local, county and state governmental agencies, including municipalities, port authorities, higher education, commercial financing real estate matters, construction, and government relations.

Teresa counsels with respect to all real estate acquisitions, divestitures, leasing, financing and development. She has represented individuals, corporations, non-profits and governmental bodies with all aspects of real estate development including land assembly, planning, zoning, environmental and financing, including public-private partnerships. Teresa’s diverse real estate experience allows her to advise on all types of real estate transactions.

She also works with clients in developing and maintaining strong relationships with local and state officials, as well as community stakeholders, to advance clients' legal and legislative matters, particularly for non- profit, and real estate development clients.

Teresa represents small business owners on various legal matters including but not limited to contracts, employment matters, intellectual property matters, litigation, and construction matters.

Teresa is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Cleveland State University College of Law.

Representative Cases & Matters

Public Finance

  • Served as underwriter's counsel in connection with the issuance of $26,745,00 County of Hardin, Ohio Economic Development Facilities Revenue Refunding and Improvement Bonds (Ohio Northern University).
  • Served as underwriters' counsel in connection with the County of Cuyahoga, Ohio $56,345,000 (tax-exempt) and $52,720,000 (taxable) Capital Improvement Refunding Bonds.
  • Served as bond counsel to the County of Cuyahoga, Ohio with respect to the issuance of $43,330,000 Taxable Economic Development Refunding Bonds.
  • Served as underwriters' counsel in connection with the State of Ohio (Treasurer of State) $68,750,000 Capital Facilities Lease Appropriations Bonds (Administrative Building Fund Project).
  • Served on underwriters' counsel in connection with the issuance of the State of Ohio (Treasurer of State) $98 million Capital Facilities Lease Appropriation Bonds.
  • Served as underwriters' counsel in connection with the refunding of $245 million issuance for a regional sewer district.
  • Served as underwriters' counsel in connection with issuance of the Ohio Treasurer of State of a $98 million fixed and variable rate bond issuance.
  • Bond Counsel in connection with the issuance and sale of $42MM taxable revenue parking bonds for the construction of an approximately 972-space parking garage and approximately 17,700 square feet of street-level retail and office space in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Borrower’s counsel for $15 million fiber optic conduit financing.
  • Bond and borrower counsel for $88,000,000 refunding for Ohio nonprofit corporation.
  • Bond counsel to Cuyahoga County in the issuance of $137,890,000 sales tax bonds.
  • Placement Agent’s counsel for $103 million parking facility, including construction, real estate and private placement in Tempe, Arizona.
  • Issuer’s counsel for $3.8 million senior housing facility in Trumbull County, Ohio
  • Represented lender in $45 million loan to New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority.
  • Served as underwriter’s counsel in connection with a $25 million student housing facility in Augusta, Georgia.
  • Served as underwriter’s counsel in connection with a $45 million student housing facility and alumni center in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Represented the City of Cleveland in connection with a U.S. Housing and Urban Development 108 Loan and Tax
  • Represented the City of Cleveland in connection with a Housing and Urban Development 108 Loan, Tax Incremental Financing and other conventional lending sources in a leveraged New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit transaction related to the redevelopment of the East Ohio Gas Company building into a mixed-used commercial development project consisting of housing, retail and parking. This is a $65 million project with multiple public and private lending sources.
  • Represented the City of Cleveland as a leverage lender and a grantor of a Housing and Urban Development Brownfield Economic Development Grant (BEDI), as well as other city lending sources in a New Markets Tax Credit transaction for the development and construction of a commercial greenhouse located in the urban core of the city, a $16 million transaction.
  • Served as lender’s counsel to the city of Cleveland in connection with a $30 million Housing and Urban Development loan related to financing of the Flats East Bank project, a $272 million project with more than 30 sources of financing.
  • Serving as Placement Agent counsel in a $90 million bond private placement for the construction of a parking garage in Tempe, Arizona.​

Public Law 

  • Represents various municipalities with respect to tax increment financings (TIFs) and other matters regarding economic development.
  • Represents of the City of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, as its Director of Law.
  • Played a strategic role in obtaining summary judgment for municipal utility in $188 million class action regarding alleged customer overcharges. The Court held for the municipal utility on all claims, and completely rejected the theory proposed by the plaintiffs’ counsel.
  • Represented company in the negotiation of a Project Labor Agreement with the building trade unions to ensure the company would meet its diversity goals.

Real Estate

  • Represents for-profit and non-profit entities with respect to the acquisition disposition and financing of various real estate projects.
  • Served as the lead real estate attorney representing Playhouse Square Foundation on the construction and development of its 34-story apartment tower, “The Lumen at Playhouse Square,” which consists of 318 apartments, 528 parking spaces and approximately 20,000 square feet of residential amenities.  
  • Represented a utility provider in the acquisition, development and construction of a training center.
  • Represented Group Plan Commission in the redevelopment of Public Square and the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, Cleveland Ohio.
  • Represented Cuyahoga County Public Library in the sale and purchase of real property for construction of new library branches.
  • Represented local housing authority in the master lease of its former headquarters as well as other transactional and real estate matters.
  • Served as general counsel to a 501(c)(3) District Energy Company, which includes but is not limited to corporate governance, construction, financing, and labor and employment matters.
  • Represents small business owners on various legal matters including but not limited to contracts, employment matters, intellectual property matters, litigation and construction matters.
  • Incremental Financing in a leveraged New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit transaction related to the redevelopment of the AmeriTrust building, now known as “the 9,” a $270 million project with multiple financing sources.
  • Represented 501(c)(3) senior healthcare entity in connection with the construction and development of a new headquarters and training center using New Markets Tax Credits, a $12 million project.
  • Represented a managed healthcare company headquartered in Long Beach, California, in connection with the acquisition of a 157,000-square-foot building in Columbus, Ohio, to serve as its headquarters for its Ohio operations, a $8.5 million purchase.
  • Represented a healthcare developer in the acquisition, development and construction of a healthcare rehabilitation facility.
  • Represented a large 501(c)(3) healthcare provider in connection with the acquisition, construction, development and implementation of its Vision 2010 plan, a $1 billion investment, which included the construction of five major medical facilities as well as the expansion of a number of existing facilities.

Economic Development

  • Represented the City of Cleveland in a proposed incentive package for the construction of the $300 million Sherwin-Williams Company world headquarters in downtown Cleveland. The $30 million plus economic development incentive financing package included TIF financing, a construction grant of up to $13.5 million and a job creation grant up to $11.5 million. For its investment, the city retained more than 3,100 Sherwin-Williams employees on its income tax rolls, plus the possible creation of 140 jobs. The Cleveland public school district also benefits from new property tax revenues, estimated at $4 million a year.
  • Represents developers with respect to tax increment financings (TIFs) and other economic development matters.
  • Represented the City of Cleveland as lender in a combined New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit transaction for the buildout of commercial office space, a $7 million transaction.
  • Represented developer in connection with the State of Ohio Energy Loan secured by Special Assessment to be levied by the local municipality in the event of a default.

Honors & Recognition

Featured in Code Magazine – Women Achievers Who are Performing and Making a Difference

Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2022-2024)

Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America (2020-2024)

Crain's Cleveland Business – Notable Nonprofit Board Leaders (2023)

Norman S. Minor Bar Association – Judge Ronald B. Adrine Trailblazer Award recipient (2023)

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law – Alumni of the Year (2019)

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law – Hall of Fame Inductee (2018)

Crain's Cleveland Business – Notable Women in Finance (2018)

Savoy Magazine - Most Influential Black Lawyer (2018)

Ohio’s Top 15 Business Women for 2018 by the National Diversity Council

YWCA Woman of Achievement (2017), YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence (2011)

Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Hall of Fame – Inductee (2016)

Who’s Who in Black Cleveland – Honoree (2018, 2016)

Crain’s Cleveland Business – Woman of Note (2014)

CREW Cleveland Deborah R. Klausner Leadership Award (2008)

CBC (Cleveland Business Connects) Cover Feature Article (October 2007)

Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40-40 Club

Credentials

Education

Cleveland State University College of Law

University of Alabama

Admissions – Court

Admissions – State

Professional & Civic

Professional Activities

Playhouse Square Foundation – Board of Trustees

University Hospitals of Cleveland Medical Center – Board of Trustees 

DigitalC Board of Trustees (June 2020) -- Chair, Advocacy Committee

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Board of Trustees; Member of Expansion Committee

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Inc. – Vice Chair, and Advocacy Committee (June 2018 - Present)

Downtown Cleveland Alliance – Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2017-Present); Vice-Chair

In Counsel With Women – Board Member, Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee (2016-Present), Chair, Membership Selection Committee

National Association of Bond Lawyers – Member; Model Trust Indenture, Letter of Disclosure Counsel, and Model Bond Opinion Committees

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) – Member; Past Presidents Committee

Women In Public Finance – Member

Executive Women’s Leadership Forum – Member (2016-Present)

Bluecoats, Inc. – Member (2015-Present)

Karamu House – Board of Directors, Chair of Governance Committee and member of Executive Committee (2017 – 2021)

5805 Euclid, Inc. (a.k.a. University Hospitals Women’s and Children’s Center) - Board of Directors – Member (2017-2021)

Leadership Cleveland – Class of 2007

American Bar Association – Member

National Bar Association – Member

Community Involvement

Current Public Service and Volunteerism

Ohio Treasurer's Office Northeast Ohio Regional Advisory Board

Team NEO RightSites Council

The Links, Incorporated (Western Reserve Chapter) 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter) – Member

Past Public Service and Volunteerism

Cleveland Foundation - Social Impact Investment Committee

The Cleveland Foundation – Board of Directors, Chair of the Social Impact Investment Committee, member of the Audit, Finance and Administration Committees and the Grant Making and Community Engagement Committee (2015-2019)

Laurel School for Girls – Board of Trustees, member of the Governance and Executive Committees (2009 - 2018)

Cleveland Business Connects Magazine – Advisory Board Member (2008-2017)

Cleveland Botanical Garden – Board of Directors, Chair, Committee on Governance (2011 - 2017)

 YWCA Circle of Women Committee

Jack and Jill of America Foundation (Cleveland Chapter)

Cleveland Foundation – Board Member

Village Capital Corporation

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation

A Cultural Exchange

Cleveland Housing Network

Universal Sisters: Live Younger Longer Program – Participant

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center – Sing-Out! Volunteer

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association – Judicial Selection Committee (April 2018 - 2020)

News & Insights

External News & Publications

"Inclusive Law Firm," Cleveland Bar Journal, March 2020

Events

Speaking Engagements

Women in Leadership Panel, City Club Cleveland, June 21, 2022

6th Annual Cleveland Commercial Real Estate Summit, Anchor Cleveland, August 13, 2020

Courage to Succeed Women's Conference 2019, Federal Reserve Bank Cleveland, October 18, 2019

A Commercial Real Estate Forum, Accelerate Cleveland, October 17, 2019 

Paul J. Everson Real Estate Center 2018 Conference, Cleveland State University, October 25, 2018

“Growing Into My Big Girl Shoes,” WINCleveland, March 2018

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The Women in Industry – Featuring the female leaders who inspire our industry,” Society for Marketing Professional Services, Cleveland, Ohio, September 2017

“Expanding Your Business in Today's Political & Economic Climate - The Current State of Affairs & Public Policy That Impacts Your Business,” The Presidents’ Council 2017 Annual Conference, Cleveland, Ohio, August 2017

“Is Your Financial House in Order? Or Things I Wish I Had Known When...,” Union Club of Cleveland Engaging Women’s Committee Event, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016

Panelist, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Tau Boule Professional Development Series

International Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference IGNITE Women’s Mentoring Luncheon

Flourish Cleveland Conference for Women in Leadership

Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club’s “Ladies Who Lead” Professional Women’s Forum, 2015

Ohio Diversity Council’s Women in Leadership Symposium, 2015

Keynote Speaker, Case Western Reserve University’s Black Law Students Association “Black Ties” Event, 2014

International Women’s Day, URS Cleveland, 2014

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