FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Olivia Shay-Byrne

Co-Chair of the DC Economic Partnership

Washington, DC, USA


Olivia Shay-Byrne, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Reed Smith, is a member of the Finance/Real Estate group, and is Practice Group Leader for the New Markets Tax Credit Group. She focuses her practice on real estate transactions, New Markets Tax Credits (“NMTC”), public/private partnerships, (including those with colleges and universities) and public finance including tax-exempt and taxable bonds. She has a large cutting-edge practice with NMTC, and represents clients in NMTC projects relating to mixed use, retail, office, residential, manufacturing, warehouse, healthcare, hotels, restaurants, sports arenas, and headquarters projects.

Olivia Co-Chairs Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, with Washington, D.C.’s Deputy Mayor, Victor Hoskins. Under their leadership, the group has already achieved several significant successes, including launching an innovative, bond backed "incubator/non profit village" program that helps reduce the cost of office space for nonprofits. The first project born of this program, won the 2008 Washington Business Journal's "Best Real Estate Deal" award in the "Community Impact" category. Most recently, she represented the United Negro College Fund with their new headquarters project, located at Progression Place, in a very unique manner with air-rights and an innovative condo regime. The project developer is using NMTC. The project is a Finalist for the 2011 Washington Business Journal Best Financing
Deal of the Year.

She has extensive experience working with the District's Revenue Bond Program, Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. She has a strong commitment to the District and its youth, which is demonstrated by the projects she has completed. She is actively involved in the District's revitalization.

Olivia represents many for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and assists them in acquiring real estate with tax-exempt bonds, EZ Bonds, construction loans, bridge loans, SWAPS, and NMTC. She also assists on many mixed-use projects and frequently helps structure complex financing transactions for organizations. In this capacity, she has more than 20 years of experience representing for profit and nonprofit organizations, including universities and colleges, museums, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and institutions for higher learning. She recently completed the financing for the D.C. headquarters of the largest trade association in the world. Among Olivia's clients are United Negro College Fund, University of the District of Columbia, The Nation al Association for the Education of Young Children, Mt. Vernon Arts and Technology Academy PCS, The Jesuits, American Education Research Association, Fordham Foundation, American Sociological Association, IDEA Public Charter School, Center for Change, The National Association of Realtors, Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center, and Ebenezer African American Methodist Church. She has assisted one of the leading children’s theater groups in the nation, Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts' Imagination Stage. In 2004, her financing structure for the National Association of Realtors' $40 million real estate transaction was also selected as the "Best Financing Deal of the Year" by the Washington Business Journal. She was recently named by the Washington Business Journal as a "2009 Top Washington Lawyer" Finalist in the Real Estate Transactions category.

Olivia is also experienced in assisting nonprofits with establishing 501(c)(3) status and for-profit subsidiaries and guides her clients through the process by filing their articles of incorporation, drafting Bylaws, filing for 501(c)(3) status and completing 1023 application, and filing for state and local tax exemption. She assists universities and colleges in their financing and real estate projects.

Olivia also represents developers and corporations with real estate acquisitions, renovation projects, and public/private partnerships, as well as mixed-use retail/residential, entertainment projects and office condominiums. She is one of the few lawyers who has successfully represented developers obtaining Enterprise Zone Bonds in the District of Columbia. She oversees the due diligence process for the real estate transaction, negotiates the acquisition agreement or lease, and helps obtain financing for the developer. She also has broad experience assisting developers in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. She is currently helping clients navigate their capital needs with innovative public/private partnership solutions. In addition, Olivia is particularly well-known in the area of public finance.

Representative Matters
  • Led a CVS transaction and obtained tax exempt bond funding for a construction project
  • Served as borrower's counsel, bond counsel and underwriters counsel for numerous tax exempt and tax bond transactions over the past 14 years

Honors & Awards
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World
  • Named by the Washington Business Journal as a "2009 Top Washington Lawyer" Finalist in the Real Estate Transactions category
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