Kostas is co-chair of the firm's Public Finance and Economic Development practice. He focuses his practice on project and public finance and provides strategic advice to real estate development firms, private equity funds, private equity investors, and government entities, as well as entities ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Kostas is a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute and the Private Equity and Venture Capital program at Harvard Business School.
Kostas provides advice on combining real estate and economic development incentives and private equity, project financing credit enhancement structures, tax increment financing (TIF), tax benefits related to Qualified Opportunity Zones, and forming Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds. Kostas has been named a Top 25 Most Influential Opportunity Zone Attorney by Opportunity Zone Magazine.
Kostas has served as bond counsel, bank counsel, developer’s counsel and/or underwriter's counsel in a variety of bond and project financings, and counsel to real estate private equity funds, investors, and developers. Kostas also negotiates and provides strategic advice on using federal, state and local incentives as part of project financing structures. He is listed as nationally recognized bond counsel in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (the "Redbook").
Prior to joining Taft, Kostas was a member of his previous firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the firm’s Public Finance, Municipal and Economic Development Practice Group. Before private practice, Kostas served as Special Assistant to Governor Evan Bayh (IN-D) implementing government efficiency programs across multiple state agencies and thereafter was appointed by Governor Bayh as Executive Director of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the state agency responsible for implementing the Telecommunications act of 1996. Kostas was later appointed by Governor Frank O’Bannon (IN-D) and reappointed by Governor Joe Kernan (IN-D) as Deputy Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance during Indiana’s statewide transition to a market-value in use property tax system. Both Governor Bayh and Governor Kernan each awarded him a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana's highest civilian honor. Kostas has also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Indiana and as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence S. Margolis on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.
A Top 25 Most Influential Opportunity Zone Attorney by Opportunity Zone Magazine (2019 - 2021)
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Project Finance Law (2021)
Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation
Verified Opportunity Zone Attorney
Awarded Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana Governor Bayh and Governor Kernan)
All Service Areas
- Indiana University Maurer School of Law
- Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (M.B.A.) (2023)
- The American University School of International Service, Washington, D.C. (M.A.)
- Ball State University (B.S.)
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Federal - U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- Federal - Northern District of Indiana
- Federal - Southern District of Indiana
- State - Indiana
- State - Illinois
- Negotiated and structured $62 million in economic development tax and financing for $240 million biodiesel facility.
- Counsel to a municipality in connection with $834 million in economic development incentives to a major U.S. automotive manufacturer.
- Developed strategy and negotiated $57.5 million economic development agreement for a $490 million alternative energy facility.
- Advised multinational civil and defense aerospace manufacturer in negotiating $23 million in economic development incentives.
- Structured real estate private equity funds for retail, commercial, and hotel acquisition and development.
- Structured 100% financing as bank counsel for a hotel project.
- Advised investment fund and real estate developers structure Qualified Opportunity Zone projects for hotel acquisition and construction financing.
- Advised municipality on strategy for attracting manufacturing company to relocate headquarters using various economic development and project financing options.
- Advised manufacturer in negotiating economic development incentive package, including personal property abatement, $1.5 million in economic development tax increment bonds and $13 million of tax-exempt bonds.
- Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer in negotiating $1.2 million in local and state economic development incentives, $8 million in tax increment financing support and $45 million in tax-exempt project financing.
- Represented manufacturing company in negotiating brownfield redevelopment and property acquisition using tax increment financing and economic development incentives.
- Bond counsel for $400 million in air quality development revenue funding bonds for a publicly traded energy company.
- Bond counsel for $67 million state finance authority environmental refunding bonds.
- Bond counsel for tax increment financing of hotel and multifamily projects.
- Served as bond counsel on taxable and tax-exempt bond structure for retail and multifamily projects.
- Underwriter’s counsel for $85 million capital facilities lease appropriation bonds.
- Underwriter's counsel for $95 million school building corporation refunding bonds.
- Bond counsel on numerous municipal general obligation, revenue, public improvement, infrastructure, utility, storm water and refunding bonds.
Speeches and Publications
- Moderator & Speaker, "Qualified Opportunity Zones and Economic Development Project Financing," National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) Workshop, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 13, 2022.
- Panel Moderator & Speaker, Opportunity Zone Expo, Phoenix, Arizona, Oct. 3, 2022.
- Moderator, "Community Redevelopment with Opportunity Zones, Historic, New Markets, Low-Income Housing, Energy Tax Credits, and Other Incentives" National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) Workshop, Oct. 15, 2021.
- Speaker, "Federal Recovery Funds," Indiana Economic Development Association (IEDA) Industry Outlook Conference, Aug. 30, 2021.
- Panel moderator, “The Rising Trend of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) and Investing in Business Entities and its Impact on Opportunity Zone Transactions,” Opportunity Zones Expo, July 15, 2021.
- Speaker, "Optimizing Real Estate Investments," 1% Growth Acceleration Summit, Oct. 29, 2020.
- Publication, "Opportunity Zones: What Investors Need to Know," Crain's Chicago Business, Sept. 30, 2019.
- Panel moderator, "Investment Primer for Family Offices," Opportunity Zones Forum (Midwest), Chicago, Sept. 19, 2019.
- Speaker, "Opportunity Zones," Municipal Finance Officers Association 2019 Meeting #2, July 16, 2019.
- Panel moderator, "Investments that Matter: How Impactful Development Can Incorporate CRA, Workforce, Affordable Housing with Opportunity Zones and Other Private-Public Partnerships (P3s)," 2019 Opportunity Zone Expo Las Vegas, May 9-10, 2019.
- Panelist, "Spotlight on Commercial and Industrial Redevelopment," Regional Economic Diversification Summit, sponsored by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) on May 1, 2019.
- Quoted, Inside Indiana Business article “Indiana Continues to Push Opportunity Zones," March 14, 2019.
- Panelist, “Jumpstarting Communities with Investment – A Detailed Discussion about Opportunity Zones,” Indiana Construction Roundtable, March 14, 2019.
- Panelist, "Investment Panel 4 - When to Head Out: Understanding your Fund(s) and Exit Strategies," Opportunity Zone Expo, Los Angeles, Calif., Jan. 25, 2019.
- Moderator, "Making the Most of EB-5 in Ohio," CDFA Ohio Conference, Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 7, 2017.
- Speaker, "Structuring the Deal," Chicago Urban League and Angel Resource Institute’s (ARI) Angel Investor Overview, Chicago, Ill., May 25, 2016.
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- National Hellenic Society
- Chicago Council on Global Affairs
- Chicagoland Opportunity Zone Consortium Working Group