Overview

Gloria Velazquez is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Miami office and a member of the firm's Government Advocacy and Development Practice Group in the Real Estate Section. Ms. Velazquez has a wide range of experience as a land use and zoning attorney in Miami-Dade County. She focuses her practice in the areas of land acquisition, due diligence, land use and zoning, permitting and governmental matters. Ms. Velazquez represents clients in numerous aspects of the real estate development process, from conceptual planning, contract negotiation, real estate due diligence and entitlements, including platting, to building permits and certificates of occupancy.

Ms. Velazquez works with residential and commercial developers, land owners, joint venture partners and realtors in numerous municipalities, such as Hialeah, Palmetto Bay, West Miami, Miami Lakes, Miami and Doral, as well as unincorporated Miami-Dade County. She represents clients before governmental bodies in order to secure zoning and site plan approvals, variances, comprehensive development master plan amendments, special taxing districts and plat approvals. Additionally, Ms. Velazquez appears before the Environmental Quality Control Board (EQCB) and other regulatory boards. She negotiates and drafts agreements and covenants, and assists clients with resolving all aspects of permitting issues. As part of the development approval process, she routinely engages community stakeholders and manages tasks with architects, traffic engineers, surveyors and other project consultants.

Ms. Velazquez's major representative projects include residential urban high-rises, residential large-scale suburban communities, mixed-use developments, retail, commercial, institutional, utility, outdoor advertising and rock mining activities. She is well-versed in handling matters involving developments with wetland issues, utility plants, landfills and resource recovery facilities.

As part of her government practice, Ms. Velazquez has advised clients during the government procurement process, including due diligence, submittal and negotiations in Miami-Dade County with the Miami-Dade County School Board. She also has experience handling the request for proposal (RFP) process and contract negotiations in Georgia, as well as assisting clients with regulatory compliance in accordance with award agreements. Her representation has also included bids and awards at a national college and university-level school system.

Ms. Velazquez has drafted numerous code amendments in various municipal jurisdictions and has extensive knowledge of the Community Development District (CDD) process.

With the perspective of a lifetime resident of Miami-Dade County, Ms. Velazquez has successfully guided clients through all phases of the South Florida development process. However, she is also able to provide a national perspective, utilizing the firm's nationwide platform and resources.

From 1998 through 2005, Ms. Velazquez focused on zoning approvals in the City of Miami, which included major use special permit (MUSP) approvals and special exceptions. Before the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood became the busy art district that it is today, she obtained the zoning approval for one of the first buildings in the area. At that time, Ms. Velazquez also obtained one of the highest zoning category approvals on the Miami River. Later in her career, she focused on managing the entitlement process for two large-scale development of regional impact (DRI) developments of approximately 1,000 acres each for a national home builder. As the market turned up, she refocused her path on land acquisition, due diligence and entitlements for the same national home builder.

Credentials

Education
  • St. Thomas University School of Law, J.D.
  • Florida International University, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Memberships
  • The Florida Bar, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • The Florida Bar, Government Section
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • St. Thomas University School of Law, Alumni Advisor
  • Florida Board of Professional Engineers, Board Member, 1998-2006
Honors & Awards
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2017, 2018 
  • Latin Builders Association, Attorney of the Year, 2003
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

News