Kathy Makino-Leipsitz, is the founder and managing partner of Shelborne Development,One of the largest woman owned development company in Michigan and active in the transformation of historic neighborhoods in the City of Detroit. Kathy is a wife, a mother of two daughters, a step mom to a daughter and a son and a grandmother of 4 beautiful grandchildren.
Over the last 40years, Kathy and Shelborne have helped to build and rehabilitate over 2,000 housing units in Southeastern Michigan with a special focus on preserving over30 vacant/ blighted/ boarded historic buildings in Detroit, bringing life back to over 1,000 multi-family unitswithin the City.
Since 2003Shelborne main focus has been on rebuilding neighborhoods in Detroit beginning with the New Center neighborhood.The most recent building completed is located at 112 Seward and has received the National Historic Rehabilitation Association’s Timmy Award for Best Historic Rehabilitation(under $10 million) in the nation. Shelborne has expanded its concentration to two other neighborhoods, Palmer Park and the East Jefferson Corridor. As a result,Shelborne has completed the rehabilitation of 15buildings in the Palmer Park historic apartment district, New Center and the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhoods totaling over $120 million of investment and bringing life back to over 550 housing units in those neighborhoods
Kathy is widely considered an expert in Michigan affordable housing, serving on numerous panels and boards. She continues to be a leader in affordable housing development, with a pipeline of projects & development efforts that consistently resulted in the receipt of highly competitive LIHTC awards , receiving 20 tax credit awards over a period of 15 years.
By working to provide employment, security and a sense of community in each neighborhood in which it develops, Shelborne strives to extend its revitalization efforts beyond its own projects, and works hard to serve as an engine that revitalizes the entire community beyond the physical improvement and into the enhancement of the very heart and soul of the community’s residents.By developing and promoting a housing product whose quality typically far exceeds the quality of affordable housing stock available elsewhere in its neighborhoods, Shelborne seeks to restore a pride in their home in its residents that pervades throughout the neighborhood. Quality and livability always takes priority over profitability, and Kathy is widely known to tackle projects that exceed the limits of complexity for virtually any other affordable housing developer in the marketplace.
Over the years,Kathy has been recognized with several achievement awards. Among the awards:
- D Business Magazine the 2015 Powered by Women Award
- Midwest Real Estate Magazine- Real Estate “Hall of Fame
- Syndicator WNC Developer of the Year
- Jefferson East Inc., 2012 Developer of the Year
- The University of Michigan and the ULI Real Estate Excellence Award
- The Wayne County Commission recognized her for her continued dedication to Reinvesting in Detroit.
She has also been nationally recognized with various project awards:
- Palmer Park Square~ LISC’s Most Community Impact Award for the redevelopment of 6 Historic Apartment buildings
- Chalmers Square~2014 Multifamily Executive Magazines Grand Award for National Project of the year
- Chalmers Square ~Novogradac award for Historic Rehabilitation with Most Community Impact
- La Vogue Square ~Affordable Housing Magazine – Overcoming Obstacles Award
- Palmer Park Square ~Affordable Housing Magazine – Most Creative Financing
Kathy’s civic commitments anddevotion to the redevelopment of Detroit include serving as a board member on the Michigan Housing Council and THAW. She also remains active in community groups such as “The People for Palmer Park”. She was recently appointed to the Wayne County Joint Airport Authorities Zoning Board of Appeals and invited to become a board member of the National Preservation Action Association and the National Steering Committee for LOCUS/Smart Growth.