Background

 

In late 2019, the Community Catalysts' Board made the strategic decision to create a subsidiary whose sole purpose is to develop affordable and attainable housing.  Community Catalysts Development Company was formed in January 2020.  

 

Our Mission is to add quality, attainable housing that allows seniors, veterans, formerly homeless, and people with low income to thrive in communities.  

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, the Development Company has several operating goals:

 

1.  Financial responsibility.  We are good stewards of our resources AND profit isn't our goal - more attainable housing is.

2.  Quality Housing.  We create the highest value housing at the lowest possible cost.

3.  Attainable Housing.  We develop attainable housing without the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

4.  Partnership.  We partner with the community where we develop housing, and we partner with other local organizations to serve our residents.

5.  Mixed income and mixed demographic.  We all have a lot to learn from each other.  We provide natural role models in our communities so that everyone can grow.

6.  Outcome based approach.  We measure success based on both the number of attainable homes created AND the positive impact on the individuals and families served.


 

 

Board Members

Ken Clarkson

Representing both the borrower and the lender in all aspects of real estate law, Ken Clarkson brings nearly 35 years of legal experience to Community Catalysts' Board of Directors.  With a law degree from the University of Michigan, Ken is licensed to practice law in both Michigan and Florida.

Ken brings extensive experience negotiating sophisticated real estate financial transactions including joint ventures, mezzanine financing and traditional construction and permanent financing.   He negotiates purchase 

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agreements for properties to be held for development and syndication, and negotiates leases for office buildings larger than 250,000 square feet as well as strip and regional malls. In addition to practicing law, Ken lectures regularly at seminars involving real estate matters, conducting seminars for the National Business Institute and the Detroit Bar Association.

 

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Mark Fishwick

Over the past 30 plus years, Mark Fishwick has worked in the automotive industry for both Ford Motor Company and General Motors as well as automotive suppliers.  Mark’s proven track record of increasing efficiency and reducing costs in the supply chain are strengths he brings to the Development Company. 
 

As a University of Michigan graduate holding an MBA, Mark is an information systems expert and is a patent holder for process improvements to SAP software.  Mark’s strong problem-solving and analytical skills allow him to be successful in multiple disciplines.  In addition to his work in 

the automotive industry, Mark is passionate about developing attainable housing locally. He has taken on several building rehab projects himself before joining the Development Company team.

 

Mark is a husband and a father to four adult children. He leads the Prayer Team at Grumlaw Church and enjoys hiking, running, and weight lifting.

Becky Phelps

Becky Phelps is the founder of Capture Associates, an asset management and consulting service to a limited group of owners, overseeing over 2,000 units of senior and multi-family housing.  Becky brings almost 30 years of experience in all phases of property ownership and development.  She is experienced in acquisitions, sales, debt and equity financing and asset management services in both the senior and multi-family housing sectors.

Becky Phelps

Prior to founding Capture Associates, Becky worked as a Development Officer of the P.M. Group, Inc.  Her involvement in the acquisition and construction development of over 2,500 multi-family and senior housing units, including the securitization of over $80 million in debt financing and placement of equity, contributes significantly to the expertise behind her successful ventures and ownership opportunities.

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Kristen Stilson

Kristen Stilson graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance with a specialization in Accounting. Growing up in a family of builders, Kristen developed an early interest in construction as she had multiple jobs in her family’s construction conglomerate. Today, Kristen is a licensed Michigan Residential Builder and is the Manager of Nix Contracting.

With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, Kristen has created business plans to obtain

start up financing, negotiated complex contracts, estimated and managed projects, and managed the acquisition, disposal, licensing and financing of company assets. Kristen’s knowledge and experience in finance and accounting combined with her understanding of the construction industry benefits the Community Catalysts Development Company Board significantly.

In her free time, you can find Kristen waterskiing at the lake, snowboarding, reading, and spending time with her husband and 4 children.

Kevin Wilson

As a Board member of Community Catalysts Development Company, Kevin brings over 30 years of experience in both construction and real estate development.  His experience includes developing and building single family homes in 15 residential communities totaling over 2500 lots.  Kevin also has extensive experience in developing multi-family communities, including building or rehabbing 11 projects of more than 2000 units.

Kevin was part of the team who grew Delcor Homes from a $1 million business into a business with revenue in excess of

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$50 million per year.  Kevin has lead diverse projects such as converting a warehouse building into 75 loft apartments, the adaptive reuse of a school in Detroit into senior independent living apartments, projects requiring Brownfield remediation, and several building/remodeling projects for Central Michigan University.

Kevin has his Builder’s License in both Michigan and Florida and is the President of Design, Develop, Construct Enterprises, located in Brighton, Michigan.  Kevin enjoys hiking, history, and anything to do with Superman!

Eileen Zilch

Eileen Zilch

As the Executive Director and President of Community Catalysts Development Company, Eileen Zilch brings over 30 years of Corporate, Consulting, and Non-Profit leadership to the team.  


As the Executive Director of Community Catalysts for the last 4 years, Eileen has seen the need for affordable and attainable housing in Michigan and how limited the state and federal resources are to adequately provide that housing.  These resource constraints are what inspired Community Catalysts Development Company to pursue development of attainable housing without the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.   

 

Projects

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The Development Company was formed in January 2020, and we closed on the purchase of our first property at the end of February.  We purchased the former Howell Frame Shop on Grand River Avenue in downtown Howell.  

 

The plan for this property is to locate our offices on the first floor and create 2 new affordable apartments in downtown Howell.  The building needs extensive renovation, after years of deferred maintenance.  

 

The community rallied behind us in early March, as we were awarded the first quarter donation from 100 Women Who Care in Livingston County.  Our first donation for this project was over $10,000!   

We hit a speed bump as the Covid 19 pandemic closed all but essential businesses in mid-March.  We kept working, but zoning, planning, and construction all ground to a halt.

 

As some restrictions lifted in mid-May, we had our first volunteer team help significantly with outside landscaping clean up.  We are continuing to move forward on the rehab of this property in spite of the slow down, and plan to be done with all renovations well before the end of 2020.   

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Developing Affordable and Attainable Housing