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A Pair Of Detroiters Work To Rejuvenate Palmer Park One Building At A Time

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Mark_Leipsitz_and_KathyMakino-Leipsitz
marieosborne2 Marie Osborne
Marie Osborne is an Anchor and Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She...
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DETROIT (WWJ) Detroiters have a downtown and a midtown, but no “uptown,” according to Kathy Makino-Leipsitz.

But that’s going to change if she has her way.

Makino-Leipsitz, along with her husband Mark, owns 14 buildings at the corner of Six Mile and Woodward in Detroit.  The area is filled with architectural gems built by noted architects including Albert Khan.

“The buildings here span five decades and most are irreplaceable — They are jewels,” Mark Leipsitz said.

A preview of a Palmer Park building.

A preview of a Palmer Park building.

With stately names like La Vogue, Sarasota and Seville, many of the buildings are only shadows of their former selves. Most stand abandoned and dilapidated.

That’s where Makino-Leipsitz comes in.  She used a mix of federal stimulus funds , federal historic tax credits and other avenues to finance the renovation projects.

Three buildings are done and occupied, five others will be completed by the end of the year.  Rents range from $420 a month, including heat and water, to $800 a month for a three bedroom unit.

“Nowhere else in the city do you have a mix of Moorish, Spanish style, Deco and Modern buildings in one place” says Mark Leipsitz.  The couple believe their vision for a completely rejuvenated Palmer Park will be completed in three to four years.

(lobby, La Vogue Building in Palmer Park)

(lobby, La Vogue Building in Palmer Park)

 

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